3. Learn to cook a three-course meal, and throw a dinner party to prove it.
It is about time I put a little effort into this goal. I’m not a massive fan of cooking, as I said before. The idea of putting an hour’s preparation into a final product that will be consumed in less than twenty minutes, leaving nothing to show except a food baby, is really quite bizarre.
And yet, when it comes to baking, I get it. I love making cakes, shortbread, cookies, rock cakes, and I don’t mind beating the mixture manually when most rational people would use an electric whisk. So perhaps I’m not trying too hard at the moment by testing a new dessert, which would more suitably be served at a children’s birthday party than a grown-up dinner party: Malteser cake.
This recipe requires no real skills. It’s a traybake without the baking. I didn’t even come up with the recipe myself, I just used this one from Nigella, which states a preparation time of five minutes.
That part is a lie. In practice, preparation took me around twenty-five minutes, because I hadn’t considered the practicalities of crushing Maltesers. My mother’s technique for crushing biscuits for a cheesecake base is to put the biscuits in a bag and whack it off the worktop. I didn’t think my landlord would be too impressed with that, so I thought a rolling pin might work. It transpires that we do not have a rolling pin, so I just squashed down the biscuits. This worked fine, but I had to cut each individual Malteser in half so that they would crush more easily.
Once everything was crushed, I melted the butter and chocolate. I left out syrup because I don’t like it, added in the biscuits and Maltesers and mixed it all together. I would have added a photo of this stage, but it doesn’t look the most appealing, so here’s the finished result:
You could always add a layer of chocolate to the top if you have the patience. Apart from that, the only skill required is the ability to refrain from eating the mixture straight from the bowl. Give it a few hours in the fridge to set – mine was actually in overnight, but this is probably unnecessary – then cut up as you like to serve. It was amazing and proved very popular, so it’s worth the effort!