Flapjacks remind me of my childhood. Specifically, of the days when I would make flapjacks with my mum. Memories of mixing the oats into the buttery treacle lava until each one is perfectly coated flood back to me and bring a smile. I can still taste the sweet sticky oat mix I used to love licking from the wooden spoon. I think flapjacks were the first thing my mum taught me to bake. From a very young age I used to revel in baking – feeding my sweet tooth, creativity and sense of grown-up-ness first hand. I think my mum was pretty pleased when I actually learned to bake real things, a nice (and edible) development from the copious mud and toilet paper varieties I used to make.
I once opened up a bakery with my friend Rachel in my parents bathroom. We had quite perfected the art of pasty making. Take a handful of toilet paper, wet it in the right places, mould to the right form (cinnamon rolls, iced buns, cheese twists) and then ice them with an assortment of brightly coloured shower gels and shampoos. Set up a nice display on every bit of bathroom surface possible and wait for the customers to roll in (a rather unimpressed mum and dad).
So you see why my mum was keen to teach me how to actually make real food. After flapjacks it was sponge cakes. I was a pretty dab hand at a Victoria sponge and felt very pleased with myself when I not only knew the recipe by heart, but understood the basic ratios of a good sponge cake enough to freestyle a little bit. It was fun and I loved it. Still do.
These flapjacks are a little different to the ones my mum taught me to make. Firstly, being vegan, they don’t have any butter* in them. Instead I have used coconut oil and a little coconut butter. They also have some pretty nutritious additions to the oat base in the form of goji berries, hemp seeds and dark chocolate. But what isn’t different is how utterly delicious they are and how much I still love to lick every last chocolaty, sticky morcel from the back of the spoon. I made a batch of 9 and in less than 24 hours they were down to zero (which makes me want to listen to Joan Armatrading and also bake some more). You might like to do the same.
* For those of you who aren’t fussed about dairy-free/vegan, I have made a butter version and they work just as well and taste equally as delectable.
- 100g coconut oil
- 1.5 tbsp coconut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds – coarsely ground
- 1/4 cup goji berries (plus extra for topping) – chopped
- 2.5 cups gluten free oats
- 100g unsweetened dark chocolate – cut into chunks (50g for mix, 50g for melting over the top)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 6″ square baking dish
- Add the hemp seeds to your blender or food processor and grind for a few seconds. You want the hemp seeds to be coarsely ground not a very fine powder. Some extra crunch of the seeds adds nice texture
- Melt the coconut oil with the coconut butter in a bain-marie
- Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup
- Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before stirring in the oats, goji berries, hemp seeds and half the chocolate chunks
- Spread evenly over the baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool a little before decorating
- To decorate, melt the rest of the chocolate and drizzle it over the flapjacks. Add a sprinkling of goji berries and viola!
- These are great for fuelling on-the-go and make a perfect sweet addition to any lunch box. I think a mid morning snack with a cup of tea is the perfect way to enjoy these little beauties.