Lately one of Edith’s favourite things in the whole world is baking which is really special as I love to bake, I just rarely get the time for it now! I used to love baking with the kids but once Edith arrived, I found it really difficult to bake with the boys as they were into everything and she needed constant contact or feeding. It became more of a chore than a pleasure but now that she is older, it’s something that we are doing together more and more and we both really enjoy it.
Our latest foray into the world of baking has been made all the better with the addition of Edith’s favourite book The Gruffalo or (on occasions when she wishes to torture me) musical delights like Nelly the Elephant. We listen to the story or the music whilst mixing up a storm in the kitchen and recently had the idea to make a recipe based on our purply prickled friend the Gruffalo, using one of the essentials for that glorious, rich and caramelly flapjack taste, none other than Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Making Gruffalo flapjacks has been super fun! There have been some trials at getting our recipe right and one particular disaster when I turned my back for a moment and Edith took our Gruffalo flapjack and turned it into a “Edith special” with copious amounts of candy melts, glitter and sprinkles. Daddy took one for the team and made his way through that delight.
Anyway, we eventually cracked it – a recipe that looks cute and tastes lovely but is completely 100% simple enough for Edith to do and enjoy decorating. Let’s face it, you’re never going to have a pinterest worthy bake when you have a 4 year old sous chef, but it’s not about that, it’s about making those precious memories together and finding the joy in baking.
Gruffalo flapjacks using Lyle’s Golden Syrup
For the flapjack
- 295g Unsalted butter
- 250g Lyle’s Golden Syrup (it just won’t work without it!)
- 500g Rolled porridge oats (not the jumbo variety)
- Pinch of salt
For the Decoration
- 200g milk chocolate
- Purple sprinkles
- Edible Googly eyes
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160° Fan, 350°F, Gas 4.
Mix together the butter and Lyle’s Golden Syrup in a large non-stick saucepan, heat through until it’s all melted. We used the new squeezy bottle which is absolutely perfect for little hands and less mess in the kitchen. Remove from the heat and pour in the oats and salt. Stir well. I usually let Edith do this, and sometimes she finds it easier for me to put the mixture in a bowl so she can grip it better instead of a hot saucepan.
Place the mixture into a 20cm (8”) shallow square loose-bottomed tin, greased and lined with parchment paper. Smooth the mixture out with a spatula and then bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes. The flapjack should be golden brown and delicious looking.
Remove your flapjack from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then lift out of the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack whilst you do something else.
Once cooled, cut into 9 flapjacks and prepare to decorate!
We melted the chocolate in the microwave, but you might want to do it over a pan of boiling water – whichever way you prefer. Once your chocolate is melted, take your flapjack and dip it in the chocolate so it is 2/3 covered and 1/3 not. Lay the flapjack on a sheet of parchment and whilst the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle over your purple prickles. Use a small bit of chocolate to dab on the back of the googly eyes and stick them on the uncovered part of the flapjack.
Super easy and somewhat Gruffalo-esque. I think for us, the most important thing is that she has a load of fun when baking so that needs to be reflected in how easy we make our recipe. For the boys (who don’t have as much interest in baking) we could make this slightly more challenging and maybe go for Gruffalo pops (you can adapt this recipe here from Lyle’s Golden Syrup website).
It was so much easier for Edith to use the new Golden syrup bottle – it’s 325g so just a perfect size for her and so much less mess for me to clean up but still with that unmistakeable Golden Syrup taste! I had my first taste of the new bottle when I went to Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery school for a day baking and indulging with Edd Kimber.
We all got to bake a recipe created for us by Edd and mine was a Spiced Treacle Tart with Milk Chocolate using Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I’ve never tried a treacle tart before, and Edd’s main reason for choosing to get me trying out this recipe was that he knew my kitchen at home was nearly completed and this would fill up our home with a wonderful, delicious scent, bringing all our hard efforts over the year with the building works right to a treacly peak.
I also got to try out making peanut brittle – another recipe I have never made before and one that will make a wonderful addition to our Christmas hampers!
I loved watching all of the bakers at the event create their own recipes and hearing the stories behind them – it was so much fun and really gave me a renewed confidence in the kitchen. For my Treacle tart I used the new 700ml bottle of Lyle’s Golden syrup (avail mid Nov) AND a 325g bottle too, I had no idea that so much golden goodness went into a treacle tart to give it that glorious golden colour and sweet, caramelised flavour.
The baking day was such a great way to renew my passion for baking, especially after not having a kitchen for so long! If you want to find more recipes for Golden Syrup, a genuine classic (since 1883 no less) and staple in any kitchen, then you can find an array of recipes on their website.