I get so excited about these posts you guys! And today I'm super excited to introduce you all to Nia Neve.
A girl after my own heart, Nia is a fellow sweet tooth (I still have very vivid dreams about these cookies that she made for the Blog Society Cookie Swap last year) and is sharing a recipe for a totally fancy caramel slice while we get to know her better.
// Can I have some more slice please?
You sure can! In fact, you should just take them off my hands because I always end up eating WAY too much of it.
// Tell us a bit about yourself and your little family.
This is always such a hard question for me to answer because there's never just one thing that I'm doing! At the moment, I'm a full time mum and wife, a part time employee and blogger, and about to delve into a full time small business venture. When I'm not doing any of those things, you'll find me either baking, reading, blogging, reading blogs, experimenting with photos and pottering around our workshop (aka garage!).
Our little family comprises of mum, dad (Johan) and little Scarlet. My husband Johan is a jack of all trades; he can pretty much do a bit of everything - graphic design / art / plumbing / building - you name it and I'm sure he'll figure out how to do it! We live on Sydney's northern beaches and spend our sunny days on the beach regardless of the season. Johan loves to surf while Scarlet and I enjoy munching on cookies and digging our feet in the sand.
// When and why did you start your blog?
I've been reading blogs as long as I can remember but I got the opportunity to read a LOT more (like religiously browse through a hundred a day) after I had Scarlet. I was at home trying to figure out the difficulties and everyday hardships of a first time parent, and it was the blogging world (amongst other things of course) that helped encourage and spur me on to keep going! I've always wanted to start a blog, mainly to keep as a personal journal but once I did, I couldn't help but become involved with the ever-growing and ever-so-lovely blogging community!
It's also my creative outlet; a place where I can just... be. I spent most of my working life in a law firm and I feel like it has slowly sucked out every single creative cell in my body, so when I had this opportunity to do something purely for my own enjoyment and sanity, I wasn't going to turn it down! Life & Co started this time last year and I honestly can't wait to see where it takes me in the next few years!
// You have started a bit of a movement with #postaparcel. How did you come up with this brilliant idea and has it turned out how you imagined it would before you started?
I started postaparcel with the hope that I'd be able to start a parcel movement between a few of my close friends. I thought it would be so much fun creating and exchanging parcels with friends once in a while but little did I know that Instagram had other plans for it. I was amazed at how quickly word got around through social media platforms. One person would support the idea, invited their friend to join in and before I knew it, I had hundreds of people registering! The best and unexpected part of this all? Once again, the community. They are some of the most thoughtful, kind and inspiring people, and a lot of them have become such treasured friends over the past year.
// You've been teasing us with some gorgeous little handmade wooden spoons over on Instagram. Can you tell us more about this yet?
Hahaha, sorry guys! I know I've been teasing you for a while but it really has taken us a whole bloody year to get all the details sorted out. All I can say is that we are hoping to create a platform where we get to share what we love to do most - working with our hands and working with each other to create, collaborate and collect some of the finest things for your home. Not long to go guys, I promise!
// Finally, what is your earliest memory in the kitchen?
My earliest and fondest memory in the kitchen was peeling hundreds of hard boiled eggs for my Mum who, at the time, ran a catering business. Of course back then, I hated every moment of it but looking back now, I realised how special that time was. A lot of my cooking knowledge have surfaced from watching Mum doing her thing in the kitchen and if it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't know how to scramble eggs!
Burnt Butter Salted Caramel Slice
For the Base
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of brown sugar
125g of butter (melted)
For the Caramel Topping
1/4 cup golden syrup
395g of sweetened condensed milk
125g of butter (melted)
Sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 180℃.
Place all ingredients for the base in a bowl and stir until mixed well.
Press combined mixture evenly into a slice tin/tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Once it's done, take out of oven and leave to cool.
Place all ingredients for the caramel topping in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until the caramel has thickened and is a smooth consistency.
Pour the caramel topping onto the baked base, and put back in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until the caramel is golden and starts browning in spots.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle salt flakes on top of the slice according to your liking/taste. Leave aside for 10 minutes to set before slicing it.
Hint - best served warm with a cup of lemon green tea!
PS Meet Scarlet. I think she likes salted caramel as much as I do ;)