Oaty Fudgey Gingery Slice

My editor loved the sound of this ginger, oaty, fudgey slice that Max makes for Jess’s cafe. It’s a bit of an old school Kiwi favourite that I hope you’ll enjoy too. Just don’t tell your dentist. Max has adapted this one from The Cook & The Baker, but it’s actual origins are in many many kitchens. Over to you Max…

I’m not sure whether it’s the fudgey sweetness of the icing or the spicy ginger in the base, but this slice is seriously more-ish. It cuts best if you leave it to completely set in the tin (if you’re able to keep grabby hands away from it, that is), and will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Another tip? Keep your slices quite small- that way you can justify having a second piece with your cuppa.
Ok, to the usual preliminaries: you’ll need to grease and line a slice tray. If you really need measurements for this, the one I use is around 11cm by 30ish cm. And heat the oven to 180C (350F).
First you’ll need to tackle the base. Sift into a bowl 1 cup (150g) of plain flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of ground ginger and 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder into a bowl. Don’t be too precious when measuring your ginger – it’s the spice in the base that cuts through the sweetness in the topping. Stir in 75g desiccated coconut, 165g rolled oats – the traditional sort, not the instant ones – and about 150g brown sugar. By now your kitchen assistant will have melted together 150g butter and 70g golden syrup. Pour this into your dry ingredients, mix it all about, and press it into the lined tray. I like to smooth it out and pack it down using the back of a dessert spoon. Pop it into the oven for 25-30 minutes – or until golden brown.
When you’re ready to make the icing, sift into a bowl about 290g icing sugar and 1 tablespoon ground ginger. Ok, this is teeth rattling sweet, so if you don’t like so much sweet, feel free to cut the sugar down a tad or up the ginger. Your call. Melt some more butter (another 120g) and another 1/3 cup golden syrup (you were warned) and stir it into your gingery sugary mix until it’s smooth. Spread it over the base and resist the urge to cut into it just yet.