Joe Costello is Dementia UK’s Consultant Admiral Nurse for Sport and Dementia and has been in post for six months. He explains why this new role is needed for families living with dementia who have a connection to sport.
As one of the first Admiral Nurses, my dad has been working with families who have been affected by dementia since I was very young. I’ve seen how difficult it can be for people living with loved ones who have received a diagnosis and I really appreciate the amazing work that Admiral Nurses do.
I’ve worked on Time for a Cuppa at Dementia UK for the last two years and I really do think it’s a fantastic way to get involved with raising funds for the charity. Even baking and sharing the most basic of cakes can contribute towards the work that our fantastic nurses do and make a difference to families affected by dementia.
My Nan used to always have a big biscuit tin full of delicious Mars Bars Rice Krispies cakes in her pantry whenever my sister and I went to visit her. Before she passed away many years ago, she taught me the ‘secret recipe’ and I still always make a batch of them for family gatherings and special occasions. This January, I’ve decided to participate in Veganuary (committing to a vegan diet for a month) but I still wanted to be able to make and share my favourite treat with everyone. I’ve experimented with creating a vegan version of the recipe, which I made with my dad. It came out really well and the cakes were delicious so I’ve shared my recipe below.
I hope lots of people sign up to take part in Time for a Cuppa this year so Dementia UK can provide more Admiral Nurses.
My Vegan Rice Crispie cake
200g Dark Chocolate
5 tbsps golden syrup
100g vegan margarine (I used Flora Freedom)
1/2 box Rice Crispies (I used Rice Snaps from Lidl as they haven’t been fortified with Vitamin D, which is sometimes derived from animal sources)
N.B. This recipe makes enough cake for around 20 small squares.
1. Grease a 12in rectangular dish with a light layer of margarine
2. Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until melted, then add gold syrup and margarine
3. With a wooden spoon, stir continuously as the ingredients melt together. If the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat or remove from the hob completely.
4. Once the ingredients are combined in to a smooth mixture, remove from the heat
5. Put the Rice Snaps into a large bowl and pour over the mixture. Stir together gently, so as not to break the Rice Snaps up as you stir. Ensure all Rice Snaps are covered and the mixture is a nice chocolate colour
6. Empty the mixture in to the dish and level out with the back of your spoon
7. Leave the dish out to set for a few hours or overnight and then cut in to squares. Do not put the dish in the fridge to set as this will harden it!
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