This is a recipe which was taught to me by my grandmother when I was about ten, so I have been making them regularly for a while now. They are not only really easy and quick to make, even if you think you can’t bake, but are gluten-free, can easily be made vegan and are incredibly tasty. I used to use butter and regular plain or milk chocolate but as I was cooking for a vegan friend I swapped the butter for Vitalite margerine and the chocolate for Green and Black’s 70% cocoa dark chocolate. This in no way spoiled them but in fact improved them, as Green and Black’s chocolate is just so tasty, and the sweetness of the crispies balances the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
4 oz / 110g Vitalite or other vegan margerine
4 oz / 110g caster sugar
6 oz / 170g dates, slightly chopped
2½ oz / 70g rice crispies (check the ingredients to make sure they are vegan as sometimes non-vegan ingredients get added)
4 oz / 110g Green and Black’s 70% dark chocolate or other vegan chocolate
Melt the margarine and sugar together, add the chopped dates and cook for around ten minutes until the sugar has begun to caramelise. At this point it will smell very delicious and be quite gooey. Add the rice crispies, mix well and press into a greased swiss roll tin (mine is 26×16 cm but it needn’t be exactly this size).
When they are cool, break the dark chocolate into pieces and put in a glass bowl over a pan of water. The water level should not reach the base of the glass bowl.
Boil the pan of water and stir the chocolate until it is melted. Take the pan off the heat and carefully wipe the base of the glass bowl (it will be hot!) with a towel to ensure you do not get any water in the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the crispies and leave to set. Cut into slices.
I like to put some of these in the fridge to cool, as they go very nice and chewy, but some people seem to like them better non-chilled so try them both ways and see which you prefer.