Zesty Flapjacks

Based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.


2 oranges
200g dried sour cherries
200g golden syrup (about 8 tbsp)
400g unsalted butter
200g soft brown sugar
Zest and juice of a lemon
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
500g jumbo oats
200g plain flour
100g pine nuts
100g flaked almonds
2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
About half a tsp of ground Allspice

I’ve never made flapjacks before, all I knew was that some are made with raisins and some aren’t. The recipe above did have raisins in it, which I changed to dried sour cherries because I really don’t like raisins. I also added some Allspice to it and I split the weight of the pine nuts between flaked almonds and pine nuts and added a couple of tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts to it for extra crunch. The recipe is for a large sheet pan and I got 16 flapjacks out of it. The original recipe calls for Gas Mark 3 and 25-30 minutes. My oven has a mind of its own, so after 35 minutes I upped the temperature and all in all the flapjacks were in for almost 50 minutes.
Here’s how to make them:
Preheat the oven to 170°c/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 23cm square baking tin with a scrap of butter and line the base with baking parchment.
Grate the zest from the oranges and one lemon into a large saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the orange and put this in a small saucepan with the sour cherries. Bring to a gentle simmer. Remove the pan from the heat but leave it in a warm place for the sour cherries to plump up in the orange juice.
Add the golden syrup to the large saucepan containing the orange zest. Add the butter, brown sugar and lemon juice. Heat very gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Mix the oats, flour and nuts. Pour the oat mixture into the saucepan containing the melted butter mixture and add the sour cherries, along with any juice left in the pan. Mix everything very thoroughly (otherwise it can taste slightly floury). 
Spread the mixture out in the lined tin. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Leave for a few minutes, then mark the flapjack into squares with a knife. Leave to cool and set.
At first I was a bit unsure… they tasted ever so slightly floury so next time I make them I will use less flour. I was also thinking about brushing one side of them with dark chocolate just to add another flavour to it.
They were very well received by everyone and a lot of people commented on how the orange zest seemed to “make them”!

Tangerine Chiffon Cake

I came across this recipe at Coconut & Lime and thought it sounded delicious enough for me to try out my new silicone baking form. And the same day I went shopping my local supermarket had tangerines on offer.
This cake is really easy to make and is moist and light at the same time.
6 eggs, separated
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup tangerine juice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
zest of 3 tangerines
½ tsp of orange essence
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 (325°F / 165°C). Sieve the flour into a large bowl, together with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add 1 ¼ cups of the sugar then egg yolks, oil, tangerine juice, zest and orange essence. Beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter using a spatula.
Pour the batter into the ungreased tube pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Immediately invert the pan onto a bottle cake-side down over a rack or baking sheet. Let the cake cool completely. Run a thin knife or spreader along the edges of the pan on all sides to release the cake.
I made a quick tangerine syrup to drizzle over by simply boiling ½ cup of tangerine juice with ½ cup of sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Spoon the hot syrup over the cake.
The original recipe doesn’t call for baking soda and orange essence but I found that a bit of baking soda makes the cake incredibly light and fluffy. And the orange essence intensified the flavour. I also added the zest of three tangerines because when you juice them they give you the required ¾ cup of juice.

Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Not just good for Christmas but all year round!
1 kg cranberries (fresh or frozen)
400 ml cider vinegar
2 red onions, chopped
2 inch fresh ginger root, grated
300 ml port wine
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp chilli salt or chilli flakes mixed with sea salt
400 gr brown sugar
Put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes. Taste to see if you need more salt or more heat (chilli).
I ended up with 12 jars of all different sizes. To prepare the jars I filled my sink with boiling water and left the jars standing in the water while the chutney was cooking. Once your chutney is ready just fill the jars to the top, screw the lid on and let them cool upside down.
This chutney is great with cheeses, roast poultry or with curries.