Who knew an obscure breakfast cereal would be the key ingredient to avoid a sludgy pud?
The biscuit base has three ingredients: plain digestive biscuits, unsurprisingly enough; butter; and Grape-Nuts breakfast cereal. If yours are anything like my local supermarkets, you will have one question: “What are Grape-Nuts?”
Well, I’ll tell you. The first thing you need to know about Grape-Nuts cereal is that it includes neither grapes nor nuts. It is made from wheat and barley. If you want to imagine what GrapeNuts breakfast cereal is, finish a box of, say, Corn Flakes or Weetabix, then look at the detritus in the bottom of the bag. You’ve got Grape-Nuts!
Grape-Nuts are the invention of Charles Post, who started life as an agricultural salesman, but suffered a series of nervous breakdowns. In search of a cure, he checked himself into John Harvey Kellogg’s health clinic – I promise I am not making this up – where he was so struck by the quality of the food he decided to get into the cereal business himself. Unfortunately, Kellogg had already invented all the good cereals and taken all the good names, so poor old Post was left with Grape-Nuts, which is both deeply uninspiring and has an incredibly stupid name.
Grape-Nuts aren’t bad in and of themselves. They’re what I imagine all food will be like when climate change gets so bad that we move to raft cities and start living off algae: you can tell that it is providing you with all the nutrients you need – it’s just that eating it feels like a chore. Delia claims that she has “discovered recently” that Grape-Nuts give a biscuit base extra crunch, which I suspect is code for “I chucked a bunch of Grape-Nuts in with the biscuits to get rid of the stuff”.
Here’s what you should not do: do not attempt to replace Grape-Nuts with Special K, Weetabix, Corn Flakes or Shredded Wheat. If you do, it will look and smell as if you have made a biscuit base, but during cooking, the lime filling will escape said base and you will end up with what is basically a key lime cake with a biscuit filling. You have, instead, two options. One: find the biggest, fanciest supermarket in your area, where they will have some Grape-Nuts. Or, alternately, just substitute the “two ounces” of GrapeNuts for more digestive biscuits, or, if you’d like a bit more crunch, porridge oats. But if you really, really want Grape-Nuts, then don’t worry: I have most of a packet left.