Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

The joy of unicorn clouds

THIN DIGESTIVE AT THE READY… Pre-dip unicorn cloud joy from this little human at the weekend.

We tend to dip a lot on a Saturday night. I’m not talking about some in-house limbo competition or anything like that (although that might be an idea for when the electricity goes off some night in a future storm), but rather dips when it comes to having lubrication for your crisps, crudités or chips.

This most often takes the form of chipotle mayo or sour cream and chives or the Mexican crema but there’s usually at least one on the go.

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On Sunday night past as a matter of fact we were dunking our chicken and sweetcorn pizza crusts into aoili which was such a wonderful experience I made a mental note to fashion some home-made garlic mayo in the very near future.

This one had come from M&S but it also made me reconsider how well aoili goes with good, old fashioned roasted chicken. As far as I can see they’re the bestest of friends.

But anyhoo… since most of our dips aren’t really child-friendly – being kicking with spice as they are – I thought it was about time that I made one with the little humans in mind.

The conversation with our one went like this…

“Would you like me to make you a red sauce kind of dip for Saturday night?”

“I don’t really like red sauce with my chips any more.”

“Would you like a mayonnaise-type sauce?”

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“I don’t like mayonnaise.”

“What about brown sauce?”

“No.”

“Mustard?”

“Daddy!”

So in the end I was coerced into making a sweet dip and even if I say so myself, it was pretty good.

Molten marshmallows on peanut butter cups is the easiest thing you’ll ever make and in fact, you can even have your little humans do all the work (as you recline on a chaise longue with a martini in hand).

It’s so short, it shouldn’t even qualify as a recipe (it only has two ingredients – three if you count the dipper). But our little human loved the end product.

She also liked the whole process, especially when the oven started to emit this heady aroma of baking marshmallows. If you’ve ever toasted a marshmallow on a stick, that’ll give you an idea of what this is like.

Later, when we tried to come up with a name to describe this wonderfully sweet dip, we eventually decided on ‘unicorn clouds’. Although, I can’t claim any of the credit/blame.

INGREDIENTS

Giant marshmallows
Reese’s peanut butter cups

THE PLAN

You’ll notice from the extensive ingredients list, that the quantities here are vague. But basically, you’ll want a ramekin or small oven-proof bowl to cook this in. Our little bowl held two giant marshmallows and to be honest, that was loads. Anyhoo…

If you’re like me, your input into this process should be negligible. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C and while that’s happening, direct your little human or humans to place the peanut butter cups into the ramekin or bowl.  The mini ones work the best since you can pack them into every corner.

Then, direct the little human(s) to add the marshmallows to the receptacle. That done, set the ramekin(s) on a baking sheet and add to the oven.

You better do this part yourself lest the wean burns his or her self and the howling begins and the missus arrives and you get the blame etc etc.

Now all you have to do is keep an eye out. It’ll probably take about ten minutes for the marshmallows and the peanut butter cups to go molten, but I can’t say exactly how long this took because we basically sat in front of the oven watching the tops of the marshmallows go brown.

When that happened (and when Sarah couldn’t wait any longer, God love her), we opened the oven and removed the dip.

Our dipper of choice were those new McVitie’s Digestive Thins and it took six of those and then our little human used a teaspoon to mop up the remainder.

Scraped clean, it was.

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I wonder at all my cooking over the years, I’ve never made jam.