A recent purchase was Laura Calder’s latest book, Dinner Chez Moi, which I could not find anywhere, and ended up having to order it online from Canada. I finally had time to read it, in a very indulgent and leisurely manner, from cover to cover over the course of most of a whole day during my convalescence. After all, this is the fun part of getting better, and when else would I ever have so much free time that I could spend so much of it lying in bed, intermittently reading a cook book and dozing off?
About half way through the book, I came across Laura’s ‘walnut squares with white chocolate cream cheese filling’. I’m including a picture here, because hers look much better than mine.
While I don’t usually go in for slices, I adore white chocolate, and knew I had a bag of walnuts in the pantry. So, with visitors abound, I thought a double batch (of the recipe below) was in order. After all, if I was going to make one lot, it’s not that much more effort to make two, and then I could send people home with extras.
1 cup (125 g) flour
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup (110 g) butter
1 cup (110 g) walnuts, chopped
1 cup (225 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (50 g) dessicated coconut
2 tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (110 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (55 g) butter, at room temperature
170 g white chocolate
1/4 cup (30 g) icing sugar
1 tbs lemon juice (I used lime)
Pre-heat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 23 cm square pan (I used a Swiss roll tin for my double batch).
Pulse base ingredients together with a food processor (or pinch with fingers) to a fine crumb. Press into the pan and bake for 15 min.
Stir filling ingredients together. Spread over the baked base (no need to cool the base), and bake a further 25 min. Cool completely.
Melt the white chocolate, and beat in the cream cheese and butter. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, then the lemon juice. Chill for ~10 min so that the mixture becomes spreadable. Thickly spread over the filling, and slice. (Mine look a bit sloppy because I was too impatient to wait for the icing to become less sticky!)
The good thing about slices, unlike cakes, is that you can cut them big or small to suit the appetite. And the taste…! The base is like a dense, but still crumbly and light shortbread, the filling is chewy (but doesn’t stick to your teeth), nutty, and coconutty, and the icing is a frosted version of white chocolate cheesecake. And best of all, I have happy visitors 🙂
Edit: I have made these again, and feel vindicated in the appearance of the icing, by making swirly peaks with the back of a spoon. I adjusted the icing recipe slightly, by omitting the butter and using 250 g cream cheese. I also toasted some of the coconut before mixing it into the walnut layer, for an extra coconut flavour. Thanks to DP for the cute serving plate!