Saturday, 25 January 2014

Marmalade Flapjacks

I am ridiculously pleased with the orange marmalade that I recently made. Three batches and over twenty jars later, with a kitchen that was beginning to resemble a jam factory, I was a little concerned that I might have approached the whole task a little over-enthusiastically! Reflecting on my productivity, I realised that I would have no problems using the marmalade in a variety of ways other than just as a spread on my obligatory slice of toast in the morning. In fact, I actually grew anxious, worrying about whether I had made enough!
 
My grandmother used to make the tastiest flapjacks. Sometimes they were chewy, sometimes they were crunchy, but they always tasted delicious! As such, I always think of her whenever I eat them.
 
The great thing about flapjacks is that they are so simple to make and are ready in no time at all. I often add some chopped stem or crystallised ginger or a couple of handfuls of raisins to the basic recipe. This is one of those recipes where you really can be a little bit inventive.
 
Given the vast stores of marmalade that I have recently produced, it occurred to me that the addition of some marmalade to my basic flapjack recipe might be rather nice.
 
These flapjacks do not include any flour so the end result is almost toffee-ish! A kind of oaty toffee if you will. The mixture will bubble away in the tin and after the 35 minutes are up will still look quite slack and runny. On cooling everything firms up, so don’t worry. In fact, it is better to slightly undercook the flapjacks because if over-baked they will be quite challenging to chew. The addition of flour results in a more cakey, but equally delicious biscuit. Just add in a couple of heaped tablespoons of plain flour when you add the oats.
 
I was extremely happy with the end result. The slightly bitter edge of the marmalade really works well with the oats and because the marmalade that I had made was a coarse cut marmalade, I kept chancing upon little nuggets of orange peel as I munched my way through a flapjack. You can leave out the marmalade if you prefer. I also decided that I would drizzle the finished flapjacks with a little dark chocolate. In my opinion, for something so simple, the flapjacks were really good. They keep extremely well stored in an air-tight tin for up to a week.
 
I love experimenting with the foods that I cook, but I am as ever drawn to those recipes and foods that hold memories for me; foods that remind me of happy times and those I love. I really hope that in years to come, my children recall happy times and are reminded of me when they taste certain foods.
 

Ingredients:

225g butter
225g Demerara sugar
60g golden syrup
2 generous tblsp marmalade
275g porridge oats
50g dark chocolate, melted (optional)
 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Fan Oven 140C/Gas Mark 3. Line a 24cm square x 6cm high tin with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and marmalade into a large saucepan and melt over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
3. Tip in the porridge oats and mix everything together thoroughly.
4. Turn into the prepared tin and spread the mixture out evenly, pressing it down with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes and then remove and allow to cool. When you initially remove it from the oven it may still be bubbling and look a little liquid - don’t worry it will firm up.
6. Allow to cool in the tin until firmed out and then remove the flapjack slab to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
7. Drizzle with melted chocolate if liked and cut into 16 squares.
 
Cuts into 16 squares.