Sunday, 27 November 2011

Spiced Ginger and Raisin Flapjacks

This is a bit of a funny time for the Dine at Mine household. We've had an offer accepted on a house - cue fireworks, champagne and parade of elephants! - but we won't actually move in until the middle of January. That means it's too early to buy furniture or measure for curtains, but too late to spend our weekends trawling the internet for houses and trailing across most of South London to look at them.

This is so much better than the despair of thinking we'd never find a house, so I'm definitely not complaining, but I can't deny that it's quite an unusual sensation. We day dream about bookcases and bedside tables, but we're in a kind of limbo where we can't actually do anything to make these day dreams come true. And our weekends are now curiously empty. Don't tell me we should be doing our Christmas shopping, Mr Internet will be handling most of it this year.


So we decided to go on a little trip to visit a friend. We went far away, to the place where tea means dinner and pudding means batter or black. And, knowing that our journey would be both long and perilous, I decided that we needed a car snack. Something robust, but still a treat; autumnal in feel, substantial but not stodgy, and above all, not too sticky. A mere two minutes of greed-hazed daydreaming later, an idea had floated into my consciousness and the die was cast. It was time to make Spiced Ginger and Raisin Flapjacks. 


I concocted this recipe in the time-honoured way - adapting a tried and tested recipe with a few pinches of this and teaspoons of that, taste-testing the uncooked mix until it seemed right. I also made a few extra changes to our normal flapjacks, swapping the soft brown sugar for demerara to add a toffeeish flavour and a slight crunch, and adding a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness (like salted caramel). And the results? Well, if I say so myself, the flapjacks were slightly crumbly but tasted like an all-out, autumn-fiesta triumph. Am I allowed to say so myself? Well, I just did. They were ace.


As we travelled through the rain-sodden uplands of our sceptr'd isle, these warmed us up, cheered us up and boosted us up and over the limbo. Not long to go until New Year and New Home! And lots of flapjack to eat between now and then.

Spiced Ginger and Raisin Flapjacks
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's basic flapjacks in How to be a Domestic Goddess, previously blogged by Greedy Gusto here

- 225g rolled oats
- 40g demerara sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 75g golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 100g raisins

Preheat the oven to 190C, and butter and line a tin.

Melt the butter with the golden syrup very gently over a low heat, then stir in the spices, salt and sugar until evenly dispersed. Then chuck in the oats and raisins, stir well and pour the mixture out into the tin, pressing it down quite firmly.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into squares, bars, triangles or any other shape you fancy. Or, as Greedy Gusto suggested before, just eat it as one massive flapjack. I think he's still a bit sad that I haven't let him try that.

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