Troubleshoot your flapjack

October 14, 2016 10:03 am Published by 19 Comments

Naturally Good Food is famous for its perfect chewy flapjack recipe. Tired of flapjacks that crumbled, snapped and were generally unsatisfactory, we scoured the recipe books, the internet and the wisdom of other family members to come up with a failsafe recipe. Just in case you’ve never used it, we’ve reproduced it at the end of this blog.

What if things go wrong: troubleshoot your flapjack with NGF!

Oats: the perfect ingredient for the perfect snack!

But is there really any such thing as perfection? What if you just can’t get your flapjack chewy enough? What if it won’t stick together properly? What if it’s pale and uninteresting? With our staff members producing, between them, about a batch of flapjacks a day, who better than Naturally Good Food to help you troubleshoot your flapjack….?!

Troubleshoot your flapjack: common problems

My flapjack is too crunchy!

Too often, home-made flapjacks resemble crispy shards of burned muesli. To avoid this, add self-raising flour to the mixture (using the recipe below). Remember, as well, that if you’re using golden syrup, the flapjack will emerge from the oven slightly squidgy, but will then firm up. Don’t be tempted to leave it in the oven until it’s hard to the touch – by then, you’ll be well into crispy-shard territory.

If you like your flapjacks chewy, try this.

Self-raising flour: the mystery ingredient!

My flapjack mixture keeps falling apart!

This could be for a number of reasons. One often overlooked reason is that not all oats are equal. Porridge oats combine pretty well with the other ingredients, but the larger – and to many tastes, superior – jumbo oats are much less absorbent. For these, you may need to cut down on the quantity of oats, while increasing the amount of flour and syrup. Or mix some basic porridge oats in with the jumbo to help it all stick together.

Gluten-free oats can also, on occasion, fail to stick. Again, increasing the flour and syrup can help.

The mixture will, in general, fall apart if it’s too dry – extra syrup and fewer oats is the way to go, if this keeps happening to you.

Extra syrup might help your flapjack mixture stick together better.

Golden syrup – or honey?

If you’re finding the mixture falling apart after it leaves the oven, experiment with leaving it in slightly longer. When removed from the oven, mark off your portions with a knife, but leave the mixture in the tray to stiffen. When it’s completely cool, slide each portion out, then turn it over to allow the bottom to firm up too. Some people even leave it to cool overnight…

My flapjack is too pale!

Maybe you want a lovely golden-brown flapjack, but yours are horribly anaemic? First, check that the oven temperature is high enough and that you’re leaving them in for long enough. A good idea for a nice colour, as well as for enhanced flavour, is to use brown sugar rather than white, and butter, rather than margarine.

We sell a wide variety of sugars at Naturally Good Food.

Brown sugar may give you better flavour and colour.

My flapjack is rather tasteless!

The most serious problem of all! First, make sure you’re using good-quality ingredients – not some cheap-as-chips butter substitute, powdery packet oats and honey that’s little more than sticky water. If that’s sorted, try a tiny pinch of salt to bring out the flavour – and move onto brown sugar, for an increased depth of flavour.

My flapjack is too boring!

Or try sunflower seeds, nuts and dried fruit - or all of these!

Pumpkin seeds: throw a handful in!

If you do start to get a bit bored with simple flapjacks, try ringing the changes with the addition of dried fruit, chopped nuts and seeds – or all three. I love a flapjack with dried cranberries, bits of apricots and dates, chopped brazils and almonds, sunflower, Chia or pumpkin seeds. There’s a slight danger that adding these – certainly, adding all of these – will cause your flapjack to become too unwieldy and the mixture won’t stick together. To avoid this, make sure it’s nice and sticky when it enters the oven – cut down on the quantity of oats, or increase the syrup slightly, to achieve this. And give it extra time to cool down before cutting.

The perfect chewy flapjack recipe

Ingredients

100g margarine or butter

2 tbsp golden syrup or honey

125g oats

50g self-raising flour

50g sugar

Method

Grease a baking tray. Heat the margarine/butter and golden syrup/honey until melted. Meanwhile, combine the other ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the melted mixture and stir to combine. Spread out on the tray. Bake at 190C for 14 minutes – well, that’s the exact time taken in my oven, but to achieve perfection, you might want to check on it every couple of minutes from 10 minutes onwards!

 

 

 

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This post was written by Yzanne

19 Comments

  • Informative post, this is. It is always nice to come across a post that is useful.

  • dollybird says:

    What size tray or tin does this need, please

  • JEANETTE says:

    How to fix flapjacks that are too greasy

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Jeanette. Now, that’s a question we’re not usually asked! If your flapjack is too greasy, could it be that the tray on which you’re baking it is over-oiled? Could you reduce the amount of margarine or butter you’re using, until you reach the perfect consistency? I find butter gives a thicker, less greasy-tasting flapjack than margarine, myself. Sometimes, the syrup can give rather a cloying consistency as well. For this reason, I often use honey. I hope some of these ideas prove useful.

