I just wanna be someone’s treacle. Or jam tart. Don’t you? Treacle evokes a love/hate response more than any other baking ingredient I can think of. For me, it’s pretty essential, adding a certain dark note that accents most flavors and spices. True, the color is disturbing, giving foods a greenish-brown cast, but if you can warm to treacle’s inherent weirdness, as I have, it becomes a true baker’s friend, perfect for helping plain old caster sugar taste a little more, well, ballsy. It’s not for me to tell you what you can or should eat, and maybe pancakes and ice-cream for breakfast isn’t something you want, or are ready for, but, goodness me, surrendering your appetite is joyful. I love a breakfast feast where everyone tucks into their (treacle-infused) concoctions with a most greedy zeal.
The thing about treacle is that it turns with a great ease into homemade sweets and biscuits that make pleasingly subtle gifts. They’re for when you want to say thank you, or to remind someone that they’ve been remembered without seeming too extravagant or gushing. Get me? Quite ironic considering treacle’s spouting, gloopy, inherent nature. So do I really wanna be someone’s treacle tart? Hell yeah. The aforementioned tart appears to be something of a misnomer until you realise that the word treacle refers to all forms of syrups made during sugar refining, from golden through to black molasses. Treacle tart is a ‘sweetheart’ in cockney rhyming slang. I never thought tart was a word I’d embrace with such zeal, but I love it, and what’s more, I don’t need any excuse to get the rolling pin out.