I think it’s fairly obvious at this stage that I have a very sweet tooth! In the lead up to Christmas I allowed myself free reign when it came to eating treats. I was so busy, working very long days I had agreed with myself that more than likely I was burning off any additional calories (delusional).
I made all the promises, of post Christmas being the cut off point for my cessation of consuming all sweet treats! However, one thing led to the other and my abstinence from all things sugary never came about. Cold turkey was my only option (pardon the Christmas pun)
Lent swung around and this was my opportunity. I gave up all sweet baked goods, chocolate and crisps (chips for those of you in the States). I’ve been doing pretty well so far and I’m nearly there. Chocolate was the hardest one to give up I thought until I started tweaking a flapjack recipe I came across. I realised that flapjacks are my biggest weakness. This recipe called for a mix of dried fruit and seeds. I increased the amount of fruit, seeds and added a generous helping of mixed nuts. I therefore reduced the amount of oatmeal to maintain the balance of wet and dry ingredients and to ensure that the flapjacks didn’t fall apart. The ratio I used and which has worked every time was 550g of dry ingredients to 660g of wet.
The result is this, a treat that is packed with the goodness of fruit, nuts and seeds and the boldness of sugar, butter and golden syrup giving a chewy infusion of salty caramel, crunchy nuts and seeds and the tartness of cranberries. Basically more like a Florentine. And yes I have broken my promise to myself (& Lent) and tried one of these golden pieces of heaven.
- 100g/3.5 oz mixed fruit (I used a mix of dried cranberries and raisins)
- 100g/3.5 oz mixed nuts and seed (I used almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
- 280g/10 oz oats
- 50g/2 oz hooped cereal (optional, you could add more oats or seeds in place of this)
- 220g/8 oz butter
- 220g/8 oz light muscovado sugar
- 220g/8 oz golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 160c/320f/gas 3. Line a 30cm x 25cm/12in x 10in baking tin with parchment paper.
Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
In a large saucepan add the butter, sugar and golden syrup and melt over a moderate heat. Stirring gently all the time. I like this mixture to get to an almost toffee consistency but be careful not to overheat or burn.
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and combine until all oats and nuts are coated with the toffee mixture. Pour the lot into a prepare tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated oven. To get that chewy consistency I usually wait until the flapjacks all bubbling like molten lava in the tray.
Leave to cool completely in the the baking tin before cutting into chunky squares.
Then put the kettle on and have a cuppa with one (or two) or these irresistible treats.