I love to bake but I also like to keep it simple in the kitchen so if I can find a shortcut I use it! Can you see a theme with my food recipes? Sweets are my favourite thing to cook in the kitchen, I do make savoury recipes but making sweets feels therapeutic.
I don’t know who owns SAO these days (is it still Australian owned?), but to me a SAO biscuit is ‘Aussie AS’. My after school snacks most days throughout the 80’s were a plate of SAO biscuits with lashings of butter and Vegemite or peanut butter. Squishing two together so the filling oozed out in little tendrils was mandatory and then I’d lick them off. When my boys were little they would have a SAO with fritz and tomato sauce, that is until I started making vanilla slice with them…now it’s the only way they will eat a SAO.
Vanilla slice! Uhuh I married a guy who is extremely partial to custard, he also likes green cordial…I think being 8 must hold great memories for him LOL. If I make him a custard tart or vanilla slice then he’s happy as a pig in shitand I can pretty much have him wrapped around my little finger…as long as I have a good supply!
So how do you make vanilla slice with SAO biscuits? Easy…here’s how…
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED…
Packet of SAO biscuits (yes you can use the homebrand ones)
4-6 tablespoons of castor sugar (sweeten to taste)
750mls cold milk.
LET’S MAKE THIS…
Make up custard powder according to directions…for 750 ml of milk I add about 7 tablespoons of custard, you want it to end up thick and yellow when cooked.
Add sugar and vanilla and stir well.
Simmer on the stovetop or cook in the microwave until thick…I choose microwave! You may need extra custard depending on the size of your tin, leftovers won’t go astray.
If using the microwave cook for a few minutes then remove and stir well then pop back in microwave. Repeat until thick. Then grab a whisk and give it a few beats to ensure consistency is evenly smooth.
Line a square cake tin or slice tray with SAO biscuits. I use this old battered tin that fits 9 very well (takes a good amount of custard), you might have a bit of left over space or gaps but that’s ok, the custard will fill them and you can trim excess when cool. Make sure the sides of the tin are high enough for your slice because no one likes a streamlined skinny custard slice! NO ONE!
Now pour custard over the back of a spoon to cover the biscuits, keep the spoon low ( in contact with biscuits) so the custard doesn’t force biscuits to move around too much.
Make sure you keep note of roughly where biscuits are because now you are going to pop the tops on, add SAO biscuits over the top so you have a base then custard and a top. See pic. If your biscuits move just guide them back into place with a knife.
Cover with cling film and let stand until cool enough to pop in the fridge. The clingfilm will trap some steam and help to soften the biscuits. The longer you leave the slice before eating the softer the SAO gets…perfection.
Onto the icing.
Make a bowl of your favourite icing, I make a butter icing using 1 1/2 cups of icing mix and roughly 125 g of good real butter, I prefer a local organic butter. Now beat with a wooden spoon until it starts coming together. Add a dash of vanilla and a dash of milk ( I use full fat) then beat well. If your mix is too runny add more icing mix to thicken it.
Once slice is set ( 4 hrs or overnight) remove from fridge and while still in the pan spread the icing over the top. We don’t like lots of icing so only spread a thin layer then top with shredded coconut ( great texture with the smooth custard)
Return to fridge for an hour then slice, you will feel where the biscuit squares are, use them as a guide. Once the first one is out of the pan it’s easy. Trim edges of excess custard and serve with a cuppa.
What do you think?…will you give them a go?
Happy Straya Day for tomorrow.