Monday, May 17, 2010

reverse engineering baked goods

I seem to be on a kick involving making home-made versions of traditional prefab British food products. Previously, it was baked beans. At least those make a sort of sense, because they really are better than the tinned baked beans domestic to Canada, but the British Heinz ones, although available here, are too expensive (for me) to justify spending on, you know, baked beans.

Then I read the recent Guardian article about Soreen. I'd never heard of the stuff before, but anything packaged that's been around since 1938 and that people love so much is worth checking out, I figure. Besides, it supposedly has malt in it, and Malties/Shreddies were my favourite breakfast cereal when I was a kid.

This time, the local British candy/grocery store (90% candy, 10% imported groceries) failed me. No Soreen. Luckily, some of the commenters on the Guardian story had mentioned that their mums or grandmums had made home-baked versions, so I was able to dig up a recipe to try.


The results were crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. It tastes nice, so long as you like a dark sugar flavour, but somehow isn't super-sweet (probably because I am always stingy about sugar). It does taste good with butter on it — it needs it, because the only fat in it is from milk. I can't imagine throwing a slice of this version in the toaster like people do with actual Soreen though. It would probably do a milder version of the Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow Torches (a classic web page if there ever was one, dating from August 1994!).

I think the next time I try this recipe I'm going to experiment with adding slightly (but only slightly) more milk. And maybe whole milk instead of the 1% I happened to have on hand. Prefab stuff this simple can be delicate.

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