Camping with Chocolate Brownies, Fifteens and Polenta Shortbread

During August, I baked my fallback favourite; chocolate brownies as I needed to bake something practical and popular for a camping trip to the Peak District. I knew that all my friends going on the trip liked these and they survive well packed in a rucksack when out for a day’s walking.

The recipe is one my Mum has been using for years, originally based on one out of a BBC Good Food magazine;

100g margarine
275g sugar
2 eggs
175g self raising flour
50g cocoa

Step 1. Melt margarine, add sugar and beaten eggs

Step 2. Then add flour and cocoa

Step 3. Spread into lined tin

Step 4. Bake on gas mark 4 for about 40 minutes.


I did also bake something new to me; fifteens. These are a traditional Northern Irish recipe, which my boyfriend introduced me to. I would describe them as no-bake biscuits.

They consist mainly of condensed milk and crushed digestive biscuits, rolled in desiccated coconut. Marshmallows and glace cherries are traditionally added. Personally I’m not keen on glace cherries and one of the members of our camping party is a vegetarian, so we made two batches of fifteens; his being traditional and mine less so. I opted for the addition of chocolate raisins and dried cranberries instead, and everyone agreed they tasted very good, if not better than the originals!

Nigella Lawson has a good recipe for fifteens on her website;


The shortbread I made is gluten free and uses cornmeal (which I know as polenta) and ground almonds. I can’t remember the exact recipe, but it was similar to the following, with the addition of chocolate chips.

One point to note is to cut through the cake as soon as you take it out of the oven, although to leave it in the tin. Then the pieces can be cut again to separate when cool. It was still a bit crumbly though, so not ideal for taking camping and hiking!

P.S. I was running around getting ready for camping and so didn’t take pictures of the second two bakes, sorry!



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