Every weekend I slip into lycra and set forth around the countryside on my bicycle in an effort to keep fit. Cycling for 3 to 4 hours requires some kind of food intake and nothing beats flapjacks for their combination of slow release and instant hit energy.
I cycle with friends, and as you might expect the Somerset Foodie is the designated flapjack baker! In the last few months I've been experimenting with different ingredients and in particular, different sugars and syrups. Although fuelling the body is the main purpose, flavour is equally as critical. My cycling buddies have been enthusiastic candidates for my flapjack taste-test trials, and in the last few weeks, I think I'm getting close to the perfect recipe.
In my view, a flapjack needs to be full of interesting flavours and textures with a richly satisfying depth. Whilst golden syrup is the classic, I've experimented with maple syrup and agave syrup - but the ultimate ingredient is Biona Organic date syrup. This date syrup gave such a beautiful rich flavour and the flapjacks have a slightly softer texture. Date syrup is unrefined and apparently contains more nutrients and minerals than honey or maple syrup. The protein found in dates contains a wide selection of amino acids and vitamins too. It's a win-win!
So here goes, this is my perfect flapjack recipe.
250g Jumbo Oats
100g Pitted Dates, chopped up
100g Dried Cranberries
50g Coconut Flakes
30g Sunflower Seeds
25g Chia Seeds
75g Dark Chocolate Drops
75g Nuts, chopped (Either Almonds, Walnuts or Pecans)
220g Unsalted Butter, melted
30g Soft Brown Sugar
100g Date Syrup
This recipe works well in a 28cm x 20cm rectangular baking tin.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Grease and line your baking tin with baking parchment.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Melt the butter in a pan, remove from the heat and add in the brown sugar and date syrup. Mix together.
5. Pour the syrupy butter mixture into the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes.
7. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cut up into pieces. I often leave in the fridge for a few hours to make it easier to cut up. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if they'll last that long).
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