Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Essence of Flapjacks... Maybe?

Flapjacks are tricky. I wasn't sure I'd even be able to do an 'essence' for them.

Because they aren't flour-based, the whole ratio thing is just a lot less important.

For example, if you're making bread, and you add twice the amount of water you meant to - bad stuff will happen. The dough will be the wrong consistency, and it won't cook right and it generally just won't be bread at all.

But with flapjacks, there's a lot more leeway. A whole lot more. So much in fact, that you might argue I shouldn't have bothered with this post. But I thought I should, just for the principle. Because it's always good to have a starting point in my opinion. Even if (in this case) you can pretty much do what you like with the starting point.

Allow me to explain. Here is my ratio:

2 Oats : 1 Sugar : 1 Butter : 1 Syrup

This is basically the simplest way to make flapjacks. If you use this ratio, your result will most definitely be flapjacks - and nice ones too.

The important difference is that you could mess about with this ratio a lot if you wanted to. And you'd still get flapjacks. Just different ones. Now, I haven't made every possible adaptation, so I can't tell you exactly what would happen. But I imagine you could probably take out the syrup and replace it with half (extra) butter and half (extra) sugar. It might taste a bit different, it might not be very different at all. You could replace the syrup (or some of it) with honey or maple syrup. You could probably take out the sugar completely, and add just a little bit more syrup. You could increase or decrease the amount of the oats by quite a bit, just to make them more or less sweet/rich/healthy. But I'm not here to tell you the best way to make perfect flapjacks. I'd just like to help you start making flapjacks. And they're super-easy and delicious, so all the more reason.

  • I made a batch using 200g of oats and 100g of all the other ingredients. It made a fairly thin layer of flapjacks in a roughly 20cm-square pan, so if you wanted to fill a medium pan or make them fairly deep, I'd use 300 or 400g of oats.
  • Put the sugar, butter and syrup in a saucepan. Heat it up until all the butter is melted and it's all mixed together and dissolved.
  • Put the oats into the pan with the other stuff. Or if you used too small a pan, then put the oats into a bowl and pour the melted things onto it. Mix it all together and then put it into your baking tin.
  • Bake them. 180C, until they look kind of cooked. If you want them more soft and chewy then cook them less, if you want them crispy cook them more. It should be fairly obvious when they are cooked to your liking. 
  • I find the best way to cut them up is to let them cool slightly before doing anything - until they've firmed up a bit, but not completely. Then cut them while they're still just a bit soft, then leave them in the pan until they've cooled down completely. That way they're nice and solid when you actually take them out of the pan, but not really difficult to cut up.


  1. I've always wanted to make flapjacks but just haven't attempted them yet. These have certainly inspired me.

    1. Good luck! Everyone around you will love you even more when you make flapjacks - it's a fact.