01 March 2013

Whenever we plan to spend the day outside busy with activity it is good to have a homemade baked something to get you through the afternoon and provide a welcome boost of energy.  As a family we also spend time during the year on canoe expeditions so I need something that will survive and not be crushed, squashed or fall apart.  I usually make flapjacks to fulfil this need and have spend the last few years trying to find the perfect combination of ingredients that makes a soft, tasty flapjack that stays intact.  My first batch were hopeless, they were so brittle I thought we would all end up at the dentist!  I made them by following a recipe using golden syrup which I find too sweet.  Finally I seem to be getting close to the perfect combination but foolishly I never write it down.  The last batch I made were really rather good and were made using the following ingredients, as with all my made up recipes quantities are approximate I would mess about with them until you find what works for you.

4oz butter
3-4oz date syrup or agave syrup
3-4oz fruit spread (I use this one from Suma which I buy in my local health food shop)
12oz rolled oats

Handful of chopped dried apricots
Handful of chopped dried figs
2 tbs sesame seeds
Handful of chopped nuts


1lb of fresh berries I love using blackcurrants.

Heat oven to 180°C.
Put the butter, syrup and fruit spread in a bowl and place over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water, and heat gently to melt.
Stir in the oats.
Stir in any extras you want to use.
Grease and line a shallow tin, I use a 22 x 30cm tin for the above quantity
Cook in oven until mixture is starting to brown and still soft to touch.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, cut into pieces and leave in tin to cool completely.

I have found that if you take it out the oven whilst still soft it does continue to cook in the heat of the tin.  By leaving in the tin to cool it seems to maintain a degree of softness which means you can eat them without endangering your teeth, but they stay together.

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