Chocolate Cracknell Recipe

Today we have a childhood favourite of mine as a recipe – I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. These can go one of a few ways, but we’re going to keep this strictly traditional – cocoa powder, cornflakes, butter, and syrup. This particular recipe is incredibly easy, so it’s great for bakers of all experience levels, as there’s very little that can go wrong here.

If you have a tiny budding baker in your home, this is the perfect opportunity to teach them good kitchen etiquette and make them feel like a master chef. Now, I don’t like to write recipes like a lot of bloggers do. There will be no story about my great-grandmother’s globally pursued secret recipe. There won’t be any filler – it’ll just be sweet, chocolatey goodness.

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The Recipe

With all recipes, the most important part is the preparation. The better you prepare, the less hassle you’ll have both with cooking and with the cleanup – you know, everyone’s favourite part of baking. We’re going to start with the mise today, but don’t worry. It’s pretty hard to mess this one up.

Mise en Place

You only need four things here, but I’m going to give a few suggestions to add a bit of spice to your life (if you want it).

  1. 200 grams Rice Crispies or cornflakes (dealer’s choice, I prefer the former)
  2. 200 grams golden syrup (recipe below if you don’t have any)
  3. 120 grams butter or margarine
  4. 30 grams cocoa powder
  5. 15-20 grams salt, to taste

If you want to add a bit of variety, you can do one of a few things:

  • Substitute golden syrup for maple syrup, Add a thin layer of peanut butter on top for a suprisingly tasty “breakfast” (if you can really call it that… which I do)
  • (This goes great with the above) Add 1 tsp each of:
    • cardamom
    • nutmeg
    • cinnamon
  • Drizzle with caramel!

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The Process:

This is super easy, but let’s get into it!

First, melt your butter and syrup over low heat until it’s all melted in its gooey deliciousness.

Then, take it off the heat and stir in your cocoa powder and salt (and spices, if you chose to use them). Whisk until it’s all mixed thoroughly, turn back onto low heat, and stir for 3-4 minutes or until smooth.

Throw in your cornflakes or Rice Crispies and stir until all of them are thoroughly covered. Remove from heat.

Layer a pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with butter.

Using your tool of choice (I used a spoon and dough knife), remove the cornflake and chocolatey syrup mixture from the pan, shaping it how you want.

Portion them as you want and chill for at least three hours in the fridge. (You can eat one or two right now, nobody’s watching – they’ll never know.)

Once chilled (you can speed this up by putting them in the freezer), cut them into squares with a sharp, serrated knife.


Golden Syrup Recipe

In case you don’t have golden syrup just lying around, you can make it in a pinch! It’s a quick and easy recipe that makes use of ingredients you’re almost guaranteed to have around the house. To make roughly 700mL of syrup, you’ll need:

  1. 300 mL water
  2. 800 grams brown sugar (any sugar works here, other than powdered)
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice or .5 tsp citric acid (but who has that just lying around?)

If you want to upscale this, the recipe is essentially a 2.5:1 water to sugar ratio. You can reduce the water to get a thicker syrup.

The Process

Combine the sugar and water in a high-walled pan on medium heat. (The pan doesn’t need to be high-walled, but it makes it easier to stir without burning or spilling.) Stir continuously until the sugar has been entirely incorporated into the water. Bring it to a boil, constantly stirring – if you stop stirring, it will burn.

Once your sugarwater has reached a boil, add your lemon juice or citric acid and reduce the heat just low enough to simmer it. Leave the pan uncovered and do not stir it again. Let it simmer for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour until it’s reached a caramel/amber colour. It should be between 115-121° C when temped with a sugar thermometer.

Once you’ve let it sit, you can add water and simmer for a bit longer to thin the syrup, and cook longer to thicken it.

Turn it off, let it sit until it’s not quite as hot. If you’re putting it into a glass container, be sure to warm the glass with hot water before transferring. Should you forget this step, you’ll be left with syrupy, shattered glass everywhere. Don’t ask me how I know this, I’m not ready to talk about it quite yet.

Final Thoughts

This chocolate cracknell recipe is sure to please and is about as easy as it gets. I highly recommend this recipe for parents who want to share cooking with their children, as it’s a great introductory recipe that doesn’t deal too much with hot or sharp things and has nearly no room for error. This is a great moment to teach the idea of mise en place (being organized and prepared, for the non-fancy ones among us).

And seriously – get creative with these. I love to top them with peanut butter and a bit of marmalade, though that’s a personal preference. You can add spice and maple to them, sub out the cocoa powder for caramel (this should replace some of the syrup, as well) or citrus zest, really, it’s nearly impossible to make these taste anything but incredible. Now go enjoy!