I haven't been able to discover why the British call oat bars "flapjacks". All I know is that these sweet and utterly moreish bars made with oats, golden syrup, sugar and butter become incredibly popular in the 1920s following the long period of rationing during the First World War. It is believed that they became known as "Flapjacks" in the 1930's sometime but in the US, the word "flapjack" refers to a pancake and these are nothing like a pancake!
This recipe has been created for the Suma Bloggers Network. Suma is a West Yorkshire food cooperative which has been specialising in vegetarian products for 40 years. Please check out the other bloggers who are part of the network, you won't be disappointed!
I used a combination of apple sauce and almond butter to replace the fat traditionally used in these types of oat slices and because I've used Coconut Palm Sugar in the recipe, the flapjacks have a slightly caramel taste. I was brought up believing that these delicious oat bars were actually quite a wholesome and hearty treat but the lavish amounts of butter and sugar that go into the mix certainly don't scream "healthy" to me now! So is this recipe a better choice? I would think that the absence of butter makes these flapjacks healthier than standard flapjacks but they still have sugar in them, even if it is unrefined. And though coconut sugar retains most of its minerals and compared to normal sugar has far less fructose in it, it's still sugar! I used coconut sugar in this recipe purely for its taste and not for any of the health benefits it may or may not have. So these flapjacks are a treat and not something you should be eating every day - says she who has baked and eaten loads of flapjacks while developing the recipe!
You must cut the flapjack into pieces about 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven or else you're in deep trouble because it hardens making it very difficult to slice. You don't have to cover them in chocolate but if you're going to indulge, why not indulge in style! I made my own chocolate coating but you can melt a bar of at least 70% dark chocolate to coat the flapjacks instead if you prefer.
The chocolate also seeps into the cracks, especially around the flapjacks in the middle so watch out for those disappearing first and reserve one for yourself!
Chocolate Coated Almond Flapjacks GF
225 g coconut sugar
150 g apple sauce
150 g almond butter
350 g gluten free oats
3 rounded tblsps maple syrup or honey
pinch of sea salt
50 g cocoa butter
3 tblsps raw cacao
2 tblsps maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
- Heat the oven to 150° C.
- Line a tin measuring 10" by 6" with baking parchment or lightly grease the tin with coconut oil because some baking parchments can make it go a little soggy underneath.
- Measure out the coconut sugar, almond butter, apple sauce, maple syrup and salt and tip into a pan.
- Over a low to medium light, heat the ingredients until they have completely melted, stirring regularly, then take off the heat.
- Measure out the oats and stir into the mixture until well coated.
- Tip into the prepared baking tin.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm on the top.
- Leave to cool and cut into slices after 15 minutes using a sharp knife.
- Make the chocolate coating next.
- Measure out the cocoa butter into a bowl and add a pinch of fine sea salt.
- Set the bowl over a pan of hot water on a low light and melt the cacao butter gently.
- When the cacao butter has melted, add the cocoa powder and mix using a whisk until smooth - I find that this type of mini whisk works really well.
- Measure in the maple syrup and stir well - the mixture should be runny.
- Pour the chocolate over the flapjacks and leave in a cool place to set.
The chocolate sets hard overnight so if you can resist, bake the day before you would like to eat it.
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