rice krispies

Cornflake cakes

cornflake cakes

Someone once told me that when you reach 40 your musical tastes stagnate. You no longer consumer new music but rather spend the rest of your life buying records that you wish you’d bought earlier in your life.

Well this seems to have happened to me with regards to recipes. I keep cooking the same old things and seem unable to get excited by anything new. I can often be found scrolling aimlessly through recipes online admiring the pretty photos but failing to find anything that I actually want to eat. If anything they seem to curb my appetite. I find myself looking longingly at the toaster and the egg cupboard.

I am still cooking, it’s just that right now I seem to be keeping to my current repertoire a good percentage of which is now on this blog. I am definitely its biggest user and that’s really why I keep it going. My collection of courgette recipes has certainly proved useful with our current glut. I’m always on the lookout for more but just not ones involving pickled samphire, or freekeh!

Now here’s a recipe for something I definitely do want to eat. I’ve turned 40 and I may now be heading backwards, but seriously, who can resist the lure of a good old fashioned cornflake cake. Made simply with cocoa powder, butter and golden syrup.

I used to make these in the school summer holidays as a child and now I encourage my children to do the same. I’ve never actually made these from a ‘real’ recipe it was more a case of approximation in our house but I’ve now made an effort to attempt to write it down (for future generations – if anyone is still cooking by then!).

Cornflake Cakes

Makes 18 (using muffin size cases)

  • 150g butter
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 200g of cornflakes (any brand will do or use rice krispies if you prefer)

Take a saucepan and measure in the butter, golden syrup and cocoa powder. Heat gently until all the ingredients have melted and stir with a wooden spoon until the cocoa powder has no lumps and you have a nice smooth mixture.

In a large mixing bowl measure out the cornflakes. Pour over the chocolate mixture and stir well until every last bit of cornflake is coated in chocolate.

Take a muffin tin and line with muffin cases. Fill each case with the cornflake mixture pressing down well with the back of the spoon to compact a little.

Put in the fridge to set for at least an hour.

PS. I hope to get my experimental, forward-looking self back soon. I have been writing this blog for nearly four years now and I have a feeling I’ve been here before? My local library in Beeston has reopened with a stunning array of cookbooks which will hopefully inspire me.


Caramelised brown butter rice krispie treats


Having eaten half our body weight in pancakes, we made a family pact to give up chocolate for Lent. Not for religious reasons (we are not believers) but just for the challenge.

My six year old daughter Elizabeth still feels guilty about her failed attempt last year when she gave in just two days before Easter for a Mister Donut Chocolate French Cruller. I think she’ll stay strong this time. I’m not so sure about Eddie – he’s only four and I don’t think he’s mastered the art of will power yet.

The children’s school has just finished ‘Healthy Eating Week’ and giving up chocolate ought to fit smugly alongside this. The thing is I’ve been so bombarded with patronising Change4Life propaganda that it’s made me want to rebel and feed my kids sugar.

So I was looking through my ‘recipes to try’ bookmarks for chocolate-free, sugary snacks and these blonde rice krispie treats seemed perfect. They are super trashy with just three ingredients (two highly processed and sugary, one ultra fattening) but you do have to brown some butter which may elevate them into the realms of culinary sophistication.

Don’t expect the soft, gooey texture of the chocolate version here, these have a dry and chewy texture which I was a bit unsure about at first. So I just had to have another one to check. By the fifth I’d decided they were absolutely delicious (but I also felt a bit sick and had to skip lunch).

My children, as you can imagine, went mad for them.

Caramelised brown butter rice krispie treats

(by Julia Moskin for NYT Cooking, written in my own words and converted into grams)

Makes 30 – 50

  • 230g of salted butter, or unsalted butter plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 300g of marshmallows
  • 240g of Rice Krispies

Line a 24cm by 34cm baking tray (or one with a similar area) with baking parchment and grease with butter.

In a very large pan melt the butter over a medium heat. Then stir the butter and cook until it foams, goes clear and then turns light brown. This takes about 3 minutes and you know it’s done when it starts to smell lovely and nutty (“melting butter is the nicest smell in the whole world” declares my daughter Elizabeth, and I agree).

Now stir in the marshmallows. At first they will look like chewing gum swimming in a pool of grease (not very appetising) but keep stirring and they will eventually amalgamate. You need to cook the mixture for about 3 – 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until it turns a fudgy pale brown colour.

Remove the pan from the heat and empty in the Rice Krispies. Stir well with a silicone spatula. Scrape everything into the baking tray and use your hands to press it all down as evenly as possible.

Leave to cool (there is no need to refrigerate) and then, with a sharp knife, cut into squares or bars as neatly as you can.

no chocolate rice krispie treats with kids