Fruity Chocolate Cornflake Crispies

Can someone please remind the weather what season it is? We're 3 days off July, and whilst not expecting tropical sunshine (it is Scotland after all) I'd like to not have to put the heater on, like I did this evening!

I have a cold nose as I type :-( maybe I'm part dog - but my nose is generally a good few hours behind the rest of me when it comes to warming up.

Enough pointless preamble though - time for the chocolate crispies. I'm not entirely sure they should be called chocolate crispies, since they don't actually have any chocolate in them - not of the melted variety at least, although they are made chocolatey with cocoa powder. They don't taste too strongly of chocolate either - more of gooey delicious stickiness.

But the absence of chocolate means they don't set so firmly - when a significant proportion of your ingredients are liquid at room temperature, the result is always going to be on the soft side.

I think if you used golden syrup in place of the honey they would probably set a bit more firmly, but since we have a very sticky cracked squeeze bottle of honey we carefully wrapped in plastic bags, kept upright and transported back from France miraculously without mishap, I decided to go with honey.

It goes without saying that these are dairy free. If you make sure that your corn flakes don't have any hidden wheat or barley (like mine did) and likewise your cocoa powder, then they could very easily be gluten free. And if you used agave or some other sticky syrup (date syrup would probably work) and make sure your icing sugar is OK (not all are) then they'd be vegan. Altogether a versatile recipe for whipping up for allergic or principled friends!

Fruity Chocolate Cornflake Crispies (makes 12)

  • 4 tbsp dairy free margarine (I used Pure sunflower)
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 100g mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • Cornflakes

Line a bun tin with 12 paper cases in preparation.
Melt the margarine, icing sugar, cocoa and honey in a medium pan over a low heat until smooth and glossy.
Bring gently to the boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil gently for a minute or so.
Add the fruit and nuts, then add the cornflakes little by little until there's no longer any spare sticky syrup sloshing about in the bottom of the pan, but everything has a good thick coating (a useless measurement, but I forgot to weigh them - I'd guess at 100g but it will depend on the density vs shape and area of your flakes).
Spoon into the paper cases - unlike real chocolate crispies, you don't have to work fast before the chocolate hardens.
Allow to cool on the worktop for an hour so, the cover and allow to firm up overnight. You could help them along in the fridge if you wanted - since there is no chocolate, you don't have to worry about them getting a condensation bloom.

I took these into work where they went down a treat, although pretty much anything with sugar in would I think - my colleagues are a sweet toothed bunch. The jury was out on the best way to eat them without getting too sticky - some opted for several bites, some broke off little bits and liked fingers or washed hands afters, and a few advocated the hold-on-to-the-paper-then-put-it-in-your-mouth-whole school of desk crumb minimisation!