Much as I like to cook I don’t really watch many food programmes. I do like Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking though and I think it’s because he’s so down to earth and says recipes are just a starting point and changing it to suit your own taste or what’s in your cupboard is just fine. Just as well really as that’s exactly what happened last week when I made Nigel’s Festive Chocolate Flapjacks and had to replace his cranberries, sour cherries, figs, walnuts and ground almonds with what was in the cupboard – dried apricots, dates,goji berries, almonds and dessicated cocounut. See the link above for Nigel’s original recipe – quantities below are my adapted recipe doubled up to make 16 chunky squares.
What you’ll need
- 100g each brazil nuts and almonds
- 60g each of dates, dried apricots and goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp dessicated cocounut
- 100g butter
- 200g caster sugar (I didn’t have any so used granulated)
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 200g porridge oats
- 150g rolled oats
- 200g dark chocolate (I only had a 100g bar, hence dipped ends rather than halves! – delicious using Divine’s Dark Chocolate with ginger and orange)
making Chocolate dipped fruit and nut flapjacks
- Turn the oven on to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Roughly chop the nuts and dried fruit then add to a food processor along with the other ingredients and half the pumpkin seeds. Add a spoonful of dessicated coconut and blitz together – but not for long – leaving nice sizable chunks of the nuts and fruit. Tip into a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the whole pumpkin seeds.
- In a pan melt the butter with the sugar and golden syrup, trying not to stir it too much and allowing it to melt together gradually.
- Once melted mix in the oats and the fruit and nuts and spread the mixture out evenly in an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper then bake for 25 minutes (having doubled up the recipe my chunkier flapjacks took about 10 minutes longer)
- When the flapjacks are baked, cut them into rectangles. When cooled and hardened dip them as far as you dare into melted chocolate.
- Allow to chill for 20 minutes in the fridge and then serve.
It wasn’t just Nigel’s drool inducing Simple Christmas programme that prompted the flapjack making. My friend Jenny gave me a really thoughtful ‘mum-to-be’ bag of goodies which recommended a flask of hot chocolate and flapjack as fine night feed companions. It’s my due date today but there’s no sign of baby coming so I think I have time to make some more of these flapjacks since all 16 have gone already ….