Rachel Khoo

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Posted by Rachel

October 3rd, 2014

My ‘Just Desserts’: Veruca Salt’s Salted Caramel Walnut Clusters (plus giveaway!)

Rachel Khoo recipe Charlie and the Chocolate Factory quote

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of my all-time favourite books, I used to love reading it as a child – so I was honoured when I was asked to be part of the 50th anniversary ‘Just Desserts’ celebrations.

My absolute favourite scene from the book (it’s brilliant in the film too) is when petulant ticket winner, Veruca Salt declares she wants one of Willy Wonka’s squirrels… We all know what happens next, but just in case you haven’t read (or seen) it I won’t spoil the surprise!

Needless to say, the expert nut-cracking capabilities of the squirrels inspired my aptly named Just Dessert. You can find the recipe for my Veruca Salt’s Salted Caramel Walnut Clusters below.

Rachel Khoo Just Desserts Salted Caramel Walnut Clusters

The best thing about these clusters is not simply the fact they’re completely scrumptious, but that they’re relatively easy and quick to make. This recipe would be also be a fun way to introduce young children to the book and all its magic.

It took me a little while to come up with the idea as I had to get into the Wonka mindset first, which actually proved to be a good thing as Roald Dahl’s storytelling is infinitely inspiring! If you want to find out more about how I came up with the recipe watch my interview with Puffin Books below.

Giveaway alert – Please note the competition is now closed.

Thanks to the team at Penguin, I’ve got one copy of the 50th anniversary edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as the picture book illustrated by Quentin Blake.  To get your hands on a copy, simply tell me what your favourite scene from the book is and why. The competition will be open until Thursday 16th October. Good luck!

If you want to find out more about the 50th anniversary celebrations, head over to the official Road Dahl website – you can also follow all the fun on their Facebook page.

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38 thoughts on “My ‘Just Desserts’: Veruca Salt’s Salted Caramel Walnut Clusters (plus giveaway!)

  1. My favourite scene from the book is the long drawn out description of Charlie opening and eating the bar of Wonka’s Triple Scrumptious Fudge Delight that he bought in order to try to find a golden ticket.

    Any attempt by Cadbury’s to replicate any of the chocolate in the book in real life form is doomed to failure because of the richness and evocativenature of Dahl’s words.

    And I say that typing this with a bar of Wonka brand chocolate at my elbow!

  2. My favourite part is when Veruca Salt chews the gum and describes all the flavors of a meal. First it’s the baked potato, then the roast beef, and of course, the blueberry pie, which inevitably turns her into the giant blueberry and she has to be rolled out and taken to the juice room for squeezing! I loved it when her equally nasty mother proclaims that she doesn’t want a blueberry for a daughter!

  3. Hello,
    From across the pond. I’m sure that there’s a very simple method, but for the life of me, I cannot get the recipe for the “VERONICA SALT’S SALTED CARAMEL WALNUT CLUSTERS”…not even when I clicked on ‘recipes’ from the menu list. Help please? Thanx!

    I will be sooo thrilled when I can watch your show in the States again. You’re lovely, and you make the very chi chi and complicated looking/sounding French classics seem as though they’re not at all…and that I have the confidence that I can accomplish them. Thanx! for that, too.

    BTW: I’ll be trying the recipe out with pecans and/or almonds because I don’t care for walnuts, for whatever reason/s, in fact, I REALLY DON’T like them…which may be odd since my Mother LOVED them…as did my Grandpa, her Dad…?….

  4. It would have to be when Charlie finds his golden ticket! Isn’t that a dream we all have, to find the golden ticket just once?

  5. My favourite scene is the Chocolate Room, because it is every candy-lovers’ dream-come-true! No one could resist such wild imagination and edible surprises!

  6. One of the first things the children see in the Willy Wonka factory is the lickable wallpaper, which has always been my favourite scene. It pinpoints the beginning of the wonderful magic of Wonka’s factory and sets the scene for the rest of the wonders that awaited the children.

  7. Hi Rachel! I’m a big fan of yours from the USA. My favorite scene is when Charlie and Willy Wonka were in the glass elevator. When I was about 8-years-old, my family went to a hotel that had a glass elevator. My sister and I acted like Charlie and Willy Wonka the whole night. It was so much fun. Plus, who doesn’t want an elevator that can instantly take you anywhere?
    Much love,
    Haley XOXO

  8. My favorite scene from the book was when Charlie was spending time with his family before going to the Factory; the descriptions were sweet. As a family caregiver, I enjoy reading about people, either fictional or real, who make investing time with their family a priority.

  9. My favourite scene is easily the one with Violet Beauregarde and the chewing gum meal. It’s fantasy + magic + food. Heaven!

  10. My favourite scene has to be when Charlie first finds the golden ticket, where the shopkeeper is more excited than Charlie.

  11. I love that Charlie gets one piece of chocolate, once a year on his birthday and he treasures it so. While I live firmly by the Irish Murdoch quote that the secret to a happy life is continuous small treats. I love that Roald Dahl reminds us that there’s such a pleasure in savoring the things we have only once in awhile:

    “Only once a year, on his birthday, did Charlie Bucket ever get to taste a bit of chocolate. The whole family saved up their money for that special occasion and when that great day arrived, Charlie was always presented with one small chocolate bar to eat all by himself. And each time he received it, on those marvelous bday mornings, he would place it carefully in a small wooden box and treasure it as though it were a bar of solid gold.”

