Cake stalls and elections go together in Australia. That’s because most schools are voting/polling places. Once an election is called, parents of schoolchildren race into overdrive to make all sorts of treats that will tempt voters to part with their money.
I’ve done it myself over the many years my kids were in Australian primary schools. I made cakes, biscuits/cookies, breads, brownies and more.
I’ve always liked the fact that my own mum in Nebraska was very good at translating Aussie vocabulary to its US counterpart. I’d call saying, we have a cake stall on Saturday (election day). While the cake stall wasn’t mentioned again in conversation, at the end of our chat she’d say, good luck at your bake sale.
Page 133 has two cake stall/bake sale recipes, and I opted for the first, because it is pictured on 132. Page 32 is a chapter divider, with no recipes.
1 1/2 cup (250g) dried apricots
500g (1 pound) plain sweet biscuits
250g (8 ounces) butter, chopped coarsely
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed light brown sugar
395g (12 1/2 ounces) canned sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (25g) desiccated coconut
Grease 23cm x 32cm (9-inch by 13-inch) swiss roll pan: line base and long sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over sides.
Process apricots until finely chopped: transfer to large bowl. Process biscuits, in two batches, until finely crushed; transfer to bowl with apricots.
Combine butter, sugar and condensed milk in medium saucepan; whisk over low heat until butter is melted. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir into apricot mixture.
Spread mixture into pan; smooth surface. Sprinkle with coconut; cool. Refrigerate until firm before cutting into squares or bars.
How it played out
I had visions of the apricots clumping together in a big blob in the bowl of the food processor, but instead they chopped beautifully.
The rest of the recipe was an absolute breeze to make, and I especially liked the fact that weights were given for ingredients. That meant I didn’t have to fiddle with (or wash up) a set of measuring cups.
I cut smaller squares so got almost 60 servings.
I’d normally avoid a recipe that called for sweetened condensed milk, but these bars had just the right amount of sweet.
More than half the batch got sent off to work with daughter, Petra. She called this morning to say they were a big hit.
I’ll make these often. Quick to put together, totally delicious and they keep well. A very tasty thing to have with a cuppa.
Cups of tea—especially chai—were a big part of our recent trip in India. Drop by my travel blog to meet one of the best tea makers.