It most certainly is déjà vu.
Francesca, from Almost Italian, commented on my previous post by saying that she made a similar chocolate slice but hers included Vita Brits (Weet-Bix). Francesca’s comment got me thinking. Was the slice I remembered from my childhood the recipe from my sister, Vickie, or was it the one to which Francesca was referring? We never ate Vita Brits or Weet-Bix for breakfast in our house but I do remember finding them in the pantry and eating them with butter and jam. Were they left over after Mum had made this slice?
Francesca noted that her mum had been making the recipe since the 60’s. If my Mum was making it, it would have been the same time. I was certain these old recipes must be Women’s Weekly recipes so I went to Eat Your Books and did a search of my cookbook library. Alas, I got no hits. I couldn’t check my cookbooks directly as we are in different houses. I did, however, find the recipe Francesca was referring to on taste.com.au.
When Francesca posted the recipe, she was making it with her two beautiful granddaughters and commented how much the kids loved it and how easy it was for them to make. Francesca was responsible for meltng the butter and her grand daughters were responsible crunching up the Vita Brits and for the mixing. Sounds like perfect demarcation to me. The recipe on taste.com.au was classified under kid friendly. There is a theme happening here.
I decided to make Francesca’s recipe to do a compare and contrast. This recipe has the advantage, and disadvantage, of the inclusion of Weet-Bix or Vita Brits (wholewheat breakfast biscuits). The advantage is: the cereal adds a bit of nourishment to an otherwise very sweet, rich recipe. The disadvantage is: unless you are a regular consumer of Weet-Bix, you have to go out and buy them. The recipe uses three Weet-Bix. What am I going to do with the rest of the packet?
So… which recipe is best? They are, virtually, the same except, for the inclusion of the Weet-Bix. The addition of the Weet-Bix makes this slice crunchier and less rich than the recipe in my previous post. The icing on this slice (icing sugar and water) is also less rich (you could use whatever icing recipe you like).
The verdict? They both taste great. If you are making them for kids and have Weet-Bix in the house, I would probably go this recipe. The Weet-Bix extends the ingredients, adds a bit of nourishment and you don’t need to take out your mixer to make the icing.
If you are making them for grown ups, I would choose the previous recipe, simply because it is just that much richer. I prefer the recipe in my previous post and Maus prefers this one. Both are delicious and really worth making, especially if you have kids or grandkids who like helping out in the kitchen.
- 3 wholewheat breakfast biscuits, eg Weet-Bix or Vita Brits
- 1 cup (85g) desiccated coconut
- ½ cup (120g) caster sugar
- 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
- 2 tbs* cocoa
- 150g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
*These are 20 mil tablespoons
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a 16 x 26cm baking pan with baking paper (a 20cm x 20cm pan is about the same size).
- Break up the cereal and place it into a mixing bowl with the coconut and the sugar.
- Sift the flour and cocoa together. Add to the bowl.
- Melt the butter and pour over dry ingredients. Add the vanilla essence. Mix well.
- Spoon mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly. I scored the slice before I baked it. I reckon this makes cutting the slice so much easier.
- Bake for 15 minutes in your preheated oven.
- Ice the slice whilst still hot. (I didn’t read this instruction until too late so the slice was cold when I iced it but it was fine.)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tbs* cocoa
- 2 tbs* hot water
Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a small bowl. Add the water and stir well.
Making this today Glenda- Thankyou- this recipe has never left my family’s repertoire as my Mum used to make it with the Weebix – was probably cheap for filling up all those hungry children- I knew I could find the recipe easier here than going through all my country community / school recipe books! I notice that those old books are 85% biscuits, cakes and slices and the other 15% rest are main meal recipes- casseroles etc utilising cans of pineapple, apricot nectar, the odd teaspoon of curry powder, worstershire sauce and french onion soup mix (Mind you they taste pretty good too generally!) Emilyx
Hi Em, I bet there are no biscuit left now.
You can’t beat the good old fashioned recipes Glenda… love a little slice with my cuppa. Hope you and Maus are well 🙂
Hi Moya, thanks for stopping by. Yes we are well, now. Life should be getting back to normal soon.
I’ve never heard of this slice before either – but believe it or not I bought a packet of Weetabix for Rich and he’s gone off them so I’m left with 4 in the packet and it’s been sitting in the cupboard for the last couple of months!
Give it a go Nancy, you are sure to remember it or something similar from your childhood.
I make a similar recipe off the Best Recipes site, but it uses brown sugar which adds a caramel undertone to it …. here’s my link http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/weet-bix-slice1-L5572.html
Hi Jenny, that is another one worth a go. Thanks
I’ve never heard of this – it’s not an American thing but I’m really looking forward to it when I get back to eating sweets again.
Thanks for the shout out Glenda. It was a trip down memory lane, even if only 3 years ago, to read that post again and see the girls looking so much younger. I hope you find a use for the rest of the Vita Brits. Someone above suggested using this mixture as a base for something- a cheese cake came to mind.
I love the way you and Maus did a taste test on both. Yes, I think the one without the cereal would be more ‘adult’. Maybe this recipe came out to con kids into eating more cereal. All my grandchildren love Vita Brits, the boys hoover down at least 4 for breakfast and after school too, so we keep them in the pantry. My mother, daughter and I always insist on using Vita Brits, and not Wheat Bix, the latter having added sugar. But it depends what you have grown up with.
Hi Francesca. Bloody “added sugar”. Why can’t they just leave food alone?
This was one of the first dishes I can remember being involved with cooking. When I used to run away to our neighbours home, she would keep me occupied and this base was used as the bottom of her marshmallow slice. Seeing this has bought flashbacks of all sorts of things, but mostly the memory of licking that spoon with the crunchy, chocolaty, coconut taste. Thank you.
Hi Maree, Maus asked me to put marshmallow on top but I thought it was just because she loves marshmallow. Maybe that is what her mum did too. I will have to ask her.
I can’t remember what mum put in these. I don’t think it was Vita brits. Maybe crushed biscuits? Ah those great old fashioned recipes.
Hi Sherry, crushed biscuits, now that is different. Do you have the recipe?
This is the version I remember from back-in-the-day. Yours is looking pretty good, yum.
Another old fashioned cracker of a recipe!
Sure is Liz and so is your lemon slice.
I think I remember this too! My nan used to use wheat bix crushed to make sweet tart cases, and I’m pretty sure they ended up in her crumble on fruit too for our Sunday roast lunches. Great alternative Glenda, thanks for sharing this version. I bet you’re looking forward to getting access to your books again to dig and find the origin of these recipes.
Hi Leah, I do love to find the origin of recipes but sometimes they just get spread so widely and printed in so many books it is impossible. It is amazing how many “celebrity chefs” include recipes in their books that have been printed before. The best part is when there is a mistake in the recipe and they haven’t even bothered to check if the recipe was correct.