Saturday, 30 June 2012

Baking with Baby - Flapjacks

Hurrah! Got home from my Monday mum's group, this morning, to find my latest acquisition poking through the letterbox - my new dairy free and gluten free cookbook. Although, as I often explain, I'm no 'Nigella' I was 'sold' this book the other day by an online review from 'Pig in the Kitchen.' 

'Pig' in case you don't know posts lots of yummy recipes online, which I honestly like the look of but have not been brave enough to try... yet! For now, I just follow her posts and drool!! However, I took a sneaky peak at 'The Intolerant Gourmet' online, at Amazon (having read Pig's review) and thought I might just give it a go - particularly as it contained a recipe I thought would suit even me!

'Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!' I thought, after ordering the book.' Even I can make flapjacks.' With that thought in mind, and not able to wait until the new book arrived, I grabbed my old faithful cookery book off the shelf and dug out the flapjack recipe. Yep! Everything I needed I had in the cupboard and there was stuff that Baby could do too - Baby LOVES cooking!

"Let me! Let me!" squeaked Baby, so we got out the baking tin and rubbed margarine round it. I put the oven on and got out the saucepan. Baby helped scoop out margarine (150g/6oz) and put it in the pan. Having set that on a gentle heat to melt, we weighed out the demerara sugar (150g/6oz) and we added it to the pan. Once the sugar and margarine had melted and been mixed together, we added the oats (200g/8oz - gluten free) and mixed them in too, with a wooden spoon. It really took no time at all. 'Wow! I thought, 'I'd forgotten quite how easy they are to make and pretty quick too!'

As we emptied the mixture into the pan, it really didn't look like it was going to cover the bottom of the tin and even if it did, it looked as though it would only make wafer thin flapjacks. I looked back at the recipe. The lovely pile of flapjacks pictured there looked nothing like those that we were making. 

Just then, I noted that the recipe actually said that for a moister flapjack, you should use half the amount of sugar and use golden syrup instead. 'Rats!' I thought, 'golden syrup would make it yummier and a moister flapjack would be much nicer!' At that point, I had my first brainwave! I decided to make a second batch with just golden syrup  (1 tablespoon = 1oz) and combine the two. That way the mixture in the tin would look more generous and we would have more to eat as well!

That done, we put the flapjacks in the oven and I set my new baking best friend (my kitchen timer) to the right time (30-35 minutes). My timer has made all the difference in the world to my cooking (along with my other new baking best friend which is my oven thermometer). Before I had these, my cakes came out very badly indeed - partly because our the temperature of our (inherited) oven doesn't seem to match with the thermostat and partly because I wasn't keeping a close enough eye on it. 

My new BFF
The only problem, was that I should have turned the oven down (to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4) earlier. I had put it on high as the oven takes so long to heat up and as a result my flapjacks came out looking  somewhat overdone. 'Oh dear!' I thought, 'I can't even cook flapjacks any more!' 

However, I consoled myself with the recollection that whenever my mother had a baking disaster, when we were kids, we had eaten it and enjoyed it anyway. 

It was then that I had my second brainwave of the afternoon - to pick off the most burnt looking bits and use the wedding anniversary chocolate from Hotel Chocolat.

Originally, this had been intended for a bit of romantic 'a deux' fruit dipping, but those plans had been rudely overturned by Baby. However, this was now melted and drizzled 'artistically' over the top of my flapjacks. Et voila! Not only did they look quite good (by now) they also tasted quite good too (even better the next day, I discovered). 

Et Voila! (Try and ignore the overdone bits!)
'Maybe I have the makings of a domestic goddess after all,' I thought. 'After all I bet Pippa Kendrick never drizzled chocolate over her flapjacks.' And indeed, I found (as I studied her book, with glee) she hadn't. However, as I perused her book a bit more, I realised that indeed I still have along way to go. 'Pippa,' I decided, 'you need fear nothing from me. I am far from being a gourmet of any description, never mind an intolerant one!'

Mind you, bet she's never come across Mrs Watkin's Yum Yum cake - more on that another day! In the meantime, there's a few intolerant recipes that I might have to try... rhubarb streusel looks yum and so do some certain chocolate brownies!

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