When I was at primary school, my mother had a word with one of the teachers because she was disgusted that we were going to be baking cakes in class. Cakes, she shuddered, when we could have been learning Greek.

This is the stuff I am made of.

Delightfully, no one was much bothered by studying a second language at seven years of age, especially when cakes were a possibility, and the school put out a little, hand-typed recipe book a few weeks before the mixing bowls came out.

It was an earlier time. People didn’t have so many allergies, dietary needs or personal convictions, and I suspect the book was sent home to ensure that none of the children would be poisoned by fairy cakes.

Of all the recipes (many of them, heavily annotated when the icing sugar went awry) – cherry bakewells, fairy cakes, rock buns, malt loaf, the finest thing in all the world was called:

Chocolate Praline


100g Rich Tea Biscuits
100g Butter
1 rounded dessertspoon Brown Sugar
3 rounded dessertspoons Drinking Chocolate
1 and a half tablespoons Golden Syrup
2oz Sultanas
125g Plain Cooking Chocolate

1. Break up the biscuits into small pieces.

2. Melt together the butter, sugar, drinking chocolate, syrup and sultanas. Blend over a low heat.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the biscuit pieces, until well coated.

4. Flatten the mixture into a greased, shallow baking tin. Press down firmly.

5. When cool, melt the chocolate and spread over the top of the mixture.

6. When it is completely cold, cut into squares with a sharp knife.

You’re welcome.

Like all kids’ recipes, this one can get messy but it’s lots of fun and the praline is delicious.