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Mars Bar Cake

This is a bad recipe, an unhealthy recipe, a special treat recipe; but absolutely delicious!  Being Easter, it’s a great excuse to make Mars Bar Cake!

It’s not really a cake, just a kind of posh Crispie Cake.

When I was young I first tasted Mars Bar Cake in Cumbria when visiting my Aunty who lived near Silloth. You could buy Mars Bar cake from lots of the bakeries there, but I can remember eating she made it herself too.  I’d forgotten all about it until a few years ago when I received some as a gift.  Being a teacher, we certainly don’t expect presents at Christmas or at the end of a school year from pupils and I’m always a bit embarrassed by this, but I thoroughly appreciate the wonderful generosity, and kind words that are given.  One Christmas I was given a beautiful gift box and inside was homemade Mars Bar Cake.  It was so appreciated and gorgeous.  After the holidays I passed on my thanks to the pupil and his mam.  She was over the moon that I had enjoyed them so much and explained they had made them together as a family and they always tried to make home-made gifts.  She passed the recipe onto me in the playground and this is my version of it.  I’ve added the mini eggs for Easter, and have made them as gifts for my grandsons.

Mars Bar Cake

6 Mars Bars

3 x 100g Bars Milk Chocolate (I used Asda Milk Chocolate – cheap but the best and tastiest for cooking)

180g unsalted butter

120g Rice Crispies

Mini Eggs to decorate

Method

1. Slice all the Mars Bars into small pieces and put in a pan.

2. Weigh out 180g of butter.  Cut into small pieces and put in pan with chopped Mars Bar.

3. Over a gentle heat, melt the chocolate and butter.  You need to stir constantly so the mixture doesn’t stick and so that it doesn’t split and separate.  The nougat part of the Mars Bar takes the longest to melt.

4. When melted, stir in the crispies.  I added 100g first and then added an extra 20g so that all the crispies were evenly coated.

5. Spoon mixture into a lined baking tray or flan dish.  The one I used was a couple of inches deep.  Spoon evenly and flatten down.  The mixture will cool and set a little as you do the next stage.

6. Break up chocolate into pieces and melt over a bain-marie or in the microwave.

7. When the chocolate is melted pour over the crispie mixture and level out.

8. If making for Easter, sprinkle with mini-eggs.

9. Put in the fridge for a few hours to set.

10. When set, cut into pieces.

As I say, they’re not healthy, but very tasty and may be something to make if you end up with a house-full of Easter Eggs this weekend.

If you try, let me know what you think.

Lesley xx

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The Big 5-0 : Number 6

Sea Glass Hunting

Today was a good day and lots of fun.  Today we went hunting for treasure.  Sea glass hunting that is.  I’d never heard of this until about three years ago when a lovely friend at work told me all about it. It’s one of those hobbies that once you start it becomes addictive.  Well, today was just about getting out in the fresh air.  The sun was shining, it was really fresh and breezy, and I haven’t been to the coast in over six months so it was really exciting to be at the seaside.  I wasn’t particularly looking too closely and didn’t spend as long as I would have in the past, but even still, I came home with plenty of sea glass treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best place to find sea glass in the North East is at Seaham.  The reason it’s so prolific there is because many years ago John Candlish’s Londonderry Bottle Company had six glasshouses at Seaham, the largest glass-bottle works in Britain.  Any broken or waste glass was dumped straight into the North Sea.  After many years in the sea, the glass is perfectly tumbled and washed up on nearby beaches every day.

Today, rather than Seaham beach itself we ventured to the nearby Blast Beach, so named because of the blast furnaces that used to be there.  It’s a very strange, pebbly beach with rocks and pebbles of many different colours, from the different industries there have been, but now gone from the area: mining collieries, ironworks and chemical works. I’ve only been here three times and it’s always been very quiet; a few dog walkers or photographers.  The opening scenes of Alien 3 were filmed at Blast Beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blossom had a great time as always but we had to keep her away from the sea; it was just too choppy today!

Slowly walking along the blustery beach we found some treasure, our cobwebs were well and truly blown away and I went home exhausted but happy.

Here’s some sea glass and interesting pebbles we found:

 

Here’s some information on different colours and rarity of sea glass.  Sadly we didn’t find any red glass – maybe next time.

https://bytheseajewelry.com/the-colors-of-sea-glass/

https://beachlust.com/sea-glass-color-complete-guide-to-origin-and-rarity/

 

Lesley xx

 

 

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What Got Me Through This Week…

I know I said I didn’t want to fill my blog with posts of pancreatitis and me being ill, but this week hasn’t been so good, in fact it’s been pretty bad, the worst in a while.  I’ve spent most of the week in bed or on the couch.  I had things I wanted to do this week and write about, but none of them have happened so here goes, this is what I have done…

What I’ve watched…

Ozark on Netflix.

I always say that I don’t watch much TV. I prefer listening to music. I don’t watch Soaps, I don’t like Daytime TV or Saturday Night Family TV, but I do like a good drama or thriller.  TV viewing has changed over the last couple of years and this last year I must admit that I’ve jumped on the Boxset Bandwagon.  So for something to watch this week, me and Jordan set about watching Ozark. All we knew was that it starred Jason Bateman, who we both like, and that it had got good reviews; nothing else.  It’s similar to Breaking Bad in that a ‘normal, good’ person is forced to turn to crime to save himself and his family.  Jason Bateman is excellent as the main character, Marty Byrde, a financial planner who launders money for a Mexican drug cartel.  All the characters are engaging, and the last episode is fantastic! Wow! We didn’t see that coming! We were gripped from episode one, and have watched the whole season this week!

What I’ve read…

Because I’ve felt so terrible, I’ve actually been re-reading: I haven’t had the patience or concentration to start anything new.  So for easy reading and familiarity I turned to one of my favourite authors, Jonathon Tropper and his book This is Where I Leave You.  Jonathon writes with a real mixture of emotions, both hilarious and heartbreaking.  He writes about modern people and families with real problems that you can relate to.  In this book Judd Foxman’s father has just died and he and his siblings have to sit Shiva for seven days (seven days of mourning).  This alongside the fact that his marriage has just broken down may make you think it’s a bit of a downer book, but it isn’t; it’s really laugh out loud funny in places.  A film version of the book was released in 2014 starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver.  The film is more light-hearted than the book, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it too. I would also recommend the following books by Jonathon Tropper: How to Talk to a Widower, and Everything Changes.

What I’ve listened to…

I don’t know why but Alainis Morisette and Biffy Clyro have both come up in conversations and playlists this week so they’ve pretty much been the soundtrack to my week.

Ironic – Alainis Morisette

God and Satan – Biffy Clyro

Well, I’m hoping for a better week next week, so hopefully I’ll have some Big 5-0 posts coming up.

Lesley xx