Coconut & Fruit Flapjacks

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First of all let’s clear up the looming misunderstanding. In this recipe my use of the term “Flapjack” is as used in the UK and Ireland, as opposed to it’s North American connotation. So if you were expecting another pancake recipe you may want to move along.

I must stress the “may” part though. If you find yourself unfamiliar with Flapjacks as they appear here well then you’re in for a treat. Defined as “a sweet, tray-baked oat bar, most commonly made from rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup“- growing up they were the stuff of school-time treats. Like so many other bakes with a traditional heritage, a love of these oaty morsels falls into two distinct camps- soft & chewy or crunchy & crumbly. Both however offer comforting butteriness and sweetness with each rustic bite. At the end of the day it’s all a matter of time and taste.

The easiest way to describe a flapjack is to think of it as a granola bar. Like it’s pseudo-healthy breakfast cousin it’s basis is in the “slick ‘ em and stick ’em” method of ingredients. Here it’s the butter providing the “slick ’em” element with the “stick ’em” being provided by the amalgamation of sugar, corn & maple syrups, and molasses. The aforementioned ingredients and oats are the basic building blocks, carrying any number of preferred add-ins. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, caramel are all fair game here.

Having mentioned the flapjacks featured ingredient, the humble rolled oat, I feel it fair to offer a sliver of insight here. Flapjacks can be made using just the one type of oats- Rolled Oats (sometimes known as Jumbo Oats). I have found, however, that by using a mix of rolled oats and quick oats a sturdier, less crumbly flapjack is the end result, the latter oats providing a finer grain to act as an infill to the voids between the larger oat flakes.

Above all the flapjack is a bake that is easily tweaked to personal preference for taste and texture proving a lasting favorite that has stood the test of time. Once you have the essential slick ’em, stick ’em and oats in place the Flapjack World is your oyster!

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Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 sticks salted butter
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon golden corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups jumbo rolled oats
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/4 cup dried fruit slices, chopped (I’ve used a mix of apple, pear, apricot and mango)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (350 degrees F for a crunchier flapjack). Line and grease a 9′ X 12′ baking tin with baking parchment
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut and dried fruit. Stir well to mix and break up any fruit clumps. Set aside for now
  3. In a medium pan melt the butter with the sugar, syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Stir well to combine until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Pout the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to ensure all the dry ingredients are coated
  5. Tip the flapjack mixture into your prepared tin and press evenly for a flat surface
  6. Bake in your preheated oven, middle shelf,  for 25 minutes for chewy, 30 minutes for crunchy, until set and golden
  7. Remove from the oven and gently score the flapjacks, not going the full way through. For the size of tin I use here, I cut so I have 3 by 4 “square” pieces (2 cuts x 3)
  8. Allow to cool completely in the tin. When fully cooled re-score where you’ve previously cut this time going the full way through
  9. If you want to lend an extra decadent touch, drizzle over some melted chocolate

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Soured Cream Coffee Cake w/ Walnut & Oat Streusel and Smoked Maple Glaze

I used to find coffee cakes confusing. Well at least I did when I first moved to Canada. To me a “coffee cake” was exactly that- a cake with coffee IN it. Possibly a symptom of a childhood growing up heavily influenced by Mary Berry, Delia Smith and Darina Allen, a coffee cake came in one format alone – Coffee and Walnut cake. Reminiscent of weekend baking with my mother and lazy Sunday afternoon teas, it smacked of luxury and thrillingly contained that most adult of ingredients – Coffee! Or more precise that stalwart ’80s cupboard staple “Champ Coffee essence”. Thick, syrupy it was bottled black magic to a kid with a blossoming interest in baking.

Fast-forward 30 or so years and imagine my confusion reading recipes for coffee cake and wondering where the heck that smoldering caffeine hit was? Yes, yes I know- hindsight now makes me see how short-sighted and literal I was. Lateral thinking was called for. A simple mistake in my defense I’ll plead. Almost as simple as the recipe for this cake here. Soured cream gives a moist crumb hiding a streak (and topping!) of oaty, cinnamon goodness and finished with a drizzle of smokey maple sweetness. This really perfect accompaniment to your caffeine rush no matter what the tine of day. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup soured cream
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats

Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked maple syrup (if you can’t get smoked maple syrup, traditional maple syrup will do just fine)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10” tube (angel food) pan
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This may take up to 10mins.
  3. While the butter and sugar cream together, make the streusel. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter pieces. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until a pea-sized sand texture is achieved and a crumble is formed. Mix in the toasted walnuts and set aside until needed later
  4. To the creamed butter/sugar add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before moving onto the next
  5. When all the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla and soured cream and mix until just incorprated
  6. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk well the break down any lumps
  7. On low speed add the flour mixture to your wet mixture gradually, I usually do it 1/4 cup at a time, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next
  8. Continue adding the flour until it is all used and just combined into the mixture. Lightly fold using a spatula to make sure the batter is completely mixed
  9. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and spread/level with a knife spatula. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the streusel mixture evenly.
  10. Spoon the remainder of the batter on top and spread evenly. Finish with a final layer of the remaining streusel mixture on top
  11. Bake in preheated even for 50- 60mins, until a cake tester comes out clean
  12. Let cool on a wire rack for 30mins. After this carefully remove the cake from the baking tin, streusel-side up, and set aside to cool further
  13. While the cake cools, in a jug combine the icing sugar and maple syrup. Stir until a smooth pourable is achieved. If the mixture is still a bit stiff add a few drops of milk to make it runny. Drizzle the glaze over to top of the cake to your desired amount  and leave to fully cool before slicing and serving
  14.  This coffee cake will keep at it’s best in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Avoid storing the cake in the refrigerator as this will dry it out.