A lot has changed since the 1980s. Cadbury’s Creme Eggs have shrunk to 1/8 of their previous proportions (probably). Children’s television lasts indefinitely, as opposed to the 90 precious minutes after you got in from school. The less said about My Little Pony’s fate, the better. And flapjacks have forgotten their roots.
The 2013 flapjack is still delicious. But it is buttery and soft and rather bland on its own, hence the trend for studding them with berries and chocolate and the like. But the 1980s teatime flapjack could stand its ground without any adornments. Buttery and sweet yes, but also fiery with ginger and a tang of lemon. Relentlessly chewy, the only accompaniment it needed was a can of Tizer and an episode of Count Duckula.
This is my attempt at recreating the 1980s flapjack. I am not sure whether I am quite there yet, but the spicy citrus smell that filled my kitchen as it baked suggests…
175g unsalted butter
175g golden syrup
175g soft light brown sugar
2tsps ground ginger
The zest of one lemon
350g porridge oats
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line an 8 inch square tin with baking paper. Set aside.
2) Over a medium heat (and indeed, in a medium saucepan), melt together the butter, golden syrup and sugar until combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the ginger and lemon.
3) Pour in the oats and stir until well combined, occasionally spooning a bit into your mouth. Spread evenly into your prepared tin, preferably using your hands so that you can eat more mixture.
4) Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tin on a rack, then remove. Try to save cutting it up until it has cooled through, or you’ll end up with some rather messy bits that fall apart and demand to be eaten immediately. Not always a bad thing.