Ok, confession time: I know where your favourite glass is. The small one, with the ridges. Just the right size for a glass of milk, too big for your morning orange juice, too small for a glass of water at dinner. Yeah that glass. No, it’s not hiding on my bed-side table with all the other glasses. Yes I know you haven’t seen it in a couple of weeks…It might be in the bin…maybe…in the tiniest of shards…wrapped in newspaper…feeling very sorry for itself. Maybe it’s there…Sorry.
You should’ve seen it though; when it fell to the floor. I don’t think I’ve seen a glass break into quite so many pieces. I’m talking like glass the size of glitter. Everywhere. The adult in me said to sweep it up with a dustpan and brush, followed by hoovering to get all the little bits I’d missed. That would’ve been sensible. The reality? I did the sweeping part but thought I’d deal with the glitter-glass later when I find it coating my shredded, bleeding feet. Yeah reaaal sensible.
I’m not usually the one to drop things; Bombshells, trousers, pins, names…Ok, I lied, I totally do name drop. Drop me in it. Actually I totally dropped a puppy once too. I pretend that didn’t happen.
In the process of moving to The Big Smoke and learning to ‘adult’ I dropped this blog as well. And there’s a load of tiny pieces that need hoovering up. It would be the sensible thing to have a plan, social media posts lined up, relaunch with something glamorous and spectacular, maybe something with tahini or matcha, get the web traffic and make an impact. ‘Have you heard? Rach is back.’ Wooo! Yeah!
The reality? I’m making flapjack, photographing in dusky 6pm light, editing on Powerpoint and getting this show on the road. I’ll come to the glitter-glass later.
Because let’s keep it simple: You like flapjack? I like flapjack. I can make flapjack with my eyes shut. You can make flapjack too! We’re going back to basics, decluttering, not fussing, stirring together some good ole’ butter and sugar and syrup and oats. Using up those packets of half-dead raisins and that whisky marmalade your great aunt brought back from Scotland two summers ago.
The brilliant thing about flapjack is it’s a blank canvas for whatever you want to put in it. It’s inclusive and non-discriminatory. We like that here.
You have dried cranberries? Chuck them in. Walnuts? Them too! What about that ground cinnamon hiding at the back of your cupboard? That’d be good. Or maybe you want to go for ginger? Here’s my favourite 6 flapjack flavours, but throw in whatever you’ve got around. Keep it easy and stir it smooth.
Favourite flapjack flavours:
– Rosehip and apple: Cut open 2 rosehip tea bags and add the contents to the oats, along with 100g dried apple, roughly chopped.
– ‘Bird food’: Mix in 30g pumpkin seeds, 30g sunflower seeds, 10g linseed, 15g sesame seeds and 5g poppy seeds into the oats. Once the flapjack’s baked and cooled, drizzle with white chocolate and scatter a few more seeds over the top.
– Sour cherry and cinnamon: Mix in 60g dried sour cherries and 1 tsp cinnamon into the oats. Push a few more cherries into the top of the flapjack before baking.
– ‘Gingerbread’: Mix in 40g crystallised ginger, ½ tsp ground ginger and 60g dates roughly chopped. Substitute half of the golden syrup for treacle. Push a few small pieces of ginger into the top of the flapjack before baking.
– Coffee, pear and cocoa nib: Add 1 tbsp. instant coffee to the melting butter, sugar and syrup. Mix in 1 grated pear and 50g cocoa nibs. Once the flapjack’s baked and cooled, drizzle with dark chocolate.
– Lady Grey’s orangery: Mix 2 tbsp. marmalade into the melting butter, sugar and syrup. Cut open 2 Lady Grey tea bags and add the contents to the oats, along with 30g candied orange peel. Push a handful of candied peel pieces into the top of the flapjack before baking.
All you have to do is ask the questions: Does it go well with sugar? And with butter? That’s a yes. Everything goes with butter. Will it taste good with oats? Yeah! You’re good to go. Melt it, mix it, press it, bake it, cut it.
Makes 10-14 pieces
400g porridge oats (or substitute 200 for 200g rolled oats if ya feeling fancy)
250g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
200g light brown sugar
150g golden syrup (substitute with treacle for deep+dark flapjack, or honey for fragrant+floral)
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Line the base of a 20x20cm baking tin with baking paper and grease round the edges with a little butter.
Weigh out the oats, salt and any additions (nuts, spices, dried fruit, grated fruit etc) into a large heatproof bowl.
Place the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring every now and then until it’s all melted together. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the butter and syrup have melted and the sugar’s dissolved – just as it starts to bubble.
Pour the molten butter mixture over the oats and stir together until no dry oats are visible.
Tip the oaty mix into your lined baking tin and firmly press down (this will ensure it holds together once baked). Drag a fork across the top to give it a bit of texture, stud it with any extra additions and bake for 25(for chewy) – 40(for crunchy) minutes.
Once baked, run a knife around the edge of the tin to help loosen the flapjack for cutting later.
Leave the flapjack to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares (if you try to cut it whilst it’s still warm it’ll be tasty but very, very crumbly. You’ve been warned. Have patience, don’t be that child)