Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Salt Caramel Flapjacks

A few days ago, I opened a tin of ready made caramel to make a toffee apple and pecan cake, which needed just 200g of the caramel. It turned out to be a waste of caramel, because although the cake was just about edible, it took twice as long to cook as the recipe stated, and was very dense and stodgy, and not particularly well-flavoured, as the added ingredients of apples and pecans were in quite small quantities.

As I was so disappointed with the cake, I decided not to even write a blog post about it, but you can follow the link above, if you want to know what to avoid!

That left me with roughly half a tin of caramel to use, and I also had some really good quality Sainsbury's gluten-free rolled oats that I wanted to compare with ALDI porridge oats and Tesco everyday value oats. Obviously, finding a recipe for caramel flapjacks was a priority, but it had to be a recipe that used the amount of caramel available.

It didn't take long to find this Annie Bell recipe for Salt Caramel Flapjacks. I was a little flabbergasted by the amount of butter, but I've cooked enough of Annie's recipes to trust her, especially as I was a little short on the amount of caramel needed. I had to use unsalted butter for the recipe, so added extra salt, in the form of 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoured salt I happened to have in the store cupboard.

The recipe was simple to follow and quick to put together and cook. I cut the finished flapjacks into 16 portions - 25 seemed ridiculously small, although they would have been less calorific per portion! The results were absolutely delicious; my only criticism of the flavour was that I couldn't taste the salt. If (or, more likely, when) I make them again I will increase the amount of salt added. The flapjack was chewy and fudgy flavoured, and very rich. They were perhaps slightly on the crumbly side, but I think a few minutes extra baking will take care of that.

As for the oats - the gluten-free oats were miles ahead in quality - they were whole grains rolled flat, to make large crisp flakes. The Tesco everyday value oats were next in quality, with smaller, less crisp flakes ( I have to say that I've been using these for baking for years, with no complaints about the results). The ALDI porridge oats were very small pieces of flake, which probably make great porridge, but were too fine to give a good result if used on their own in baked goods. I think in future I will use a mixture of the Tesco everyday value and the gluten-free oats to improve the texture of things such as biscuits and flapjacks. But for things like cakes, where the coarser texture isn't as important, and perhaps not even necessary, I'll continue with just the Tesco oats.

I'm just in time to submit this recipe to this month's Tea Time Treats challenge, which is to produce food suitable for a bonfire night party. TTT is a cooking challenge hosted alternately by Karen of Lavender and Lovage, and Jane of The Hedge Combers, who is this month's host.


belleau kitchen said...

your loss seems to be your gain too!... these look gorgeous and I could so do with a square right now!

Choclette Blogger said...

I've never really thought about the differences in oats. I buy my organic oats and just use them - hmm, more food for thought. I've done a couple of Dan's recipes where he blitzes the oats before using in a cake, but you're right, flapjacks need to be chewy. Yours sound delicious.

Katie said...

Ohh yum love the idea of adding a bit of salt to tone done the sweetness. Hurrah that the gluten free oats came out on top too :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

What a shame about the other cake - but these flapjacks look wonderful! So interesting about the different oats.

Snowy said...

Interesting info about the oats. These look delicious and very moreish.

Charlene F said...

It's a shame your toffee apple and pecan cake turned out well, but your salt caramel flapjacks looks so moorish :-) x

Jane Sarchet said...

Funny, I sway between the Tesco value & GF oats too - but the price is a million miles apart isn't it!
Thanks so much for joining in this months Tea Time Treats, these are just perfect.
Janie x