Basic Flapjack, with Spiced Damson variation
Here I will give you a basic, dairy-free flapjack recipe that you can make your own! I have given an example of one of my favourite late Summer flavours - Spiced Damson. This is a really versatile sweet treat. You can eat as a plain flapjack, add spices, dried fruit, fresh fruit, seeds, glace cherries, the list goes on!
Damsons are one of my favourite fruits, but are not widely available, so dark-skinned plums are the next best thing. I'll come back to the damsons at the end of this post, but for now lets get cooking!
Usually I measure ingredients in lb and oz, but for this recipe we'll be using cup measures as it makes it all so much easier.
Ingredients for basic flapjack
1 1/2 cups Vitalite (You can probably use any dairy-free spread, but I haven't tried them!)
9 tbsp Golden Syrup
5 cups basic porridge oats
1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
Sunflower/Vegetable oil for greasing the tray
For this variation
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
4 damsons/plums cut into 1/8 sections
You will also need a shallow tray-bake type tray, oiled and lined with grease-proof paper.
Start by gently melting the Vitalite on the hob. Take care not to cook the stuff, so it's better to put on a very low heat and wait patiently :-)
When it's melted you mix in the oats, syrup and sugar. It takes some
stirring and after a time you'll see that it gets a good gooey consistency.
If your pan is quite small you can turn it out into a mixing bowl to
make things easier.
At this point you have your basic flapjack. If you want, you could cook
it plain or take the opportunity to add your favourite dried fruits, nuts,
seeds or spices.
For the variation I've chosen its now time to stir in the spice and chopped Damsons. Stir really well to ensure the flavour is mixed throughout.
Tip out into your prepared tin. I use a tin slightly larger than I need so that the mixed can be poured and pressed in the centre, leaving the
ends away from the tin. This isn't vital, but you'll find that the flapjack gets very crunchy where it touches the metal and I prefer to have as much soft flapjack as possible!
I find that there is a huge variation in ovens and their efficiency. I'm going to share how I cook these according to my temperamental oven, but you may find it prudent to keep an eye on your flapjack while cooking as you may have to adjust cooking times according to your own equipment!
I place my tin in the bottom half of my oven, which has been preheated to 180 C. I'll turn the tin around a few times during cooking as my oven doesn't cook evenly and I have hot spots! For me it takes 30 minutes to cook these, but I would check often after about 20 minutes to make sure they're not getting too well done. When it's cooked it should be firm but not crunchy. You should be able to score your cutting lines without them merging back together!
Allow to cool completely before cutting the flapjack into sections. Flapjack is one of those things that everyone seems to like done differently. I like mine quick soft and gooey, not at all like the crumbly stuff you often buy in the shops. It's worth experimenting a little and adding different things to perfect this recipe to your own tastes.