ANZAC biscuits are a true part of Australia’s culinary history. First made by a team of women on the home front, they were sent to soldiers in care packs during the First World War. The sweeter, the better. But there were some obvious restrictions – ingredients were scarce and had to be carefully selected so the biscuits didn’t spoil on the long voyage, hence the use of golden syrup and the exclusion of eggs.
Today, every family has their favourite recipe – not to mention the hard versus chewy debate! This slice is a modern transformation, but it’s just as delicious as the original.
1½ cups rolled oats
1¼ cup spelt (or plain) flour*
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted
*Spelt flour is a popular non-wheat flour derived from an ancient grain. It’s readily available in health food stores and grocers, but if you don’t have any on hand plain flour works well in this recipe too.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. In a medium bowl, combine oats, 1 cup flour, sugar and desiccated coconut.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 125g butter and golden syrup together. Turn off heat.
- Whisk together hot water and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl, add to golden syrup mixture (it will froth up). Add to oats mixture and mix together well with a wooden spoon.
- Meanwhile, combine shredded coconut, almonds, remaining flour and remaining butter in a bowl, using fingers to turn into a crumb, without melting butter. Set aside.
- Press oats mixture in to a 15 x 20 cm greased slice tin and bake in oven for 10 minutes, until just turning gold. Remove from oven, sprinkle over coconut crumble and bake another 5 minutes, until just golden and ANZAC slice is cooked through but still chewy.
- Set aside to cool, then cut into squares to serve.
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