The Best Flapjacks.
Becoming middle aged slipped right up on me much like a silent assasin. I remember finding my very first wrinkle……..I discovered it a friends house at a night in with the girls. I was incensed, outraged in fact but most of all SCARED. I ran round hysterically shoving my face at them all and quite frankly I am surprised that no one punched me in the throat. Then followed a gradual cruel series of slackenings and general loss in all areas apart from bodymass. Only last week I found myself the proud owner of a turkey wattle. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye as I passed a mirror. I did a double take…..it wobbled……wtf is that?????? If I look up for any length of time it hangs dangerously low for about twenty minutes afterwards…….. Then I really wish somebody would punch me in the throat.
Skipping on twenty years I now find that in reality all our girly nights always include in depth conversations of our health as all of us confide and obsess about our myriad of symptoms. Unable to know for sure what the F is going on with our bodies anymore. Is it new menopausal symptoms or something terminal???? Oh how we are envious of those friendship groups with a doctor amongst them….I knew I should have gone to University………. Instead we are reduced to swapping anecdotes and trying to think up ways of getting hold of black market HRT……They can’t expect us to carry on in this state. My doctors just seems content to waft a menopausal pamphlet under my nose. She is obviously twenty six. We need hard drugs woman or at the very least a hair transplant……
In an effort to remember what it felt to be childlike and fancy free without a raging hormone in sight. I have been researching hard to find THE best Flapjack recipe in the universe. I have great memories from childhood of fabulous flapjacks but it seems so often nowadays they are a little bland and mushy. A really good flapjack is right up there with my most favourite things to eat ever. For ages it has been on my to do list. I knew exactly what I wanted to create but hadn’t much of a clue where to start. So I embarked on this most important search and got through at least an acre of oats, never mind the five vats of butter (whatever a vat is..). But I can honestly say that it has been sooooo worth it. This recipe is about as good as Flapjacks get and I shall do my best to record it here for all posterity and menopausal women, especially the balding ones. I promise that one bite of one of these and all is well in the hair loss and turkey wattle world .
These flapjacks are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Hard to achieve I know but these babies manage it effortlessly. Soft within they are heavily laced with an incredible toffee flavour. These Flapjacks are enough to stop you in your tracks even on the most stressful headless (or hairless) chicken (turkey) days. One bite of one of these is SERIOUS heaven.
I began my search for the ultimate Flapjack on the Smitten Kitchen site. One of the most incredible food blogs out there. I had seen that she had a recipe for Chewy Granola Bars and that led me to hit upon the magic ratio of sugar, butter and syrup. She is a genius.
From that I increased the whole amount of oats and began to bake Flapjacks like a sweaty fiend.
It is a simple recipe consisting of melting the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and then mixing the lush toffee like sauce into the oats. But here is the clever bit. I heat the sauce into a caramel. I just let it bubble away until it goes a darker colour. You need to keep a close eye on it and be ready to whip it off when it starts to colour. The result though is amazeballs. It starts to come up in thick bubbles and from then keep stirring until it begins to darken. You must be particular about the sugar however. I use dark brown soft sugar but if I didn’t have that I would make sure that I got a dark enough colour on the caramel. The dark brown SOFT sugar is already half way near a toffee flavour. I love a shortcut.
I also take 50 grams of the oats and whizz in the food processor until they are flour like. I saw this included in the Smitten Kitchen recipe and thought what a great idea. The general Porridge Oats on sale in the UK do have quite an element of oat flour already included but you can also buy oats that have no flour and just contain the clean oat flakes themselves. If you are using those then blitz 100 grams of the 400 grams instead. I use an 8″ by 8″ square baking tin and then cut into 2 ” squares. Obviously I eat more than one in a sitting but you can cut them however you like…….The mixture is quite wet when it enters the oven and remains so when it comes out. They are ready when there is a real deep golden brown colour all over. As dark as you dare. The edges have a tendency to darken so make sure your oven is at the right temp so that doesn’t happen too soon. My oven is erratic so I keep an oven thermometer in there all the time. It really helps me. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
You must hold yourself in check and wait until fully cold to experience these flapjacks at their best. That usually takes a couple of hours. I put them in the fridge to hurry the process along once they are nearly cool but I mark out the squares in the flapjacks whilst they are still warm in the tins………. So here for posterity is my Best Flapjacks Ever Recipe. Eat them and weep.
The Best Flapjacks
The Best Flapjacks. Crisp on the outside and chewy within. One bite and you're converted. Easy to bake with the kids and a delicious treat for the adults. A true family bake.
- 400 grams rolled oats
- 225 grams dark brown soft sugar
- 150 grams unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200 grams golden syrup
Preheat your oven to 180 C. Whizz 50 grams of your measured out oats in the food processor until mostly flour like. Add to the other oats in a large mixing bowl. Have your non stick baking tin ready. I used a non stick 8" square tin that I lined with bakoglide but baking paper will do the same job.
Place all the other ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and gently melt it all together whilst stirring. Increase the heat until the syrup forms thick bubbles and looks a bit like molten lava. Keep stirring until the syrup turns a darker colour-only a couple of mins.
Pour that seriously hot syrup onto the oats and being careful not to get any on yourself stir it all in.
Empty it all out into your tin and spread it out evenly. I find a metal spoon is the best tool for this. Bake for about 15 mins and until the whole thing is a deep golden brown on top. Again as dark on top as you dare. Watch that the edges don't catch too much.
Leave to cool in the tin but mark the squares out with a knife before it does so. As they cool they will harden and crisp up. Don't be tempted to eat one before they are completely cold. I recommend putting them in the fridge if you can't wait too long and have even put a square in the freezer because I am crazy for one. However these are much better for a couple of hours left well alone.
Apply to Nostalgic Face with a Turkey Wattle.
- Be particular about your sugar. If poss use dark brown soft sugar. If not then get your caramel sauce as dark as you dare.
- Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven doesn't get too hot and burn the edges.
- Allow the flapjacks to cool completely and seriously consider putting them in the fridge for an hour. It really seems to improve them!