Reasons Why Being 23 and Exceptionally Single is Awesome
- I have an entire big bed to myself to spread out in.
- When I bake a batch of cookies or a slice (see below), I get to eat the whole lot myself.
- I can have enormous bowls of oatmeal topped with ungodly amounts of almond butter, maple syrup, and 85% dark chocolate for both breakfast and lunch if I want to.
- When I travel, I can go and see and do whatever I want, whenever I want, on the slightest whim.
- When I travel, I get to meet, innocently cuddle, and laugh with cute boys.
- I can sing and dance and make a fool of myself in the house whenever I want to.
- I don’t get my heart broken.
Reasons Why Being 23 and Exceptionally Single is the Antithesis of Awesome
- I have an entire big bed to myself which I only use a corner of.
- When I bake a batch of cookies or a slice (see below), I have to eat the whole lot myself.
- Sometimes I realise I’ve eaten enormous bowls of oatmeal topped with ungodly amounts of almond butter, maple syrup, and 85% dark chocolate for both breakfast and lunch three days in a row.
- When I travel, I run the risk of going and seeing and doing hospital visits in foreign countries with no one to keep me company during the interminable hours in Emergency.
- After I’ve travelled, met, innocently cuddled, and laughed with cute boys, I’m still 23 and exceptionally single.
- Sometimes I don’t feel like singing and dancing and making a fool of myself by myself.
- I don’t know what it feels like to get my heart broken.
Now that I’ve made myself feel vulnerable enough to warrant hiding under my doona for a day or so, here’s the recipe for the slice mentioned in points 2a and 2b. In other words: Dramatic Shift of Tone!
This is quite a cake-y slice, and it freezes well. Hurrah! Such a quality is very convenient when you find yourself needing a break from its deliciousness (and it is delicious) after eating eight squares over the course of one day.
I can’t recommend this slice enough as a treat for afternoon tea, morning tea, dessert with a scoop of ice cream, or at any moment of the day that feels right. Perfumed with warm spices, it reminds me of a less-aggressive pain d’epice or a more complex gingerbread. Personally, I find the highlight of the slice to be its toasted sesame top, as the jolt of nuttiness against the soft, spiced, sweet underneath makes me all but swoon. This is my kind of creation: not over-the-top or cloying in its richness yet sweet enough to feel like a treat, and sufficiently layered in flavour to keep you going back for more. I’ll be making this again.
(Now that I think about it, I’ll probably double the spices next time. But I’ve kept the recipe below as I made it, because I can comfortably recommend that way.)
Spiced Sesame Slice
Makes 16 – 20. Adapted from sweet food.
Note: The original recipe used only ground ginger, but also included crystallised ginger. Not only did I not have crystallised ginger, I don’t like it, so I happily nixed it in favour of adding other spices. But feel free to add in 50g of chopped crystallised ginger with the first lot of sesame seeds and leave out the additional spices, if you’d prefer.
- 50g (1/3 cup) sesame seeds
- 125g (1 cup) plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 eggs
- 140g (3/4 cup) soft brown sugar
- 125g Nuttelex (or unsalted butter), melted
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Lightly grease a 18 x 26cm shallow baking tin (or something around that size – no need to fuss) and line with baking paper, so that the baking paper extends up both long sides.
- Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium-low heat, for 5-10 minutes, until browning but not burnt. Trust yourself, and don’t worry if a few seeds get a bit dark in colour. Some of mine looked almost burnt, and it was still super yum-times.
- Sift together the flour, bicarb, spices, and pinch of salt. In a separate, large, bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Beat in the melted butter.
- Gently fold in the flour mixture and half the sesame seeds, gently mixing until there are no pockets of flour hidden in the batter.
- Spread into the tin and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly coloured and firm, though slightly springy, to the touch. Cool in the tin for ten minutes, then lift out and cool on a wire rack.
Question time! Anyone have anything else to add to the Pros, Cons, or both lists?