Sweet and Simple Bakes, a new league being hosted by Rosie and Maria, is exactly what I’ve been looking for. It is for beginner bakers, who are willing to try out new recipes, and improve their baking skills. You can read more about it here. They are wonderfully helpful to amateur bakers who have tons of questions (aka me!).
The first challenge they presented us with was Flapjacks with Cranberry and White Chocolate. I found myself shaking my head the entire time I was reading the recipe, because I couldn’t get half the ingredients in India. And when I offered to sit this one out, I was given so much help (from Pixie , the Food Thesaurus and the S+SB folks), that I simply had to do it.
And boy, am I glad I did. I’ve found my foolproof, gorgeous, whip-up-in-no-time dessert/snack/breakfast! (and soon to be had for lunch and dinner, too!). It was sheer bites of deliciousness. Please, if you want to learn to make just ONE dessert, let this be the one – its sheer genius and completely idiot-proof.
Flapjacks with Raspberries and Chocolate
(Here is the original recipe – I made some substitutions)
100g (1/2 cup) Demerara Sugar (I didn’t think I was going to find this, and was all set to substitute granulated sugar – but it was right there in my regular grocery store)
200g (3/4 cup) Maple Syrup
250g Instant Oats
75g (1/2 cup) All-Purpose Flour
100g (a little more than 1/2 cup) dried Raspberries
100g Milk Chocolate
Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
If you are thinking, thats a lot of butter, yes it is. And maple syrup and sugar. But think of the fact that you are going to have lots of new friends after you make this. Pack it into lovely little presents and give it away, when the neighbours come knocking on your door demanding to know the source of the wonderful aroma!
Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a large pan over a very low heat (stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn), until the butter and sugar have melted completely.
Melt the chocolate over heat. When melting chocolate, use a double boiler – I used a small wok fit over a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about 2″ of water. It is important that the water not touch the bottom of the chocolate pan.
When the bake is slightly cooled, mark into even squares. Drizzle the chocolate over the flapjacks. At this point, you have to leave it alone and let it cool for at least an hour, since it is still very crumbly. And it’s gonna be difficult to leave it alone – you just want to put your face into it, imbibe the wonderful smell, and eat every last morsel!
While I baked, it rained (complete with thunder and lightning) outside! After having 110 deg F weather for a few weeks, I was overjoyed to see the rain!! I guess the Gods were as surprised and pleased with the baking as I was! 🙂