5.23.2011

Flapjack - The UK kind.....

Jane's Flapjack
I mentioned to my son yesterday I was blogging about flapjack, he said, “I thought you just did pancakes?” Here’s my explanation for all of you who read the title and thought the same thing.

We can all surmise that I am not blogging about a professional wrestling throw or the animated series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, or even the obscure Balmain bug.  And for my geek readers, this has nothing to do with a programming language. 

Grayingham Lodge
Lincolnshire UK
I discovered flapjack on our recent trip to England.  We stayed in a lovely B&B in north Lincolnshire called Grayingham Lodge.  The proprietor, Jane Summers (who by the way probably goes down as #1 B&B host on my list) had the brilliance of placing these delectable caramel oat treats in a tin in our room.  We would eat them and come back the next day and there were more.

When I arrived back in the states, I quickly searched out a myriad of recipes and attempted to make them.  Those attempts never did turn out quite exactly like Jane’s, although they were still mighty tasty and every bit disappeared.  I decided to go straight back to the source and emailed her for the recipe.  

This recipe is Jane’s.  It’s not mine.  I won’t even attempt to change it up.  I have read over probably more than 100 flapjack recipes in the past month.  This one comes out exact!

Jane's Breakfast Table
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1.     Golden Syrup is a sugar-based syrup (some think you can substitute corn syrup, but It does not turn out the same.  Believe me, I tried). You can find Golden Syrup here in the states in your local larger supermarket.  It will be with the pancake syrups, or you can find Golden Syrup online at Amazon.com.  (Click on the link and it will take you right there).  

2.     White sugar.   Use what you have in the cupboard.  I have tried brown sugar, a special brown sugar from a Caribbean island and plain old white sugar just works the best.

3.     Butter makes for a better tasting flapjack and a more caramelized treat than margarine does.  You are using the butter, sugar and syrup to basically create a toffee-caramel around the oats. 

4.     Use an 8 x 8 square pan or a rectangle baking pan similar in size, like this one.    I tried doubling the recipe and using a 9 x 13 cake pan, first aluminum and then glass, but neither worked the way it should.  The “flapjack” size pan makes for the correct thickness of the flapjack and the perfect cooking time to create the carmelization needed to make a good chewy bar.    

FLAPJACK – ALA JANE SUMMERS

9 oz butter
9 oz sugar
9 oz golden syrup
15 oz rolled oats

Melt the butter.  Stir in the sugar and syrup.  (Do NOT cook).  Mix in the rolled oats.  

Line a tin with parchment paper (make sure there is extra hanging over the edges) and spread mixture evenly into pan.  Make sure to press down the mix firmly into the pan. 

Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, until edges are a dark crispy brown and the center is a golden brown.  

The baking is the important part.  It is very easy to over-bake.  The flapjack will harden as it cools; so don’t be tempted to think its still too undercooked.

Score the flapjack with a knife while still warm.  COOL COMPLETELY!   When cooled, remove the entire mix from the pan by just lifting up the parchment.   Break into bars.  These will keep in an airtight container for a week.