Sunday, July 8, 2012

Childhood food aka the Missing Chocolate Coconut Slice Recipe

The Birthday Slice

You know how in all your favourite books as a kid the main character would come home, set down her school bag and tuck into a glass of milk with a freshly baked cookie? Not in my house. My mother worked full or part time since I was quite young, and baking wasn't her thing.

But the things she did bake? Oh man, they are indelibly etched into my taste buds and my brain. My sister and I have been known to call each other to talk about Mum's chocolate coconut slice, or her Golden Slice. Her Anzac biscuits? Divine. Her chocolate self saucing pudding? To die for.

Fast forward twenty or so years and when I asked my mother for her coveted Chocolate Coconut Slice recipe, I expected her to say 'oh yes!' and nip over to her computer and print it out for me. (Mum never really cooked out of recipe books, she types them, prints them out and puts them into a display folder. I suffer the same malady.)

Instead, she went ' Well, I'm not really sure which recipe it is. I've got three here.' (What?!) She sent them to me, I tried one, and my disappointment was so large that I didn't try the other two.

For my birthday in 2011, my friend contacted Mum, who sent her the recipe (the correct recipe, I might add!) and she presented me with a gift of chocolate coconut slice. She wrinkled her nose up and said 'I hope it's okay... It seems a little dry to me.' I was quite heavily pregnant with Millie, so I snarfed delicately ate a few squares on the way to work.
'IT'S PERFECT!' I proclaimed. 
'Oh really? Well okay then... Are you sure it's not a bit dry?'
'Noooooo! CHILDHOOD!'

The Childhood Food Phenomenon

Mr S and I have a theory about Childhood Food.
It doesn't matter how bad it could potentially taste to any other adult, it will always taste perfect to you, the grown adult who when eating a Childhood home baked treat, will always be six years old. Strangely, we have found that this does not apply to confectionery you loved as a child. Except for Redskins.

So without further ado, here is my mother's Chocolate Coconut Slice recipe for you to try, and adore. If you don't adore it, there's clearly something wrong with your baking skills, not the recipe, okay? CHILDHOOD!


I email my mother as I wrote this draft explaining to her what I was doing. I thought we'd nailed down which recipe it was... but alas, here was her reply. And my reply on top. To which I received her reply.

Oh man.

So, without any further ado, here are the two recipes. I would lean towards the first one. 

Moist Chewy Coconut Slice


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cadbury Bournville Cocoa
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 185 g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • extra coconut
Chocolate Icing
    • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons Cadbury Bournville Cocoa
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • hot water
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add the sugar and coconut and stir well.
  2. Add the butter and egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Press the mixture evenly into a lined 28 x 18 cm slab pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Leave in the pan to cool.
  5. When cold, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add the butter and enough hot water to make a thick but smooth consistency. After icing, sprinkle with the extra coconut. Cut into pieces and store in an airtight container.

The Classic Chocolate Coconut Slice


  • 1 ½ Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 Cup Brown sugar (or castor sugar)
  • 1/3 Cup cocoa powder
  • 250g Unsalted butter melted, cooled
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ½  cups desiccated coconut


  • 2 cups pure icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 70g unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tblsp hot water
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut


  1. Grease and line slice tray.  Preheat oven to 180c.
  2. In a bowl combine plain flour, sugar, cocoa powder, desiccated coconut and melted butter, mix well to combine.  Pour mixture into slice tray and press evenly to create an even base.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before icing.
  3. Icing: In a bowl sift together pure icing sugar and cocoa powder.  Pour in melted butter and hot water and mix well to combine.  Spread evenly over the cooked
  4. (cooled) slice base.  Sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut and allow to set completely before cutting.

    I will try these and report back. I have now made myself hungry at 9.50am. Goodness me.


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