Sometimes the simplest bakes can be the most rewarding. Don’t get me wrong, I love a challenging bake – one with hundreds of components that can take several days (and mountains of washing up) to complete. But there are occasions when I just want something quick and simple and satisfying, where you can just throw all the ingredients together within five minutes and yet end up with something delicious to eat.
Flapjacks (British flapjacks that is, as in oat bars, not pancakes) fit that bill exactly. You just melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a pan, stir in oats and any extra flavourings/ingredients you want to throw in, spread the mixture out in a tin and bake for 20-30 minutes. You end up with deliciously golden, chewy, filling energy bombs – these certainly aren’t health food owing to the large amounts of sugar and butter involved, but they do fill you up and give you a burst of energy which lasts quite a while due to an initial sugar rush, then the oats slow-release energy; they are the perfect snack to take hiking!
As much as I love a plain flapjack, I decided to try something a little different this time and flavoured them with desiccated coconut and two types of ginger – ground and stem. Both flavours come through really well, but don’t overpower the sweet, buttery taste of the flapjack itself. They are chewy on the bottom and crunchy on top – just as I like them; for a softer, chewy flapjack, simply bake them for a shorter amount of time, and a longer time for a crunchier one. Make sure that you slice the flapjack into pieces while it is still warm, or you will find it difficult to cut, but leave it in the tin until it is completely cold else it may fall apart.
- 225g (2 sticks) butter
- 225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) demerara sugar
- 75g (3 oz) golden syrup
- 250g (3 cups) porridge oats
- 50g (2/3 cup) unsweetened dessicated coconut
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 3 balls stem ginger, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Line a 20x30cm (8x12in) tin with greaseproof paper.
- Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly and press down gently.
- Bake for 20-35 minutes until golden brown, bake for a shorter amount of time for a softer, more chewy flapjack, and longer for a more crunchy one (I went for 30 minutes).
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes then cut into slices or squares while still in the tin.
- Leave in the tin until completely cold.
- Will keep for at least a week in an airtight container.