There's a lot of talk of the new Nigella Christmas book, and while I am deciding whether or not I want it too, I have pulled my other Nigella books off the shelves, at least those that contain Xmas recipes. There is enough in there for my own Xmas needs, as limited as they are, but of course, there's always space on the shelf for Nigella, whose books are so carefully made and make you yearn for her lifestyle, if not her life. Well, not really her life, with its truckload of tragedies, and certainly not her husband, egg-diet thin or not, those she can happily keep. But her beauty, wealth, creativity, her lavish table, etc. These are attractive assets.
Browsing through Nigella Express, I realized I hadn't used it nearly enough yet. It is the type of food I want to make these days, because I am a bit frazzled and have little energy yet want to eat good food. I happen to have a head of escarole, courtesy of my veg box, and I found a recipe to use it with pasta, the Italian way (the French eat "scarole" as a salad). But I also remembered these baby lunchbox treats.
Nigella passes them as healthyish because they contain rice malt syrup and sesame seeds. While I agree they are not overloaded with fat and white sugar, I can't vouch for the healthful benefits of rice krispies, which contain high fructose corn syrup... I usually don't buy rice krispies, but a few weeks ago, for Maya's birthday (which I still haven't blogged about), I tried my hand at marshmallow crispy squares (aka rice krispie treats) also to be found in N. Express. I think the only person who liked them was Oma, my mother-in-law. I ate a few because I didn't want them to go to waste, but wasn't too impressed. And now I have all those rice krispies left over. When I eat them with milk as a cereal, I feel hungry 30 minutes later. So I have to dispose of them one way or the other. Also I have a really old bottle of rice malt syrup from one of my health food store expeditions, and this recipe uses quite a lot of it, so it was perfect.
Nigella suggests donning latex gloves to shape these treats into balls but I just spooned them into tiny paper cups. These are good after a stay in the fridge, they take on a really crispy texture that pops in the mouth. They are not really a chocoholic's fix, but they do help if you're a bit hungry and need something sweet and with some grains (there is a bit of oats in them after all).
Recipe, adapted from Nigella Express
50g milk chocolate
150g rice malt syrup
60g rice krispies
30g cornflakes (I used all rice krispies)
40g quick cooking oats
75g sesame seeds
Melt choc, butter and syrup in a pan over medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. Shape into balls or spoon into paper cases and leave to set in the fridge for an hour.
N. says they can stay there for a week (preferably in a plastic container though). It made a ton but you'll find yourself popping 5 or 6 into your mouth in a row if you're not paying attention!
If you're new here, well first of all, welcome! Also, if you can read French you might be interested in my book, which I have talked about here and there already...