A Writing Reward; Mars Bar Crispy Cake

A tray bake topped with choccie - winner, surely?

A tray bake topped with choccie – winner, surely?

Esteemed audience, as a reward for finishing off writing jobs I often bake or cook. And sometimes as an additional treat, I write about cooking as well.

For the past few weeks, I have been writing about dieting. My scribbles have been for a series of diet books shortly to be published on Amazon (do please forgive my lapse of writing etiquette with such a shameless plug of my own material) so tonight’s writing antidote is to provide you with a recipe for… Drum roll… Mars Bar Crispy Cake.

Ah, the joys! This is possibly the world’s easiest tray bake. Everyone loves it and if you ever want to achieve sell-out status at your local community bake sale or just curry favour with family, friends and your boss, bags full of cut-up Mars Bar Crispy Cake will probably achieve your aim.

The other bonus is this. If you need to babysit children (those aged 6-12, say) this is a great recipe to try out with them. I did this with my nieces (in-law) recently. There’s two of them so I divided the jobs – “ok, you grease the pan and you chop up the Mars bars (I watched!), whilst you mix up the Mars bar and butter and you get to mix up the rice crispies with the melty Mars bars” (this was the task of choice). Oh no it wasn’t. The task of choice was melting the Dairy Milk chocolate topping in the microwave was the task of choice. One square in bowl, one square in mouth etc.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Enjoy… [I’ve used American measurements for the rice crispies because it’s easier to measure them by volume than by weight.]

Mars Bars Crispy Cake – makes 16-20

  • 3 x Mars Bar (British weight, 48g)
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 50g mini marshmallows
  • 200g Dairy Milk chocolate
  • 4 cups rice crispies

Grease and line a 20cm square tray. Chop the Mars Bars and put in a thick-bottomed pan with 90g of the butter and melt over a low heat slowly. Keep stirring. Add the marshmallows and mix well until it resembles a smooth sauce.

Add the rice crispies and mix well. Tip into the prepared tray and press down well until it is flat. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate and the remaining butter together (30 secs at a time in the microwave is the easiest way, stir well after each 30 secs and remember that food will continue to cook outside the microwave so it’s better to stray on the side of undercooking). Top the crispie cake with the chocolate/butter mix and allow to cool. Cut up into the slices (about 16-20).

Thanks to Milky Mouthwatering Chocolates for the pic.

Never Let An Ingredient Go to Waste

Ooh, Mr Kipling - I may well have bettered you...

Ooh, Mr Kipling – I may well have bettered you…

Any excuse for a little baking… I had ground and flaked almonds in the cupboards rapidly about to go out of date* and home-made raspberry jam in the fridge so Bakewell Tart beckoned.

I borrowed from the Mary Berry recipe as her recipes are excellent, but in my new tradition of confident baking I fiddled a little with the recipe. The impulse is born not out of arrogance – ‘of course I can do better’ – but more because I’m not keen on being told exactly what to do. The inner rebel emerges and recipes are thus adapted**.

Mary, as you may know from her TV appearances, is whippet thin and therefore I conclude that baked goodies aren’t a big part of her daily diet. I, of course, am on the wedding diet so would also promote her message –eat delicious home-made cakes and biscuits in very small quantities no more than two or three times a week and enjoy a lovely life!

Bakewell Tart – serves (depends on how many slices you deem fit)

  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g chilled  butter (salted is fine)
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 125g butter , unsalted
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g flaked almonds

Heat the oven to 180 degrees.

To make the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the chilled butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor or – a ‘me trick’, use a handheld blender, dipping into the mix briefly and pulsing. Once breadcrumbed, add the water slowly, mixing until the flour and butter mix together all comes together.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm loose-bottomed tart or flan tin. Allow the excess pastry to hang over as it will shrink. Prick it all over. Chill for 30 mins. Line with foil and fill with baking beans or rice (to weigh the pastry down).

Cook for 15 minutes, then take out the foil and baking beans/rice and cook for another three minutes to dry it out.

Take out and allow to cool for five minutes. Spread the jam evenly over the base. Melt the butter in a pan, then take off and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved and add the ground almonds, beaten eggs and lemon juice. Pour into the pastry base.

Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes (watch the pastry as it may burn over this time). Serve warm with ice-cream or whipped double cream. Or served cold – still yum!

 

 

*Ahem. About to go out of date? Gone out of date several months ago. Ah well, Sandy and I lived to tell the tale, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

**Sometimes anarchy ensues as a result of this culinary disobedience.