I am a freelance writer living in Gloucestershire. I have been writing family style articles in the form of columns for newspapers since 2000 and spent four years presenting an interview chat show on Forest of Dean Radio.
I love flapjack, but somehow it is one of those things which never tastes right when commercially produced. In Alan Ayckbourn's play Bedroom Farce, there is a classic line, which I so often think of in relation to shop bought cakes. It is when the mother, Delia, and her daughter in law, Susannah, are having a "heart to heart", whilst sitting on Delia's bed. As it is the middle of the night, they start to feel a bit peckish, and Delia produces a cake, which they start to eat. Then, Delia says the unforgettable line:
Ummm, quite good for shop cake."
Now the thing is that many years ago, I played the part of Susannah, and so, I sat on Delia's bed eating some shop cake. I can remember the taste to this day, and know for a fact that the cake in question, was not actually "good for shop cake". It tasted, like shop cake often does: bland. What's more, eating whilst acting is not my favourite occupation. It's always a worry that you will choke, visibly, on stage, before you manage to get out your next line.
Yes, I know. It is very sad that I can remember the taste of cake from some twenty years ago or so. Since then I have been married, had five children, lived in six houses in five different places and have done many things, and still that taste haunts me. I guess that in life there are certain senses that are awakened and never forgotten. For me, the smell of the boiler in my grandmother's house and the taste of shop cake eaten on stage are just two examples of such senses.
Homemade flapjack does taste good though, and is another of those instant recipes that can be produced for children's cake sales in minutes. In fact, you can make it even faster than Rice Krispie Cakes. Perfect for when your Great Aunt Agatha arrives unannounced for tea and cake. You can make it whilst you are boiling the kettle the first time, shove it in the oven, and then produce it with her second cup of tea. Yes - well you do have to cook it.
So here it is, Sally's fantastic flapjack recipe. It's so easy, that thinking about it, Great Aunt Agatha could make it herself, whilst you make the tea.
250 g Rolled Oats (Porridge Oats) 250 g Butter or Margarine. (Vitalite works well if you are vegan) 125 g Demerara Sugar 125 g Golden Syrup
Pinch of Salt
1. Heat oven to 220C/ 450F / Gas Mark 9
2. Grease a baking tray. (I often use my 20 cm square silicon one).
3. Either: Place everything into a large bowl and place in the microwave for 2 around minutes. (Until the butter is soft and the other ingredients slightly warm.)
Or: melt the butter first on a hob and then mix it into the other ingredients.
4. Mix together using a wooden spoon.
5. Put mixture into the baking tray.
6. Cook for 20 minutes.
7. Leave it to set for ten minutes, then score into pieces.
8. After half an hour, turn out onto a plate.
9. Leave to completely cool in the fridge before eating.
Note: When you take the flapjack out of the oven, it will be very soft. Don't think that it isn't cooked. It is, and will harden up as it cools down.