So who else is already fed up with all the talk of detox diets for January? Balls to detoxing I say! It’s easy anyway, just eat less, cut back on the red meat, eat plenty of fruit and veg, and move around more! But just because it’s January doesn’t mean we have to give up every treat.
So, in light of all this detoxing nonsense from the detox police, how about some decadent seasonal flapjacks that are the perfect baked treat to enjoy, a little bit healthy and a little bit luxurious. This is a Nigel Slater recipe I found in the Christmas edition of Observer Food Monthly, it works a treat, they are so easy to make and people will love them.
Now I’m man who likes his flapjacks, I love them, they are the perfect elevenses snack. I’ve tasted and made lots of different flapjack recipes but not all flapjacks are created equal, these flapjacks are from another dimension! Forget your bog standard oat flapjack, these are ‘blinged up to the max Snoop Dogg’ flapjacks, packed with lots of seasonal dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate.
You get to tick the health food box thanks to the inclusion of oats and pumpkin seeds, but then you get also get a little bit of decadence with some dark chocolate. Don’t be too hard on yourself, these flapjacks are the answer. And lets not forget that good quality dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, so that’s another reason to feel good about eating these flapjacks – that and the fact that they are delicious.
The recipe uses ground almonds in the mix, which I’ve never seen before in a flapjack recipe, but it’s a great addition as it gives the flapjacks a good dense texture and means the mix sticks together well. There’s nothing worse than a flapjack that disintegrates when you take your first bite. The dried fruit of figs and cherries give the flapjack a nice chew and sweet sourness, which goes really well with the dark chocolate. I added my own festive spin by adding the grated zest of an orange to the melted chocolate. It’s a classic combination of dark chocolate and orange, which gives the flapjack an added layer of luxuriousness.
A flask of tea and a few of these for a snack during a cold January winter walk and you’ll be the happiest camper out there! I’m also thinking that for the next batch of these I might play around with the mix, maybe trying different combinations of nuts, maybe some Macadamia’s or Brazil nuts, or some whizzed up banana chips might be good.
Give these a go and open your mind to the world of ‘blinged up’ flapjacks.
Walnut pieces 30g
Pistachio nuts 40g
Soft dried figs 70g
Dried cherries 40g
Pumpkin seeds 50g
Porridge oats 200g
Ground almonds 100g
Caster sugar 80g
Maple Syrup 80ml
Dark chocolate 200g
Grated zest of one orange
First of all butter and line a non-stick baking tin (about 24cm square) with grease proof paper.
Set the oven to 160 degrees C. Put the walnuts, pistachios, figs, cherries and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Blitz to a rough mixture, with some chunks left in. Stir in the porridge oats and the ground almonds.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar and maple syrup. When it comes to the boil, tip in the dry ingredients, stir thoroughly and tip into the baking tin. Press the mixture down firmly with the back of a spoon and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Press the flapjack mix down as it cools, then cut into 10-12 bars.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over slowly simmering water, then mix in the grated zest of one orange. Then drizzle the melted chocolate all over the flapjacks and leave to cool. I put mine in the fridge for a few hours, then keep them in a Tupperware container in the cupboard.