I’m not planning on making a habit of this, but I have just cooked my best thing ever and I need to share.
To go with the Xmas food this year I’m cooking a couple of things to share memories of my month of semi-self-sufficiency in October. There will be a side dish of chestnut stuffing with the main meal (made with foraged chestnuts) and a special Festive Flapjack in memory of the numerous batches I made in October to keep my carbs up. The Xmas theme for the flapjack was daughter Eve’s idea and it’s fabulous (though we say so ourselves) – so good that I’ve made an extra batch to hand round at work on Xmas Eve. The mincemeat and cinnamon give a Xmas-ey taste that is unmistakable. As with all flapjack it’s easy, cheap and quick to make:
- Preheat over to 200C
- Mix together 250g of porridge oats (not jumbo oats), 125g light brown sugar, 125g butter (easier to mix if you microwave it for 30 seconds), 3 tablespoons of golden syrup and 3 dessertspoons of mincemeat. Mix together by hand or with spoons (not in a food processor or it will become too dense)
- Line a baking dish with baking paper (so it doesn’t stick and to make washing up easy later)
- Spread the mixture into the dish. Firm down with the back of a spoon, including around the edges. Sprinkle cinnamon powder over the top
- Bake in the middle of the oven for around 10 to 15 minutes but don’t just go by the time. It’s important that you leave it baking until it is just about to start burning. Look at the flapjack every minute from 10 minutes onwards and leave it in for as long as you dare. Get it out and have a proper look in the light if you need to (but close the oven while you’re doing so to minimise the heat escaping). Only take it out when the edges are starting to go seriously dark brown. Be brave. The more brown it is, the tastier and crunchier it will be
- Cut into squares with a sharp knife while still in the baking dish and put the hot dish somewhere where it will cool down quickly (so it doesn’t carry on cooking). A good place is on the mesh of the grill pan on top of the cooker. When it has mostly cooled down, take it out of the dish (still on the paper and still together) and put it straight onto the mesh of the grill pan so it can finish cooling down. Only break it into squares once it has reached room temperature
The photo is of a fresh batch straight out the oven, and the remains of the last batch next to it. Happy Xmas.