Flapjacks

I love flapjacks.  Slightly chewy, not too soft, not too crunchy, a blissful mixture of both.  And, I can kid myself they are healthy. Well, relatively so.  I mean oats, nuts, seeds….!

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On the face of it, a more easy recipe would be hard to find.  Melt the butter and syrup, add the oats and seeds / nuts / fruit and slap it in the oven. Yet somehow, this is a recipe I cannot master.  Mine barely hold together.  I follow the recipe exactly (yes, really I do!) I squash the mixture down hard in the baking tin, I cut the slices whilst still in the tin but leave it to cool completely before turning out. And still they crumble.  I have googled this many a time, I am using the correct oats, the correct balance of other ingredients. I just don’t know what I should do to make them slightly less crumbly.

But, as I said, I do love flapjacks and so I decided to give them another go.  I figured if it failed completely I would use them as a crumble topping for a fruit pudding.  Think laterally, and all that!

I added pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pecan nuts to the mixture. The result?  A partial success. Partial in that some of the mixture stuck together, but a lot of it crumbled.  The squares that seem to hold together fall apart too easily in the hand though. I will not be defeated! One day I will find a recipe that I can bake with success!

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

 

The “C” word (part 2) aka Christmas Cake

Some Christmas food preparation needs to be done long in advance of the day. And today, I am talking Christmas Cake!

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I am not usually a big fan of fruit cake, but after years of persevering, I found a Christmas cake recipe that I really do like.

This recipe is a two-day process – first the dried fruit needs to be soaked overnight in a mixture of port and mulled wine spices.

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I have only done minor tweaking on this recipe – I loathe glace cherries, and so instead I add dried blueberries and cranberries to the raisins, sultanas, candied citrus peel, prunes and fresh ginger. And I add walnuts. I mean, why, oh why, would you have a fruit cake that didn’t have nuts in it!!

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This recipe makes a huge cake, and one of the joys of it is that it doesn’t need “feeding” like a traditional Christmas cake does. Once it has cooled, it gets tightly wrapped up in baking parchment and tin foil, and put away to mature, whilst I decide how to decorate it. I usually bake the cake in September or October, and it will last – well wrapped – for months.

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It is a bit cracked, like me, but whilst cooking has filled the house with the lovely, spicy, warm delicious fragrance of Christmas.