  12. My favourite pages from the book is when Charlie finds the golden ticket. Charlie’s and his families excitement about being able to visit Willy Wonka is when you then start to imagine all the secrets and mysteries that are within the factory. When I was younger I would wonder what was behind the doors and in some of the rooms that the Golden ticket winners go past or we never get to see.

  13. Seasonal Greetings Rachel
    My favourite scene has to be the one when chewing gum ‘champion’ Violet
    Beauregarde turns into a blueberry after having Willy Wonkas special three-course meal chewing gum, i can relate to it because i used to love chewing gum when i was younger its just one my childhood memories, another reason i love this is because Willy Wonka actually protests against Violet having the chewing gum until she eventually snatches, the Roald Dahl descriptions about the ‘meal’ are clever and delicious, the way he describes the baked potato, the roast beef, and blueberry pie is so good that you can imagine yourself snacking on the pie or having a slice of roast beef

  14. Seasonal Greetings Rachel
    My favourite scene has to be the one when chewing gum ‘champion’ Violet Beauregarde turns into a blueberry after having Willy Wonkas special three-course meal chewing gum, i can relate to it because i used to love chewing gum when i was younger its just one my childhood memories, another reason i love this is because Willy Wonka actually protests against Violet having the chewing gum until she eventually snatches, the Roald Dahl descriptions about the ‘meal’ are clever and delicious, the way he describes the baked potato, the roast beef, and blueberry pie is so good that you can imagine yourself snacking on the pie or having a slice of roast beef

  15. Seasonal Greetings Rachel
    My favourite scene has to be the one when chewing gum ‘champion’ Violet Beauregarde turns into a plump blueberry after having Willy Wonkas special three-course meal chewing gum, i can relate to it because i used to love chewing gum when i was younger its just one my childhood memories, another reason i love this is because Willy Wonka actually protests against Violet having the chewing gum until she eventually snatches, the Roald Dahl descriptions about the ‘meal’ are clever and delicious, the way he describes the baked potato, the roast beef, and blueberry pie is so good that you can imagine yourself snacking on the pie or having a slice of roast beef

  16. My favourite moment in the book would have to be The same as yours I think. Where Veruca Salt wants aged daddy to get her a squirrel, but they decide she’s a bad nut and throw her out in the trash.

  17. My favourite moment in the book would have to be The same as yours I think. Where Veruca Salt wants aged mummy to get her a squirrel, but they decide she’s a bad nut and throw her out in the trash.

  18. Veruca Sticking the gum behind her ear, as it reminds me of someone I used to know at school. She also shared the ambition to chew one stick of gum for life!

  19. I love the part when the oompa loompa’s are in their seahorse boat rowing down the chocolate river banging the big drum.

  20. My favourite scene from the book is actually when they enter the chocolate room – as a kid and huge chocoholic I always imagined the thick chocolate waterfall pouring down my throat, and fantasised what my own sweetie great would look like!

  21. Hi Rachel, greetings from SA. My daughter and I are simply your biggest fans! We were so sad we never got to see you when you were here. I have all your programmes saved on my TV and we watch regularly for inspiration and recipes! Willy Wonka, what can I say – simply the whole book!!!

  22. Ooh great giveaway, as my favourite childhood author was Roald Dahl and I still love all his books and I’m now 24! My favourite part of the book and what sticks in my mind was just simy how Charlie use to recieve one bar of chocolate every year on his birthday with which he used break off a tiny piece, just enough to allow the flavour to spread through out his mouth! I just found it to be so descriptive that I could imagine and feel exactly what Charlie did. Amazing!

  23. I loved the part when Willy Wonka reveals his masterplan to Charlie at the end and why he’s going to give the factory to Charlie.

  24. Hi Rachel, Loved your TV show. The Oeufs encocotte are a big hit with the children. Just found your web site. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is fab we love the jokes “whipped cream, vanilla cream and hair cream” as well as “coffee beans, jelly beans and has beans” Warmest regards Julian

  25. My favorite scene has to be when Charlie finds the golden ticket. Its everyone’s dream to find their golden ticket once in our lives right?

  26. I don’t have a favourite scene as I haven’t read that book, but why would I want to win it if I’d read it already? Anyway, all the Roald Dahl books are great entertainment. I know I can’t win, but I DID eat two little chocolate bars yesterday. What I can do is point you to my all-time favourite novel, ‘The Cossacks’ by Lev Tolstoy, so give it a try, it’s a really sweet story and not too long either.

  27. I love the scene where Charlie receives the Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight for his birthday. The ceremony of this scene, and the importance of the chocolate, when set beside the reactions of the other children, sets the tone for the whole book – and puts you on the side of Charlie and Grandpa Joe from the start.

  28. My favourite scene has to be when Augustus falls in the chocolate river, just because if you’re going to go out of something, you might as well go in an awesome way like that. I mean who *wouldn’t* want to be carried away in a river of chocolate. Best way to go. Ever.

  29. My favourite moment has to be when Augustus falls into the chocolate river and is sucked away, because if you’re going to go out of something, you might as well go like that! I mean who *wouldn’t* want to fall into a river of chocolate? It would be like a very, very good dream!

  30. Glass elevator, glass elevator! Wonder what will happen next as you near the end of the book and finding out Charlie will now run the factory.

  31. that’s such a lovely read – so many treats i wish were real … just before they get to the squirrels were the square sweets that look round … the illustration made me smile so much and they were my favourites …

  32. I love the scene at the beginning with Charlie and Grandpa Joe where he gives Charlie the money to go and buy the second chocolate bar – I always loved the concept of the four grandparents in the one bed, and the relationship between Charlie and Grandpa Joe is the heart of the book, and we get to see that dynamic so well here.

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