Tearfund's Sticky Sticks and "custard creams"


This week's guest campaign is Tearfund, whose No Child Taken campaign aims to spare children the horrors of sex trafficking and other forms of slavery. 

Tearfund supporters Tom Herbert (one half of The Fabulous Baker Brothers) and chocolatier Will Torrent have each shared a delicious recipe below to help spread the word. Tom's Sticky Sticks are perfect for a baking session with the kids - and Will's White Chocolate and Passion Fruit 'Custard Creams' would make someone's heart melt on Valentine's Day - give 'em a try!


Sticky Sticks (makes 10)

When baker Tom Herbert  travelled to Laos in South East Asia with the charity, he taught a group of girls a version of this Sticky Sticks recipe using local ingredients. Making and selling these snacks gives children an income - which makes them less vulnerable to the danger of child trafficking. 




  • 400g water

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 130g self-raising flour

  • 130g plain flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • 20g granulated sugar

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • Plenty of caster sugar, for rolling


For the dunking sauce:

  • 100g dark chocolate

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 50ml double cream

  • 50ml stout

  • Small knob butter

  • Pinch of salt



1. In a pan, bring the water and oil to the boil. Mix the flours, salt and 20g sugar in a bowl, then slowly pour in the hot water mixture. Using a fork quickly mix the water in. You should have a stiff sticky dough, but don't overwork it.

2. Heat the vegetable oil to 170°C in a fryer or heavy-based saucepan. Quickly with light hands roll the dough into longish sticks. Place a few at a time into the fryer. They should take about 3-5 minutes to cook until they are golden and crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

3. Lift out of the oil, drain on kitchen paper. In a tray mix the orange zest with a good amount of caster sugar, then toss with the hot doughnuts to coat.

4. For the sauce, place the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently. Stir until the butter and chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth and glossy. Don't heat too much as the chocolate and cream will split. If you don't fancy stout then milk is an good alternative.

5. While the sauce is still warm, dip the sticky sticks and devour.

Cook's tip: CAUTION – Resist the temptation to eat the sticky sticks right away as they will burn your mouth. Wait at least 30 seconds after they've been cooked and rolled in the sugar.


White chocolate & passion fruit ‘custard creams’ (makes 18)



Will Torrent, Chocolatier and supporter of Tearfund's No Child Taken campaign, devised the recipe for White Chocolate & Passion Fruit 'custard creams' for his book 'Chocolate at Home'. It's just the thing to spread a little love on Valentine's Day. The sweetness of the white chocolate cuts through the astringent passion fruit, and the addition of passion fruit powder boosts the flavour nicely. 


For the cookies:

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened

  • 125g icing sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 50g custard powder

  • 30g freeze-dried passion fruit powder

  • A pinch of salt


For the buttercream:

  • 125g white chocolate, chopped

  • 2 large passionfruit, flesh scooped out and skins discarded

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened

  • 70g icing sugar

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon freeze-dried passion fruit powder

  • 2 large baking sheets, greased and lined with baking parchment

  • A heart-shaped 'WITH LOVE' cookie cutter or similar, about 7cm diameter



1. To make the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light using an electric handheld whisk. Add the vanilla and mix again. Then add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift in the flour baking powder, custard powder, passion fruit powder and salt, and beat until smooth.

2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together, forming a ball with your hands. Wrap in clingfilm, flatten into a disc and chill for at least 4 hours or until needed.

3. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

4. Roll out half of the dough to a thickness of about 2mm on a lightly floured surface. Using the cutter, stamp out as many cookies as you can from the dough and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Gather the scraps together and set aside while you roll out the remaining dough. Stamp out and arrange the cookies, as before, then lightly knead all the scraps together, roll again and cut out as many cookies as you can.

5. Bake on the middle shelves of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until crisp.

6. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets for 
3–4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan or pot of barely simmering water. Heat for about 3 minutes. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

8. Press the passion fruit pulp and juice through a fine mesh sieve or strainer set over a bowl, discarding the black seeds. You should have 3–4 tablespoons of pulp.

9. Cream together the butter with the sugar, vanilla, passion fruit pulp and passion fruit powder using a handheld electric whisk, until smooth and very light. 

Chocolate_At_Home10. Add the cooled white chocolate and mix again until combined.

11. Spread the underside of half of the cookies with the buttercream, then top with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container lined with baking parchment for 2–3 days.

Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent, photography by Jonathan Gregson, published by Ryland Peters & Small rrp £19.99





Last updated: almost 3 years ago