Sunday, 11 May 2014

Condensed milk and nut cake




This is a recipe that caught my eye in one of those little “30 best recipe books”.  I liked that the recipe appeared so simple for an unusual looking end product.  It looks almost like a cheesecake but it isn’t – that creamy topping is made purely of baked condensed milk. This is a really quick, low effort bake, but I think the results suggest otherwise.  Please note the small squares I have cut it into – this is sweet and rich.  Think tasty little nibble to be enjoyed with a cup of tea/coffee rather than a big slice!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  




I don’t tend to keep condensed milk in my store cupboard and buy it only when I need it, which isn’t often.  This is probably just as well as I only have to taste a little bit off the lid of the can to fall head over heels in love with the stuff.  It’s sweet, creamy, thick and sticky texture is so sinfully good that I wonder why more baked goods don’t use it.  I really need to try it in an ice cream recipe – I bet it’s amazing.




I’ve stuck to the recipe as it used some of my favourite ingredients of chocolate, coconut and walnuts to add texture and flavour; I suspect however that the recipe is a bit of a blank canvas and any other nut, type of chocolate, or even dried fruit would work just as well; probably best though not to choose anything too sweet.




It’s also a good dish to use if you want to work out the age of people.  If, like me, you’re a child of the 1970s you won’t be able to hear the words ‘condensed milk’ without thinking of Lenny Henry and his condensed milk sandwiches on Tiswas.  I had a little chuckle the other day at work about how our popular culture references pinpoint us quite precisely age-wise.  A colleague was chatting to a younger colleague and made a passing reference to Percy Thrower (famous gardener and in charge of the Blue Peter garden; if you grew up in the 1970/80s apart from Zammo ODing in Grange Hill, the vandalism of the Blue Peter garden was about the most shocking thing that blighted your childhood).  She looked at him blankly and said, ‘who?’  She’ll be claiming she’s never heard of Morph and Chas next…..




Ingredients

For the base:
100g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter

For the topping:
150g chocolate, finely chopped – I used half milk, half dark chocolate
70g desiccated coconut
150g walnuts, finely chopped
379g sweetened condensed milk

Optional: icing sugar for dusting


Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 18cm square cake pan with baking paper or non stick foil.

Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs.

Add the butter and blitz again until the mixture resembles damp sand. (NB. If you prefer the manual method place the biscuits into a thick bag, tie the top, and hit with the rolling pin until you have crumbs.  Melt the butter and then stir the crumbs into it.)

Press the crumb mix into the base of the tin and press down firmly, ensuring the base is of even thickness.  Initially you will think there isn’t enough biscuit to cover the base, but be patient and keep pressing it down and out and there is.

Sprinkle over the chocolate, coconut and walnuts.

Slowly pour the condensed milk over the top taking care to disturb the chocolate, coconut and walnuts as little as possible (some movement is inevitable) – do not stir.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the mixture is set but not rubbery (think baked cheesecake or baked custard texture – a bit of a wobble in the centre!)

Leave to cool completely in the tin, on a wire rack, before de-tinning and cutting into small squares.

Refrigerate until about 20 minutes before serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful think you have created.


Eat.

16 comments:

Izzy said...

This looks really delicious, and unusual, and sweet! I used to not like condensed milk, but I think it would be delicious in a bake like this. If you do find a good recipe for condensed milk ice cream, please share!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Condensed milk, along with angel delight, is my absolute guilty food secret - I loved them when I was growing up and love em even more now! What an interesting bake!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks way too dangerous!

A Way With the Fairy Cakes said...

This sounds amazingly decadent, CC! I've recently discovered condensed milk (thanks to Nigella Lawson) and I love the stuff!!

Park said...

Oh my diet's going to take a hit! How can this be anything other than delicious with a list of ingredients like that? Sounds like the kind of thing I'd eat too much of and give myself a tummy ache! X

Gloria Baker said...

This look delicious!

Katie said...

This looks so indulgant. I love the gooey assorment of ingredients all stuck together with the condensed milk.

Sally Sellwood said...

Oh you only have to mention condensed milk and I am LOST. Love the stuff. This looks absolutely like my kind of thing. Love your cultural references determine your age assessment too. Although my kids do know about morph & Chas, cos I bought a DVD and made them watch it. In fairness they love it - Ivor the Engine and Trumpton Chigley & Camberwick Green too, but not so keen on Chorlton & the Wheelies for some reason...

beenz said...

I just love this recipe! May I suggest that those of your readers with access to an Asian supermarket or store try the Longevity brand of condensed milk. It is thicker and more caramelly that the English one.

Baking Addict said...

These look like delightful little treats. I've recently discovered using condensed milk in no bake cheesecakes - very good so I can just imagine how good it is here. Definitely one to try.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

This sounds lush! I cleaned out my larder the other day and found a can of condensed milk lurking in there..... may have found a use for it! And I LOVED Tiswas - genius!!

snowy said...

Love condensed milk, so this is a great way to use up a tin I have in the cupboard. Looks very moreish!

Choclette said...

This looks like a very decedent treat, but wow, what a good one. Condensed milk makes excellent ice-cream, I've several recipes on my blog.

Maggie said...

As a child were allowed to eat condensed milk straight from the tin - I think the food police wouldn't allow this now!

Stuart Vettese said...

I have made something incredibly similar recently CC. We are on the same mind path at the mo!!

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday. It is a very simple recipe but produces a fantastic treat! I will certainly make it again.