After many hours on the road, traveling from Hamilton through to Gisborne as a child for school holidays or family occasions, there were always two highlights to this journey. The first was stopping to enjoy the beaches in Ohope and the second, stopping at a particular cafe in Opotiki just before we entered the Waioeka Gorge. What made this cafe so highly anticipated was their amazing tan slice that was always guaranteed to be in their glass cabinets. In fact, it was always a request to stop in Opotiki before we’d even left Hamilton.
Back home, the Tan Slice became a frequent request, over the years. My mum had several variations of this recipe in her hand-written cookbook, written while in her late 20’s to early 30’s. So each time I try a good tan slice, it always brings back fond memories.
With these memories in mind, I’ve always wanted to piece together my own take on this caramel slice, all while doing this nostalgic recipe justice. I’ve experimented with several variations myself, and am confident you’ll love my Chocolate Chunk Tan Square. The name is pretty self explanatory and I hope this recipe becomes a family favourite for you too.
- 240g Butter – Room Temperature
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 430g Plain Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 160g Chocolate
- 395g Tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 100g Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 160°C bake and line a 20cm square baking tin with grease-proof paper.
First we want to start with the filling as you’ll want this to be cooled before pouring over finished base. So in a saucepan, melt and combine together the filling ingredients until warmed through and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Moving onto the dough, use a hand-held beater to cream together the butter and vanilla until combined and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix together to form a firm yet crumbly dough.
Press a thin layer of dough over the base of prepared baking tin (2mm). Break up the chocolate into chunks and evenly place over top of thin layer to prevent chocolate from baking directly onto the bottom of the slice. Firmly press ⅔ of the dough over top of the chocolate chunks until just covered.
Pour cooled caramel filling over top of the base and crumble the remaining ⅓ of dough over top.
Bake for around 45-50 minutes or until edges are golden and crumb on top has baked through. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy.