There’s nothing like a slab of pecan slice after a good interview flogging.
As a newbie to the whole interview process I stupidly decided to read my current novel, The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, whilst waiting for the person who would decide whether I was good enough to be a part of their company to arrive. Little did I know it was a trap. Through my nervous haze I blindly reached for my book, I should have listened to Black Books. I should have rolled up my sleeves or brought an orange with me to eat. I should NOT have read my book, that was my first mistake. Second mistake, not talking to the lovely looking lady at the desk. Result, nuclear bomb.
Damned if I was going to let anyone see how badly it was going on my face. Lashing after lashing I smiled, agreed (sincerely I might add, I did realise how much of an amateur I had been, which I am but that is entirely besides the point.) and welcomed every subsequent verbal lash there after. Laughed a little, made a little banter, was honest and most of all smiled. I hung onto my smile like a tendril of light, whether it ended up as a grimace by the end of it is something I don’t really want to think about.
What I did most definitely was learn a lot. I think the entire meeting is etched in my mind, some day I hope to look back, laugh and know that it was the first time I had ever had a real interview, the first time I realised that I knew jack-all about what to do. Perhaps it will even be one of those ‘turning points’, perhaps.
They haven’t heard the last of me, my determination doesn’t wilt that easily. This is just a very small hiccup on the long road to getting to where I want to be. It’s also taught me more than University has done in the past three years, street skills that is. That talent isn’t everything and I have to show that it’s a lot more about the blood sweat and tears to get anywhere in life.
So, to counter my extremely stressful morning, I made pecan squares. It’s the kind of slice that could be a square, or a bar, if it wanted to. The shortbread pastry stops it from being an outright pecan pie though. None the less if you want to keep marching forward do something you love. I love baking and I love eating. It’s especially easy to eat when the slice you’ve made lends itself to the pecan earthy flavour as opposed to a total sugar overload. With a crust that can hold up under the pressure yet still melt beautifully in your mouth and of course, when times get dire, a good handful of chocolate added to the mix is always a winner. Perfect, easy and delicious in every way, pecan slice has never been better.
Inspired by “Basics To Brilliance” Slices Recipes
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 150g butter
- 2 TBS dark corn syrup
- 2 TBS pouring or thickened cream
- 1/3 cups soft brown sugar
- 75g butter
- 2 eggs
- 200g pecans
- 100g dark chocolate (50-62%), roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease an 18 x 27cm tin and line with baking paper, extending over all four sides.
Place flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and pulse to combine. This will take about 1 minute. Press together in large lumps of dough and then press into the prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes or until just golden. Cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before preparing the filling.
For the topping, place syrup, cream, sugar, butter and eggs into the roughly cleaned out food processor and whizz for about 40 seconds. Remove the blade and add the pecans and chopped chocolate, stir to combine.
Pour the filling onto the pastry base and bake for another 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven – keep an eye on it) until the filling has turned a wonderful caramel color evenly across the top. Cool completely in the tin before lifting out and cutting into squares, bars or shapes (if that’s how you want to play the game). Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.