Crispy Cakes rule.
My mum confided in me that when she hit the school system and was suddenly immersed in the politics of PTA’s and cake baking; her mother told her: “get yourself known as the crackerjack woman, make them everytime – their easy and quick and the children love them”.
Considering my Grandmother learnt to cook very late in life having spent many years pampered by others, and sent all her kids to boarding school, it is something of a miracle that she knew anything about these delectable sweet treats at all.
However, suffice to say my mum ruled the school when it came to crackerjacks and myself and my three brothers and sisters often gorged on them, we always had them at our birthday parties and learnt how to knock out at a batch at a very young age.
I still make these sweet beauties for school gatherings, Cafe Swainswick, birthday parties for adults and children alike and they continue to win over hearts and minds without fail.
My recipe has changed slightly to my mums and my grandmothers – something my mother does not approve of – but that is the wonder of evolution and I look forward to what my own daughters will create on the foundation I have given them.
A whole batch of Crackerjacks or Crispy Cakes:
Cocoa powder – I personally prefer a dark cocoa like Cadbury’s Fairtrade Bournville
Cocoa Pops (or other cereal of your choice – a classic is cornflakes)
Melt the cocoa, syrup and butter – when you have a shiny, smooth chocolate mixture take it off the heat and add a good load of the cereal, mix until all the cereal is covered evenly, if you have more mixture at the bottom of the pan – add more cereal until all is mixed in. Place into cup-cake cases and decorate or not!
You can throw in real chocolate to the mixture if you want to – to make them more indulgent – decorating with sweeties make them perfect for parties, fetes and festivals!