Updated: Apr 21, 2020
A fail-safe recipe for this classic sweet treat
The point of this recipe was to learn how to make flapjacks so that, in turn, I would never again need a recipe. So you might argue that me writing them up here rather defeats the point! But what I meant was that I was sure, and I was proved right, that flapjacks are the sort of thing that once you've learned the correct ratio you can then mix and match and not be a slave to a recipe. And also in true Larder Then Life style, you can delve into the pantry and make do with whatever you have in there, from walnuts to poppy seeds.
So - the all important ratio. It's relatively simple. Almost equal amounts of 'soft stuff' to 'hard stuff', and the soft stuff is 1 unit each of butter, soft muscovado sugar and golden syrup. So in a sense it's split into 6ths - 1/6 butter, 1/6 sugar, 1/6 syrup, 3/6 oats etc.
100g unsalted butter
100g soft brown muscovado sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
300g everything else, including about 150g rolled oats, 50g desiccated coconut, sultanas, sunflower seeds and a few glacé cherries.
Start by pre-heating the oven to about 180C and then gently melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan. While it's melting measure in the sugar and the syrup. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is well mixed, add in all the dry ingredients. If using glacé cherries, or something large like walnuts or dried apricots, do chop them up a bit. Also, don't forget that although using up bits and bobs from the pantry is fun, and absolutely thumbs-upped at, do make sure that oats are your primary dry ingredient (at least 150g).
Incorporate all the ingredients well so that you're left with a stiff, sticky mixture. Tip/pour/spoon/etc this into a deep-sided baking tray. I used a freebie one that I got once from Stork margarine that is roughly a 20x20cm square and it was the perfect size for this amount of mixture.
No need to overdo the smoothing down of the surface as the mixture will level as it heats up in the oven. Cook for about 20-25 mins until it looks brownish at the edges. Then, most importantly leave to cool before you touch it, otherwise you'll just end up spooning out granola. Don't hurry this - it can take up to an hour to cool properly (and still be warm to the touch). Then turn it out onto a cutting board (I lined my wooden board with greaseproof paper so as not to stain it with grease) and use a sharp knife to cut it into bitesize chunks. Or much bigger chunks; I'm not judging.