LEAF ARBUTHNOT takes you through the top exams treats for the big day.
Certain departments allow snacks to be taken into the exam room itself, alongside the usual clique of pens, nerves and an over-folded slip of yellow paper.
The criteria for the foods permitted seem to orbit erratically around the word “considerate”. Snacks must be small, silently consumable, and not sloppy. Don’t bring a burger; you’ll have to dominate it outside while your competitors file cheerily past, offering you sips of Evian. Bring a Smartie, however, and Bob will remain your father’s brother.
Of course, take the average Muggle and they’ll suggest boiled sweets as the perfect exam-paper companions. But these have to be unwrapped prior-entry, and induce thirst or nostalgia – to be avoided at all costs, unless you’re writing about drought or flares. Here are three alternatives.
This fudge is incredibly neat. It doesn’t leave grease marks, it won’t suddenly melt and it tastes great.
Break up 200g of dark chocolate into a pan; add half a can of condensed milk and a tablespoon of butter. Heat slowly for five or so minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Add 300g or so of icing sugar and Tabasco to taste. Remove from the heat and beat until glossy, then pour into a shallow dish and set in the fridge. Once it’s hard, cut it into squares.
Considerate basil and lemon biscuits
These are surprisingly neat as biscuits go, so shouldn’t crumble all over your desk. More to the point they are yummy as heck.
Mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, ½ a cup of butter, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, the rind and juice of one lemon (though just the juice will do), and a teaspoon of pesto. It should form a dough fairly quickly, but add lemon juice if it’s too dry. Form eyeball size lumps and bake on greaseproof or lined WHSmith paper at about 170 degrees for ten minutes, until very slightly golden.
Considerate peppermint creams
I had no green food dye, apols.
Beat one egg white until very foamy, but not peaked. Add 250g of icing sugar – more might be needed as egg white sizes vary – and stir until stiff. Add four drops of peppermint essence and one or two of green food dye. Roll into small sweets and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for a day.
You may begin writing now.