Thursday, 15 December 2016


Third festive bake ... chocolate orange flapjack!

Makes: At least 15 decent-sized squares.

Ingredients: 160g soft brown sugar, 200g butter, 500g oats, 120g golden syrup, 1 orange, 2 teaspoons of orange essence, 200g chocolate chips (or 200g chocolate hacked into small pieces), another 400g chocolate, and festive decoration stuff.

Time taken: Half an hour to make, 15 minutes to bake, 15 minutes for topping and decoration, and then quite a while to set (maybe an hour or so?).

Hi readers,

Just checking in Thursday-style (i.e. with low pep and tired eyes). Not sure about Thursdays, if I’m honest. What do you think? How’s your Thursday panning out? Hope it’s not too terrible. Nothing BAD's happened to me this Thursday. Nothing, specifically, to strike me down. It’s just not Friday (the best day of the week), is it?

And it’s been so long since it was last the weekend. Four days in the scale of a lifetime doesn’t seeeem a lot, but walking into work on Monday it’s like the weekend is OVER. Gone. To lands far far away. It’s a distant memory. Another lifetime. A different you. Left behind…

So my week really isn't going badly! On the contrary, I’ve been shopping for presents, and we had a chocolate meditation at yoga, and I’ve stuck to my plan to eat marginally better than normal for a few days. Go me! I suppose the weekends are just so much fun at the moment, what with Christmas festivities. It makes the weekdays seem grey in comparison.

BUT once Thursday’s out the way then life is looking preeetty rosy, I must say. There’s a cheese and wine night lined up for tomorrow (yessss!), my Mother Bear is taking me shopping to buy a present for ME this weekend. And me and Suzeroo are going to don Christmas jumpers for our December meet up, and have a festive feast together on Sunday. Can’t wait.

How about you, readers? What’s on the cards for the coming few days? Is it fine food and much merriment? With friends and the famalam?? Or are you still grafting ahead of your festive blow out, sorting shopping and decorating and wrapping? Either way – I hope your next few days are filled with joy and laughter and happiness! I sincerely do.

There aren’t many days left to enjoy of 2016, so I feel we should all start trying to make the most of every last one of them! Luckily, clever you, you’ve chosen to spent a few minutes of your day reading this blog post. A fine decision. Today I write to you, readers, to share a recipe that came into my life this last Sunday. ‘Twas truly a wonderful and unexpected surprise. Like the baby Jesus.

On Sunday I had a couple of the girls over for a cosy Christmas afternoon in. I turned on the tree during daylight hours and lit all my festive candles, and we put our PJs on and shunned the outside world for an afternoon. It was glorious. KatieKat brought her Love Actually DVD and HorseyHardy brought along ingredients for a festive bake… chocolate orange flapjack.

This recipe is favourite of KatieKat’s and HorseyHardy’s, I gather, borne from Christmas afternoons in of years gone by. And this flapjack BLEW ME AWAY, readers. Do you like Terry’s chocolate oranges? Do you like flapjack? Do you like baking? Do you like Christmas?

If you answered yes to any. single. one. of these questions then, I’m telling you, as a matter of urgency you need to get yourself to a shop for ingredients… and get your bake on.

Want to SIGNIFICANTLY improve your Thursday? Here’s how you can make your very own chocolate orange flapjack, in just 20 easy steps…

1.     Pour a boozy bev and heat your oven to 200C.
2.     Measure your butter, sugar and syrup into a pan, and melt together over a low heat.
3.     When melted into one buttery mix, remove from the heat.
4.     Add your oats to the pan and use a wooden spoon to stir them in, until all your oats are coated in the buttery mix.
5.     Use a grater to grate the zest from your orange into the pan.
6.     Then, chop your orange in half and squeeze all its juice into the pan.
7.     Add your 2 teaspoons of orange essence (the magic ingredient!) to the pan, and then stir everything together.

Put your antlers on and shake them!

8.     Once mixed, put the pan aside to cool a little. Top up your drink. Dance around! Sing as though you were Tina Turner! Shake that thang!

