never judge a recipe by its obscurity

banana flapjacks2

How do you tell if a recipe had preempted your doubts concomitant of worries over a lack of ingredients, a foray into a new palate teaser, and a hurried last minute baking?

Let me count the ways.

banana flapjacks1

It’s when you notice the ever elusive-sounding ‘golden syrup listed as one of the ingredients, and decide to simply wing it, and hope that the extra molasses in your wrongly-purchased pack of dark brown sugar will do the trick of binding.

Pre-bake thought: It’s okay if it crumbles badly, or looks totally unappealing. So long as it tastes good, no one will notice. Or better still, just crumble it all up into a bowl with vanilla ice-cream. That ought to do the trick!

Post-bake thought: It works! Beautiful cuts, clean edges, perfect little soft and chewy morsels of oaty squares.

banana flapjacks3

It’s when you have one ripe banana sitting by the counter, yearning for attention, only to be ignored for days, over an adamant refusal to bind them in a loaf pan within an hour, served for breakfast and tea the next day. The result? A random finger-trail down the index page of a gem of a book loaned from the library, landing you on an unassumingly-titled ‘banana flapjacks’.

Pre-bake thought: Something new to try out with bananas. Well, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll know better to stick to a favourite banana bread recipe.

Post-bake thought: Banana flapjacks, where have you been all this while!!!

banana flapjacks4

It’s when you’re suddenly hit by a hunger pang, or something more like a peckish pang, and just need something to munch on as quickly as possible. And you don’t wish to go the whole hog of muffins/cakes, because somehow you’re craving for something less cloying, less rich, less dense, less buttery, and yet oh so filling and tempting.

Pre-bake thought: Just a little munch to satiate the peckish feeling. I’ll take one, and pack the rest up for the family tomorrow.

Post-bake thought:


Banana Flapjacks
(adapted from Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking)

125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup (I omitted this)
85g light muscavado/brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
350g porridge oats
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

  1. Preheat oven to 180c. Lightly butter a baking sheet, 9” x 13” (I used a 9-inch square pan).
  2. Gently melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan.
  3. Once melted, stir in the porridge oats until completely combined.
  4. Stir in the mashed banana and turn out the mixture into the greased sheet. Press down firmly.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the flapjacks are starting to brown around the edges and the middle feels firm to the touch. They will firm up as they cool, so leave in the baking sheet before cutting and removing. Cut into 2-3” squares.

19 thoughts on “never judge a recipe by its obscurity

  1. ovenhaven Post author

    Hehehe, the pancake-y flapjacks is the US type; flapjacks are oat bars for the UK. I learnt that while baking this, actually! πŸ˜›

  2. Indigo

    I love flapjacks! And these look so perfect <3. I think golden syrup is a British thing, we've always had a tin in the cupboards. Glad it worked with your substitution though, I love it when that happens!

  3. 19thmayflower

    alamak they look so good, man!!! kalu ada jual kat kedai bawah ni, confirm i’ll buy them!!! anyway dear, can email me ur hp number? it’s regarding my anniversary cake πŸ™‚

  4. munirah

    “Pre-bake thought: It’s okay if it crumbles badly, or looks totally unappealing. So long as it tastes good, no one will notice. Or better still, just crumble it all up into a bowl with vanilla ice-cream. That ought to do the trick!”

    EH MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY! HAHAHA! i always have those pre-bake thoughts before baking anything, especially cookies or brownies. πŸ™‚

  5. ovenhaven Post author

    Indigo: Hey you! Welcome back πŸ™‚ Yup, I love it when substitutions work out, but of course there’s the flipside, and you’ll know exactly who to blame πŸ˜›

    Tasty Health Food: Haha, thanks! πŸ™‚

    19thmayflower: Maybe you should suggest it to the apek kat kedai bawah to bring it in! πŸ˜›

    munirah: Haha, it’s like a default just-in-case-things-go-awry thought, I guess! πŸ˜›

    Happy Homebaker: Thanks, HHB! πŸ™‚

  6. grace

    i’m so glad your risks paid off–these bars look quite tasty and the texture appears to be perfect. i love it when my last-minute substitutions and omissions work out. πŸ™‚

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    thecoffeesnob: They sure are! You should give it a try πŸ™‚

    notesbynaive: Give it a go! I love that book; her muscavado brownies were an absolute dream πŸ™‚

    grace: Precisely! Though I must say there have been times baking subs haven’t always worked out for the best πŸ˜›

    Deborah: They are! Both easy and delicious πŸ˜€

  8. jean-marie

    I miss your recipes! You’ve been lagging quite a bit in your updates. Business must be good, huh! πŸ˜€

  9. Pingback: Food Friday: Canyou say Banana FlapJack?! « 20 MORE THINGS

  10. Pingback: Who doesn’t want a cookie, or cake, or just anything sweet. « Everyday should be bake day

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