Thursday 14th December 2017
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Serves 12
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
6oz butter
8oz soft brown light sugar
6 tablespoons golden syrup
1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds
8oz mixed dried fruit – I used apricots, figs and dates – chopped
12oz rolled oats

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Recipe by Dominic Franks, Belleau Kitchen

It’s funny and a little alarming how, even though we’re into February, I’m still finding pine needles from the Christmas tree lodged into crevasses in the stone floor and sticking out of the rug.

I know I’m fastidious with the cleaning and the vacuum cleaner is new, so I’m sure it’s just the spirit of Christmas wishing to hang on for as long as it can. You know you can pack up your Christmas decorations and clear the house of cards and baubles but it seems that the cupboards are still full of packets of dried fruit as though they, along with the stray pine needles, are a final reminder of the festive period.

Obviously we really don’t mind, they seemingly last forever anyway but hopefully these flapjacks are a great excuse to use anything up that’s taking up too much room – an excuse for an early spring clean if you will. I found dried figs, apricots and dates but you could use any dried fruit you have. The fennel seeds add a sophisticated aniseed flavour that warms the back of the throat and cuts through all the sweetness too.

METHOD
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and lightly oil a traybake tin – I used a classic Swiss Roll tin.

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and fennel seeds in a pan and then once melted take it off the heat and add the oats and dried fruit and stir well.

Pour into the baking tin and bake for 20–25 mins until golden.

Cool on a wire rack but cut them into squares whilst they’re still a little warm.
Eat and of course, enjoy!

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