Custard square (vanilla slice)

Using two sheets pre-rolled puff pastry (or cut a pastry block in half and roll each piece 3mm thick), place on two buttered or baking paper lined trays, prick all over with a fork. Bake for about 15 mins 200°C, swapping tray positions over half way through cooking.

Cut to fit a lined 20cm tin. Place first pastry layer in the tin.

In a pot add
300ml cream
400ml milk
or 700ml full cream milk
Stir over medium heat till warm.

In a bowl beat 4 eggs
Add to it
85g cornflour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp vanilla essence

To the pot add eggs mix while stirring vigorously. Continue stirring till nearly bubbling.
Add to it 50g butter continuing stirring vigorously until bubbling and thick.

Spread hot custard over the first sheet of pastry. Lay the other pastry sheet on top and press down. Cool. Ice with vanilla icing and sprinkle with coconut if wished.

Slice with a serated knife, with the knife held vertical, in a sawing motion.

Vanilla icing
2 c icing sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix the hot water and icing sugar together. Add the essence and beat until smooth.

Perfect Vanilla (custard) slice
Makes: 12

2 sheets store-bought puff pastry
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
75g unsalted butter
2 tsp natural vanilla extract (with seeds)
150g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
65g cornflour
1 cup confectioner’s fondant
75g dark chocolate, melted

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Place each sheet of puff pastry between two pieces of non-stick baking paper, then prick all over. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until deep-golden. Allow to cool completely. Cut both to size to fit in a 22cm square lined cake tin, and place one sheet in the bottom of a baking paper lined tin.

2 Combine the milk, cream, butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, put the sugar, yolks and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until very lightly and creamy. Fold in ½ cup water. Pour in the hot milk mixture, stir well, then return to the saucepan and bring gently to a boil.

3 Pour the hot custard mixture over the base pastry, flatten, then place the second pastry square on top. Allow to cool, the cover and refrigerate for 3 hours, until firm. Ice and decorate