At school, several lunchtimes every week were rounded off with a Cornflake Crunchie. (The dinner ladies tried to fob us off by calling them Cornflake Tarts for a while. Young as we were, we knew what a Cornflake Tart was – our cavities were proof – and they were quietly renamed Crunchies.) These retro-fabulous, toffee-like golden morsels were both crunchy and chewy and so, so good. They were highly prized, a tradable commodity alongside Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle coins, POGS and other collectible tat.
To be honest, I wasn’t a picky eater at school. Sunday dinners on Wednesdays? Yes please. Followed by ghostly pale custard on a jam and coconut sponge, washed down with aspartame-laced squash? Go on then, you’ve twisted my arm. I’m not sure those school dinners of the 80s and 90s would be remembered quite so remembered quite so fondly by many of my old schoolmates, but I can assure you that the Cornflake Crunchies were a solid winner with everyone.
This is a very easy recipe, but while little ones love to eat the finished goods, please keep them away from the pan while you are making them. The toffee-like mixture becomes mind-blowingly hot, so don’t dip your fingers in, lick a spoon or any of that nonsense until it has cooled down. (I have actually done this. I would rather be ripped apart by wolves than suffer toffee burns again.)
1 can of full-fat condensed milk (NOT evaporated!)
75g unsalted butter
75g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup or honey
You will need an 8″ x 8″ tin lined with baking paper, or you can use little fairy cake cases.
Put the condensed milk, butter, sugar and golden syrup/honey in a saucepan. Melt together slowly on a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow to come to boiling point, then reduce to a simmer and stir continuously -you will notice it thickening – for about 15 mins. This should be the ‘soft ball stage’ – if you have a sugar thermometer, you’re looking to reach 235f – 240f. Remove from the heat, allow it to stand for a few minutes then stir in the cornflakes.
Tip the gooey mixture into a tin lined with baking paper and smooth it down using the back of a spoon. (Or spoon it into little fairy cases.) Allow it to cool completely then you can cut it into little squares – I can get 20 -25 squares if I really put my mind to it. Store in an air-tight tub. These are best eaten on the day you make them, or within 24 hours, as the cornflakes tend to lose a bit of crunch.