Sweet and Spice: Ginger Flapjacks with Salted Fudgey Icing

A few weeks ago a friend of mine called me up and asked if I fancied going to the Gallery of Modern Art here in Edinburgh. Now, anyone who knows me knows that this is code for ‘let’s go eat some cake!’. The National Galleries of Scotland do a mean scone, but on this occasion I had a ginger flapjack. It was immense (both in size and taste) and I decided that this was something worth recreating. However, the original was a bit hard, so I was after a slightly less chewy, possibly a bit more nutty, flapjack base, and a topping with a bit more of a kick to combat the sweetness of the golden syrup. Then last week a found a recipe for something that looked vaguely similar, and decided to recreate that amazing gingery-sticky-gooey moment of goodness. This is adapted from a GoodFood recipe.

The flapjack base: all the basic ingredients of a traditional flapjack, including enough butter to block all your arteries.

INGREDIENTS: 350g butter (sadly that is not a typo – quite literally not for the faint hearted), 200g light muscavado sugar, 5tbsp golden syrup, 250g rolled oats (porridge oats are fine), 140g plain flour, 50g pecans chopped into small pieces, 50g desiccated coconut, 1tsp of ground ginger.

  • Turn on the oven, set it to 180 (fan) and grease and line a tin. I used one that is about 25cm squared and the flapjacks are quite deep, so you could easily use a bigger tin and make smaller pieces.
  • The great thing about flapjacks is that they are the baking equivalent of one pot cooking! So start by putting the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan over a gentle heat. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to speed the process – you’ll just get a burnt mess.
  • Once the butter is melted give it another minute so that the sugar is totally dissolved, then add in the flour. At this point I make sure hob is on the lowest setting – you want the flour to mix in and cook a bit but you don’t want anything to burn or stick. Give it a couple of really big stirs.
  •  Mix in all the other ingredients. Turn off the heat and stir until everything is really thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Its quite runny for a flapjack mix but don’t worry – it’ll all sort itself out!
  • Pop into the oven for 35 mins. It’ll still be really wobbly when you take it out, but as it cools will set hard. Leave it in the tin.

You don’t need to wait for it to cool to ice it, so once you’ve removed the tin from the oven get going on the icing.

Fudgy-gingery-salty icing – yum!

INGREDIENTS FOR ICING: 175g butter (basically two packs of butter for the whole recipe), 200g icing sugar, 4tbsp golden syrup, ginger to taste (I used 4 heaped teaspoons but I like it quite strong), maldon salt flakes and whole pecans to decorate.

  • Put the icing sugar, butter, golden syrup and ginger in a pan and slowly melt over a low heat. If you aren’t sure how gingery you want it to be, put 3tsp of ginger in, stir it through and then taste before deciding whether or not to add more. 4tsp makes for quite a gingery kick.
  • Pour the icing over the flapjack (still in the tin) and let it all cool down together.
  • While it is still warm sprinkle over the salt flakes. Don’t overdo it but you want enough to balance out the sweetness of the icing.
  • Work out how many squares you are able to cut it into, and pop a pecan in the middle of each one. This is really sweet, so I suggest small portions. The pecans look pretty and make it easier to cut as they offer up a guide! I made 16 squares.

All iced and ready to cut into portions. The pecans are a good cutting guide for even sized pieces!

Once you have cut up your portions you can pop them in the fridge to harden up the icing, but make sure you take them out at least 15 mins before you want to eat them so that they aren’t as hard as rocks! You can also keep them in an airtight container out of the fridge and they will last quite happily for about 3-4 days.

All ready for eating! The icing will be thicker on the middle pieces as the centre of the flapjack will sink a bit as it cools. These pretty pieces will look the best presentation wise so its worth putting them at the top of the pile!

In the end, I think these were actually better than the ones in the gallery cafe as they were slightly less chewy and had a better depth of flavour. Anyone else like a bit of spice or salt with their sweet?

Happy baking my fellow bandits,

BB x

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