9.     Once the mix seems to have cooled itself down, add your chocolate chips and stirrrr these in so they’re well distributed throughout the flapjack mix.
10.  Spoon the mix into a baking tin and then use your spoon to press it down, until the flapjack mix is evenly spread about.

Podge it about to get an even thickness

11.  Carefully transport your flapjack mix into the oven, and leave to bake for 10-15 minutes until the flapjack turns golden brown on top and your house smells godly.
12.  In the meanwhile, get your pots washed and why not mull some wine? When you’re in your kitchen, with ten minutes to spare, in December… Mull. Some. Wine.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If, like myself at the time of baking, you find yourself attempting a festive recipe but unable to drink alcohol – do not fear. KatieKat brought some non-alcoholic mulled wine over on Sunday, and it was lush! Found in a Dobbies garden centre, I believe, but keep your eyes peeled they could be selling it all over the place.
13.  Once your flapjack looks and smells like it’s certainly well baked, safely take it out of the oven and then switch the oven off.

What a bake... beeeeautiful

14.  Leave your flapjack to cool a little on the side, and while it’s cooling you can break your 400g of chocolate up into squares.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Depending on whether you prefer a milk chocolate Terry’s or a dark chocolate Terry’s (or you just love them both in equal measure!) – feel free to use either all milk choc, all dark choc, or a combo of milk and dark choc – to your taste.
15.  Either microwave your chocolate, or pop it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, to melt your chocolate.
16.  Pour the melted chocolate over your flapjack until it’s coated entirely.

So. Much. Chocolate.

17.  Use total artistic license here and top your flapjack with something festive. It might be that you want to rest actual segments of a Terry’s chocolate orange on top, or maybe you have some crystallised orange peel to chuck on there, tiny sprigs of holly… anything goes! We went for golden sprinkles, and this looked nice I’d say.


18.  Once your flapjack is looking mightily festive, and you can do no more, then carefully transport it into the fridge to set.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: For those of your out there with a dodgy fridge – hollaaa join the club! Honestly, we put ours in the freezer for a good portion of Love Actually, and this did it no harm. Flapjack is a hardcore bake. Put your flapjack in the coolest location you have, so that it will set as quickly as possible, but try not to ACTUALLY freeze it in the process.
19.  Once the chocolate topping your flapjack is firm to touch and feels pretty darn solid, pause your film and take it out of the fridge / freezer / igloo.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: At this point, we sprayed it with a load of shimmer spray. Just because I had shimmer spray! And HorseyHardy had never seen it used before! This is entirely optional – but if you have shimmer spray – I say why not??

So shimmery!

20.  Then, tip your flapjack out of its tin and cut into squares – as many as you like depending on how big or little you would like them to be. Serve to guests, share with friends / family / colleagues / housemates / the homeless, or Tupperware to live for another day.

Adapted from an original recipe, which can be found here

What do you think?? After all my gushing, I hope this recipe doesn’t let you down, readers. Because – to me – it tastes just wonderful! There’s that homely, comforting, oaty taste of the flapjack. And a rich, sweet flavour coming from the SERIOUS amount of chocolate involved. And then the fresh, zingy citrus kick of all the orange in there. Glory!

Once you overcome the hurdle of finding the magic ingredient, orange essence, which I know isn’t something you can pick up at the corner shop – then it’s just simple ingredients otherwise and straightforward steps. An easy, fun bake which tastes gorrrrgeous if you’re asking me. Tis a must-have addition to your festive baking schedule, readers.

I sparred with HorseyHardy trying to get her to leave as little flapjack behind, as she possibly would, when heading home in the evening. Because it wasn’t safe with me. I’d be on it like the Vicar of Dibley. My heart couldn’t take double digit numbers of flapjack squares. BUT she insisted on leaving a few squares. And sure enough… half an hour later.

My chocolate orange flapjack didn’t make it into the evening – let alone into work! Let’s see how long yours lasts.

Do mull safely,


Do it!

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