Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Bowl Baking: Halva Flapjacks

Gosh, it has been ages since I last did one of these. One bowl baking - an admirable school of casual yet delicious baking. A perfect work night bake. You know what isn't a perfect work night bake? Dulce de leche from scratch. Another time perhaps, one time when I have tin foil/adequate kitchen equipment. A conversation for another day... Anyway, flapjacks. I wouldn't just publish any old flapjack recipe, you all know how it goes - butter, oats, golden syrup, good times. Old news. But when I saw a keraaaaazy new recipe on Dan Lepard's wonderful How to Bake column on the I couldn't resist. It was the tahini, it hooked me in. I love classic recipes with weird ingredients. And I had a jar of tahini from an aborted attempt to make my own hummus (I only tried once but it just wasn't as good as shop bought, I know - fail) and I couldn't resist utilising it in this strange new way. According to DL the tahini cooks down to a dense, sweet, stickiness. As far as I'm concerned it made the flapjacks taste vaguely of peanut butter which is no bad thing. Replacing the golden syrup with a combination of condensed milk and honey did give these flapjacks a wonderful dense, chewy moistness too. They were perfect flapjacks really, I possibly added a bit too much tahini but they were gloriously chewy and they didn't do that thing of going slightly brittle once they had cooled. These aged really well and went down a treat at work.

My little changes:
Dried figs, walnuts and sesame seeds are all rather costly and I have no real interest in figs. I swapped the figs for dried apricots and ditched everything else. Customise the fillings however you like.


  • 100g butter (salted, as always, for me)
  • 75g of some kind of brown sugar
  • 200g sweet condensed milk
  • 75g tahini - I'm currently sans weighing equipment and decided to chance it with seven large tablespoons. This was arguably too much. In terms of tablespoons maybe try four generous tablespoons and let me know? Taste it!
  • Half a packet of chopped dried apricots
  • Rolled oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC and line a tray with greaseproof paper. I used a medium tart tin, Dan uses a 20-25cm sq baking tin. Whatever you have.
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and condensed milk together over a medium heat until dissolved. Attempt not to burn but it isn't too serious.
  3. Remove from heat and add tahini, honey and dried fruit.
  4. Stir in oats until the mixture balls nice and taste like delicious flapjack mix (I know, devilishly specific).
  5. Squidge the mixture into your tin and bake for 15-20mins.
  6. If you wish for your flapjack to be conveniently slice-able then let it cool for a while, otherwise dig in to the delicious hot flapjack-y goodness.

Chuck x


  1. YUM - these have been on my to do list all year (sadly this list is only getting longer) x

  2. You'87777u8*1hyujn
    That was my sister's cat, Liam. I'm babysitting. I figured you'd appreciate it, haha.
    Anyway, what I was trying to say is, you're funny and I like you and this looks delicious!

  3. Man, I could peruse the Guardian food site alll day long. Though today I reverted to the bbc for a deliciously long day in the kitchen learning how to joint a chicken and then making a curry and homemade naan. But before I rattle on about my own kitchen activities, these sound lovely. and odd. and intriguing. chewy flapjacks are the holy grail when done properly.

  4. man, I really sound like i'm showing off with what I cooked today. I'm just amazed I managed the chicken part, I shall take my gushing elsewhere..

  5. mmm, i love anything with condensed milk ;-)

  6. mmm looks delish! I agree with Paula, condensed milk is so bad but so so good!