Recipe: No-bake white chocolate, sour cherry and custard cream slices
- Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis
We’re in prime walking season right now. Well, er, actually we’ve all probably been walking a lot more this past year than usual...
And what goes hand-in-hand with walking? Snacks. It's all about the snacks. I, for one, can’t set out on a walk without a backpack of goodies to ‘keep me going’. There may even have been a cheeky mid-lockdown walk involving a single-serve, miniature bottle of spiced rum...well, it was cold.
I was brought up on walks. Every year until we were teens, our holiday routine would be much the same. A Docwras rock, Pleasure Beach, fish and chip and donkey ride-filled Easter break in a chalet near Great Yarmouth. Followed in summer by an HF (Holiday Fellowship) walking jaunt, which saw our Ford Cortina Estate loaded to the brim and dragged to every corner of the UK – Scotland, Derbyshire, the Lakes, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall...the Isle of Wight.
Mum isn’t as keen on walking as dad (who still strolls with the family dog multiple times a day – always in shorts, no matter the weather) so often stayed by the pool for a mumcation with a book while we hopped over stepping stones across bubbling streams, climbed to soaring heights, and skimmed stones on the beach. Our favourite bit of the entire holiday (my brother and mine that is) was lunch.
The night before a walk we’d select our sandwich filling and bread of choice. Anything we liked. Score. The next day, after breakfast, there was a push to be first to the picnic packing area where our sarnies were packed neatly into parcels beside paper bags and a veritable buffet of snacks to bolster our walking appetite. You could fill them as much as you liked, those bags. And boy did we. Individual cheese portions. Tuc and Ritz crackers. Trail mix. Bombay mix. Dried nuts and seeds. Cereal bars. Crisps. Chocolate bars. Biscuits. It was all there for the taking. And fruit. Though I confess, that never made it into my collection.
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I’ve not yet managed to convince our kids to come on a walking break, but with the right edible bribe they’ll sulkingly leave the house. And the latest favourite is this week’s recipe. Chewy, crispy, vanilla-rich bars of gorgeousness. They’re made in a matter of minutes and cut and wrap well for a walk without fear of melting. Try not to swap out the barley extract. It gives the bars a yummy, malty flavour and stops them being too sweet. If you’re buying a new jar, it can be used in myriad ways in the kitchen. Add a spoonful to sweet and savoury sauces (from tomato sauce to a stew) where its natural glutamates will enhance the flavour. And it makes anything chocolatey sing.
No-bake white chocolate, sour cherry and custard cream slices
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(Makes a 20cmsq slab to cut as you wish)
200g white chocolate
75g unsalted butter
4tbsps barley malt extract
7g Craisins or dried sour cherries
40g puffed rice cereal
6 custard cream biscuits broken into small pieces
3tbsps white chocolate chips
Line a 20cmsq tin.
Melt the white chocolate, butter and barley malt together in a pan. Add a pinch of salt. In a large bowl combine the sour cherries, oats, rice cereal and biscuits.
Once melted, allow the mix in the pan to cool slightly, then add to the bowl with the other ingredients. Combine well. Lastly, mix in the white chocolate chips (if you add them at the start they will melt and lose their shape).
Press the mix equally into the lined tin and leave to set in a cool place. Cut into bars and store in an airtight tin. They’ll stay nice and crisp and yummy for around three days.