Ultimate? Well, the flapjacks are popular and I’ve been asked for the recipe several times by people who have actually eaten the results, so I’m calling it a success. This is what I do and why.
I really don’t like flapjacks that pull out loose teeth or fillings, so I aim for something that is buttery, chewy, and with a distinctive toffee flavour that doesn’t actually necessitate a visit to the dentist. This is what I have come up with.
– because these are fairly quick to prepare and cook they make a good start to a baking session. It’s easy enough to weigh out the ingredients for these and a cake, use these to warm the oven while preparing, say, a lemon drizzle or two and save on fuel costs.
– liner – this is essential equipment in my opinion. Do not skimp. It allows you to lift the flapjacks out of the tin without leaving most of it behind. Liner can be bought from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/p5570/Magic-Non-stick-Liners and can be cut to fit. Poke a sheet into your pan (making sure you get right into the corners) and cut off everything barring a rim of 1 cm or so. It helps if you have one corner lined up so you trim the 2 opposite sides only. Then cut into the base of each corner (cuts should be at 45 degree angles) so the excess liner overlaps to make a tray.
Yes, I know it sounds complicated. Yes, I know it’s a faff and extra expense, but I have used these liners for years, hundreds of times, and never had to replace them, and they make flapjacks just so much easier. Once you’ve done it you won’t have to do it again for at least a decade, at normal usage.
8 inch square tin
heatproof liner cut to fit tin (see notes above)
Stirring and scraping things. Wooden spoons, silicone spatulas, whatever you prefer.
scales and tablespoon measures.
7 oz oats – value or essential oats are actually better for this recipe than premium large oats.
3 oz butter
3tbsp or 2 oz golden syrup (this is critical to measure as accurately as possible, otherwise you end up with syrupiness. Not rounded, Not heaped.)
4 oz soft brown sugar
handful of sultanas.
Place the liner into the tin.
Dry toast your oats in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir well as they heat. You should see steam rise and smell popcorn, which will tell you they are done. If they look different you’ve overdone them.
Put your toasted oats into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and sultanas and mix well.
Once the saucepan has cooled a little, put the butter in to melt. If you time it right you won’t need any extra heat. Once the butter has melted add the syrup.
It is critical that you do NOT cook the butter and syrup together or you will end up with teeth-removing toffee.
Once the syrup and butter are amalgamated, pour into the mixing bowl and stir well into the oats, sugar and sultanas. Turn the mixture into the lined tin and press down.
Put into a COLD (yes, I really mean unheated) oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
Take out immediately the 15 minutes is up and leave to cool.
When your patience runs out, lift out of the tin using the liner, slide off the liner onto a chopping board and cut into squares or rectangles depending on how many people you’re prepared to share with.
If you are impatient they will crumble as you eat them. If you are made of stone then cutting them up and portioning out when they are absolutely cold will make them more stable.
If you’re being fuel canny, place cakes in your oven as you remove the flapjacks.
If you’re on a diet, too late. You probably shouldn’t have followed the instructions this far. Sorry. Maybe you could give them to the nearest fund-raising coffee-morning?