Sunday, 24 February 2013

Seed and Sultana Flapjack recipe

This post is intended as a destination to which I can point all those who peer suspiciously at my breakfast on the bus, their exclamations of "you made it yourself?" seeming to imply that baking is some form of dark art that simply wouldn't tolerated in their house!

The breakfast in question is a wedge of flapjack with added mixed seeds, sultanas and chopped banana. It is very simple - as is most of my cooking - and the longest part of the recipe is the leaving-it-to-chill-in-the-fridge stage which it is quite happy doing unsupervised.

100g butter
3 dessert-spoons of Golden Syrup
150g porridge oats
75g sultanas
75g mixed seeds
(pumpkin, linseed, sesame, sunflower, chopped nuts, ...)
1 over-ripe banana, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to about 190C and grease a baking tin. I use a loose-bottomed 8" round cake tin like the one pictured below, but any tin of similar proportions would be fine. The loose-bottom is very helpful when removing the flapjack once cooled, though I expect a tin with springform sides would work just as well.

Put the butter and Golden Syrup in a saucepan over a low to medium heat and leave until the butter has melted. The saucepan needs to be large enough for ALL the ingredients. And ideally, the Golden Syrup needs to be Lyle's - cheaper ones like the +Sainsbury's version work ok, but they don't quite taste the same!

In the meantime, weigh out the dry ingredients and chop the banana. The sultanas can be swapped with pretty much any dried fruit if you prefer. I have used chopped apricots, chopped dates and cranberries, all of which have been nice but sultanas are usually cheaper! For the seeds, I used to buy the Omega Seed Mix bags from Julian Graves until the shop in Eastbourne closed down. I now make my own mixes with the tubs from ESK.

When the butter is melted, take the pan off the heat and mix well until combined with the syrup. Add the banana and stir to coat and separate the pieces. Add the oat-seed-sultana mix and stir until everything is coated - it will darken in colour and stop looking 'dusty' when ready.

Empty the saucepan into the baking tin and smooth to a flat surface. Put into the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on the top.

Remove from oven and push flapjack down with a spoon to condense it. This helps make the bars easier to eat on the run. Leave until cool, then remove the sides of the tin and put the flapjack into the fridge to chill for at least a couple of hours.

When chilled, cut into segments - I get eight from a batch - and wrap individually in clingfilm. If kept in the fridge, the flapjack lasts for about a week.

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