      Best wishes,

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • JEANETTE says:

    How to fix over greasy flapjacks

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Jeanette. Now, that’s a question we’re not usually asked! If your flapjack is too greasy, could it be that the tray on which you’re baking it is over-oiled? Could you reduce the amount of margarine or butter you’re using, until you reach the perfect consistency? I find butter gives a thicker, less greasy-tasting flapjack than margarine, myself. Sometimes, the syrup can give rather a cloying consistency as well. For this reason, I often use honey. I hope some of these ideas prove useful.

      Best wishes,

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • Fiona says:

    Hi, what type of sugar are you using please? I’m excited to try adding in the flour I’ve not done that before and mine often fall apart! TIA X

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Fiona,

      Yes, the flour really should make all the difference! I make this recipe every week and I use a whole range of sugars (often based on what’s on special offer at Naturally Good Food). I use dark brown soft sugar pretty regularly – this gives a very deep, rich flavour and a dark colour. It makes a slightly softer flapjack, too. I’m also steadily working my way through a bin-end of demerara, which has a more caramel-ish flavour and makes a ‘sweeter’ and lighter flapjack. In the past, I’ve used coconut palm sugar, caster sugar, ordinary (unrefined) granulated sugar, muscovado sugar and even, if I remember rightly, jaggery. They all worked fine! Take a look at our sugar section if you like (http://www.naturallygoodfood.co.uk/Sugar), to see the range of options. Otherwise, simply use whatever you have at home. The only things that probably won’t work well are alternative sweeteners (xylitol, stevia, sukrin and the like) and icing sugar – you really need the ‘bulk’ provided by the sugar crystals for this recipe.

      Good luck!

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • Nay says:

    Can i cook falling apart flapjack again.? How?
    Thanks

    • Yzanne says:

      Hello – you want to cook a flapjack that falls apart? Easy! Simply leave out the self-raising flour. But….wouldn’t it be nicer if it stuck together? To do that, you need to include the flour.

      Yzanne Mackay
      Editor and Writer
      Naturally Good Food

  • Lisa Clark says:

    If I wanted to add fruit in to your mix would I need to increase the syrup and or margarine and if so by how much?

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Lisa. If you just want to add in a handful of fruit, then you won’t need to increase the quantities of the other ingredients: the mixture is fairly runny as it is and I often throw in an extra handful of oats if I’m feeling like making a firmer flapjack. If, however, you plan to add an awful lot of fruit, then you’ll need to increase the other quantities. In this case, add the extra fruit weight to that of the dry ingredients and increase the amount of butter and syrup in the same ratio.

      The great thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly hard to get it wrong. So long as you end up with a mixture that’s not too runny or too stiff, you should have a wonderful flapjack.

      Best wishes,

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • Ben Harbach says:

    As an alternative to adding flour in, i’ve starting taking some of the oats and whizzing them up in a food blender/processor before mixing them al in. The smaller pieces help to fill some of the gaps that form naturally between the oats and therefore aid with holding the flapjacks together.

    • Yzanne says:

      Ben – that is an idea of pure genius! Perhaps fine oatmeal would have the same effect? Some further experimentation is called for.

      Best wishes,

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • Nicole says:

    Again it would be good to know the tin size for this quantity

    And I’ve got an electric oven so what would be the correct cooking temperature

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Nicole,

      The good news is that for this recipe you can use any size of tin – I make double quantities of this recipe and use an old-fashioned tin that’s roughly A4 size. The mixture stays together in one clump (it doesn’t spread out as it cooks), so I use about half the available area of the tin (and sometimes cook biscuits in the remaining half!). A smaller tin would allow you to spread the mixture into all corners of the tin, therefore providing perfect squares, but really, any tin will do.

      With regard to cooking times, I see we have given 190C in that recipe. I actually tend to cook these at 180C, which on n electric oven would be 160C.

      Hope they work out well!

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

  • Claire says:

    Can you rescue flapjack that falls apart once baked ?!

    • Yzanne says:

      Hi Claire – well, you won’t want to waste it, will you?! I would suggest three options:

      1. If the flapjack is not too overcooked, combine it with some more melted fat and syrup and a teaspoonful or so of self-raising flour (precise quantities will depend on the amount of mixture you’re trying to rescue). Cook again for 10 minutes or so.

      2. If the flapjack is already thoroughly cooked, then take the mixture and let it cool. Use it as ‘granola’ rather than flapjack and make sure you tell everyone that that was what you meant to do all along! It also makes a good base for this dessert, which is fridge-cooled rather than re-cooked: http://blog.naturallygoodfood.co.uk/2012/10/14/food-the-kids-will-love/

      3. Ensure you use the NGF flapjack recipe, which has never yet been known to fall apart….!

      Best of luck with it all!

      Yzanne Mackay
      Writer and Editor
      Naturally Good Food

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