Chocolate slice is an easy to make Australian treat, kind of like a cookie bar with coconut mixed in and topped with a chocolate glaze. It's easy to scale up or down and perfect as an after school or tea time snack.
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As we were considering a move to Melbourne in Australia for a while, one of the things I was excited to see was that it has a thriving cafe culture. In fact, while Melbourne is a particularly coffee-fanatical city, cafes and bakeries are popular across the country.
Virtually every town has a neighborhood bakery, with classics including sausage rolls, savory meat pies, and various sweet treats.
If you're out, it's pretty typical to have a bite to go with your morning coffee or tea. The idea of "teatime" does seem to be adopted from British colonial times. In fact both my kids' schools talk about "morning tea" for morning snack.
If you have someone over to your house, if you're feeling fancy you might make something to share (if you don't let the bakery help). And if you do, something like a slice is a popular choice.
The Australian slice
As I mentioned when I shared my lemon slice recipe, "slices" are something you'll find in many cafes and bakeries, as well as made at home. They are a bit like cookie bars or sheet cakes and come in all kinds of flavors.
Some slices certainly seem to have British origins, like chocolate caramel slice which is essentially millionaire's shortbread, popular in Scotland (where it likely originates). Another classic, vanilla slice, is similar to what would be known as a napoleon in the US and comes from the French mille-feuille.
The idea of a "slice", though, is certainly very much part of Australian culture. Some believe the popularity of slices is that they are easier than making a cake, but seem like you have put in more effort than simply making some cookies. They are also perfect to make in larger quantities, so ideal for bake sales etc.
This chocolate slice is one of the more traditional slices that's a great crowd-pleaser (and gets my kids' seal of approval).
Making chocolate slice
You'll find a few different variations on chocolate slice, some of which are no bake and others baked, like this one. Some have a softer, fudgier base, while others are more firm. Pretty much all have a chocolate frosting/glaze on top (because obviously!).
Even though this is baked, it's incredibly easy to make. All you do is mix the dry ingredients, separately mix the melted butter and egg, then combine them. Flatten this into the bottom of a lined dish then bake to firm it up.
Prepare the frosting shortly before the base finishes baking. Spread it over the base while it's still warm as it will spread more easily with the warmth. Try not to work it too much as it will become more uneven.
Scaling up and saving leftovers
You can easily scale the size of this treat up (or down,) depending on how much you want. You can also cut the pieces smaller or larger to suit your appetites.
If you have leftover pieces, these can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple days. You can also freeze it, separating slices with parchment paper in a freezer bag or box.
Chocolate slice is a classic Australian cookie bar that would fit in anywhere as a party dessert, after-school snack or teatime treat. Easy and tasty, it's worth making an excuse to make any time.
Try these other treats, perfect with coffee or tea:
- German plum cake (pflaumenkuchen)
- Swedish cardamon buns
- Coconut mango scones
- Plus get more snack recipes, both sweet and savory, in the archives.
For base -
- 1 cup all purpose flour 240g plain flour
- ⅔ cup desiccated coconut 44g
- ½ cup brown sugar 80g - can also use regular sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter melted (140g, 1 stick plus 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting-
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar 110g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter 15g, melted
- 1 tbsp boiling hot water
- Preheat oven to 320F/160C.
- Butter a dish or deep baking sheet/tin that's approx 11-12in x 7-8in (28-30cm x 18-20cm) and at least 1 in (2.5cm) deep. Line it with parchment paper, on the bottom and two longer sides, overhanging the sides slightly and pressing the paper gently into the butter to help it stick.
- Mix together the flour, coconut, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Lightly beat the egg and melt the butter. Add both and the vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Put the mixture into the prepared dish and press it down evenly, flattening the top so it's smooth. Bake for approx 20-25 minutes until the firm and the top looks dry.
- Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the frosting/icing. Sift the confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Add the melted butter and hot water and mix until well combined. Add a little extra sugar/water if needed to make a semi-thick but workable mixture.
- Once the base is ready, top with the frosting while it is still hot. Try to spread evenly, right to the corners, but be aware if you try to work it too much the top will become less even. Once done, sprinkle with a little coconut while the frosting is still wet. Leave to cool/firm up before cutting into pieces.
- To cut into pieces, it's easier to loosen the short edges of the slice and lift it out of the dish in one piece. Then, cut into whatever size pieces suits (for this size, I suggest 16 pieces).
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