Friday, 11 March 2011

Sarah's delicious flapjacks

For a South African, living in the UK, there is a whole tangle around the word 'flapjack' - among others - and it takes us a while to adjust. Then, when we try to explain the tangle to a British person, the confusion starts all over again.

In England, there are things called crumpets, which are a round, kind of bread dough thing about 2cm thick; there are Scotch pancakes, which is a small, flat, round thing made with pancake batter; and there are flapjacks, which are usually rectangular and made with oats. In South Africa, all three of those words refer to the same thing: a small, flat, round thing made out of pancake batter. That same thing is also called a drop-scone in South Africa, just to add to the confusion.

The thing that is called a flapjack in England most closely resembles South African crunchies... with the major difference that in England, they are not crunchy. In fact, the first time I ate one in the UK, I thought the person had forgotten to bake them! At some point, I will share a recipe for South African crunchies (when I can find my recipe, that is... it appears to have gone walkabout!).

I had long since decided that I didn't care for flapjacks when I attended a recipe swapping event and my good friend Sarah brought a recipe called 'delicious flapjacks'. In accordance with the rules of the event, she had also brought a batch of them for tasting. I had my doubts, but I had a taste and they really were delicious. So I'm sharing the recipe with you. It's all about the quality of the ingredients, and, as a consequence it's slightly expensive, but oh, so worth it!

Oven temperature

500g of jumbo oats (this is important - if you use normal porridge oats, you'll get entirely the wrong texture)
250g of excellent quality butter (no budget stuff here)
680g jar of golden syrup

Place on cooling racks
  • Melt the butter over low heat in a large saucepan
  • Add the syrup and bring to a rolling boil, stirring all the while.
  • Keep stirring and allow to bubble for 3 minutes.
  • Thoroughly mix in the oats.
  • Press the mixture into a lined baking tray, about 30cmx20cm
  • Bake for about 15 minutes. When the outer edges darken, the flapjacks are done. (Later edit: If, when you take the flapjacks out of the oven, you suspect they might be slightly underdone, and if they're a bit crumbly as you handle them, then they're perfect!)
  • Leave to cool slightly, cut into squares and place on cooling racks.

If they aren't all eaten immediately, you can store them in an airtight container for up to a week, apparently. I have never been able to test this theory.

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