I am a freelance writer living in Gloucestershire. I have been writing family style articles in the form of columns for newspapers since 2000 and spent four years presenting an interview chat show on Forest of Dean Radio.
Published November 18th 2012
Also known as: Grandma's Amazing Cracklepops Recipe
There have been many times, over many years, when various of my children, on waking them in the morning, to get ready for school, have uttered the words: "Mum, I've got a cake sale today. It's for charity."
To which I have always replied with the same words: "Do you think that you could have told me last night?"
At this point I get a look which is slightly pleading, slightly panicky and slightly guilty... with no words.
And, as they say, the last person to speak is the loser, and so...
Downstairs I run. Out come the baking trays. Out come the ingredients. On goes the oven. Out of the cupboard comes a tin in which to put the cakes. And when he or she comes downstairs, a smile appears on relevant child's face.
I'd like to think that this little practise was restricted to children of primary school age, but only just over a year ago when eldest son was in the Upper Sixth, he asked me for some cakes. In his case, for "Maths Cake Monday". Yes, you may well wonder what this is. I did, when I was first presented with the concept. It certainly wasn't for charity, but was in fact for slightly overindulgent teenage boys approaching their A'level maths exams. Apparently, one of them bringing in cakes, to one particular class on a Monday, would help them in their aim towards good grades... To be fair, Eldest Son did give me a few more hours notice by this stage of the game, but, nevertheless, the request for cakes in school was still there.
Of course, to meet these demands, it is necessary to have a repertoire of quick recipes and ingredients to hand, which is where the Rice Krispie cakes (or, as the family call them, "Cracklepops") recipe comes in handy.
Now, to be brutally honest, this was not really originally my recipe. It was my mother in law's, and then my sister in law's. Or so I thought, until today. But then I discovered from Hubby that it actually came off a Rice Krispies packet in the 1970s. So really I guess, the recipe should be credited to Kelloggs. However, in our house, there is an added feature to the original recipe, which Kelloggs cannot claim, and that is the addition of Sally's Special Toffee to the mix. The result is a fine batch of Rice Krispie cakes which would do any school cake sale proud. And let's be honest, despite the years of campaigning for equal rights, when it comes to providing cakes for a cake sale, women don't want to be equal. They want to be quite a lot better than all the other mothers.
This recipe though, with the right ingredients to hand, takes five minutes to make, and a further fifteen or so to set sufficiently for transportation purposes.
200 g of Sally's Special Toffee**
200g of Marshmallows or vegan marshmallows
200g butter or vegan margarine such as.Rakusen's Tomor Sunflower Margarine
200g Rice Krispies or any supermarket equivalent.
Pinch of salt. (Very important magic ingredient. It brings out the flavour. If you are too worried about your health to add salt, then PLEASE DON'T cook these cakes. I really do not want to be responsible for your heart).
1. Place the Rice Krispies into a glass or metal bowl and put to one side. Grease two 20cm/ 8 inch tins.
2. Put the toffee into a different saucepan and melt on the hob.
3. Add the butter and marshmallows to the toffee, melt and mix together.
4. Add a pinch of salt.
5. Pour onto the Rice Krispies and stir quickly. Don't linger or the Rice Krispies will go too soft.
6. Turn out into the tins.
7. After a few minutes cut into pieces.
8. After a few more minutes, place into a suitable container.
9. Send them to school with child.
Note: *If they are slightly soft as you put them into the tin, they will harden up en route. If you do have the luxury of time, pop them into the fridge to set properly.
Note: **You are allowed to use commercial toffee too, just in case you don't keep a stock of Sally's Special Toffee in the house.