I don’t tend to keep condensed milk in my store cupboard and buy it only when I need it, which isn’t often. This is probably just as well as I only have to taste a little bit off the lid of the can to fall head over heels in love with the stuff. It’s sweet, creamy, thick and sticky texture is so sinfully good that I wonder why more baked goods don’t use it. I really need to try it in an ice cream recipe – I bet it’s amazing.
I’ve stuck to the recipe as it used some of my favourite ingredients of chocolate, coconut and walnuts to add texture and flavour; I suspect however that the recipe is a bit of a blank canvas and any other nut, type of chocolate, or even dried fruit would work just as well; probably best though not to choose anything too sweet.
It’s also a good dish to use if you want to work out the age of people. If, like me, you’re a child of the 1970s you won’t be able to hear the words ‘condensed milk’ without thinking of Lenny Henry and his condensed milk sandwiches on Tiswas. I had a little chuckle the other day at work about how our popular culture references pinpoint us quite precisely age-wise. A colleague was chatting to a younger colleague and made a passing reference to Percy Thrower (famous gardener and in charge of the Blue Peter garden; if you grew up in the 1970/80s apart from Zammo ODing in Grange Hill, the vandalism of the Blue Peter garden was about the most shocking thing that blighted your childhood). She looked at him blankly and said, ‘who?’ She’ll be claiming she’s never heard of Morph and Chas next…..
100g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter
150g chocolate, finely chopped – I used half milk, half dark chocolate
70g desiccated coconut
150g walnuts, finely chopped
379g sweetened condensed milk