Baking · Gluten-Free

British Flapjacks (Chewy Oat Bars)

Traditional British sweet oat bar treat. They’re soft, chewy and super easy to make! 

Today I’m sharing one of my favourite childhood treats. Classic British flapjacks are gooey, buttery, sweet and make a delicious treat. These flapjacks use one of my favourite ingredients – golden syrup, which not only adds amazing light treacle flavour but makes the flapjacks super squidgy and chewy!

Though you probably won’t have been able to tell by the name, flapjacks are oat bars made using just 4 ingredients. You can also add other additional ingredients that take your fancy such as coconut, lemon zest, a pinch of ground cinnamon/ginger, nuts or chocolate chips.

Chewy, sweet and an easy bake to make to serve alongside a cup of tea or coffee. These flapjacks also make a great breakfast!

Once sliced up, I love drizzling the tops or dipping my flapjacks into chocolate, especially slightly bitter dark chocolate because it contrasts amazingly with the sweetness.

 (Makes 12-16)

Ingredients:

175g unsalted butter

175g golden syrup

175g light brown sugar

350g rolled oats (I like using jumbo rolled oats)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 150°C / 130°C Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2. Line a 20cm / 8-inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease well. Set aside.

2. Start by melting the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the golden syrup and sugar and continue to cook and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir through the oats. Once the oats are completely covered, spread the mixture out into the lined tin. Press down well with the back of a spoon or a spatula until firm.

3. Bake for 40 minutes, the flapjack should be slightly golden around the edges. Once cooked allow to cool in the tin completely – as they cool the flapjacks will crisp on top slightly. I recommend leaving the flapjacks in the fridge to set before slicing. Once cooled slice into 12-16 squares or 24-32 mini flapjack bites.

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Gluten-Free · Light Lunches · Main Meals · Rice Dishes · Vegetarian Recipes

Saffron Rice

Fluffy aromatic buttered saffron rice. A classic and delicious side dish.

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I absolutely adore simple and easy dishes. They’re especially convenient for busy working families with hardly any time to make a delicious and tasty dinner. Rice dishes in particular are a great standby for hectic weeknight dinners. Rice is a basic store cupboard ingredient and my recipe proves it can be transformed into something special with just a handful of extra ingredients!

This rice is amazing and it’s always a big hit with my family. It’s quick to make and with a buttery and fragrant flavour it makes a tasty side dish that is luxurious and will impress any dinner guest who tastes it. I decided to combine one of my favourite ingredients in my herb and spice cupboard, saffron. I often use saffron in my Spanish recipes like paella (recipe for that will be coming soon!) and homemade sauces. This rice recipe is very adaptable as you can add a small handful of cardamom pods, cloves, a little pinch of turmeric and a cinnamon stick and easily turn the recipe into pilau rice ready to serve with your favourite curry.

I’ve been making and creating my own rice recipes for a little while now. I shared this amazingly good Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo) recipe a while back when I’d just started blogging and it still remains one of my favourite dishes.

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The rice is speckled with beautiful saffron threads. I love the rich flavour the saffron adds. To prepare the rice it’s very important to have your mis en place prepared beforehand. I take two smallish pinches of saffron threads and I soak the saffron in boiling water for 10 minutes. The soaking allows the oils to be released and the flavour will become stronger. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice but it can be found at an affordable price if you look around at your local supermarket.

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Whilst the saffron is soaking you have the opportunity to prepare your other ingredients. I finely diced a small white onion and chopped up a couple cloves of garlic. To cook the rice, melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Caramelise the onion and then add the garlic and a bay leaf – caramelising the onion again will add more depth of flavour and a little sweetness. Tip the rice into the pan and toast slightly so it can be coated fully in the butter mixture. Then all that’s left to do is to pour in the stock and leave the rice to simmer away until cooked.

Once cooked I always take rice off the heat and leave it to rest for another 5-10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam a little longer and makes it fluffier – it’s one of the most vital steps in making perfect homemade rice! Fluff with a fork and then serve up.

This rice can also be served alongside many dishes – I love to serve it with curry or my mum’s Spanish roast chicken. But the rice is great enjoyed on it’s own too.

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(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

2 pinches saffron threads

2 tablespoons boiling water

30g / 2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bay leaf, torn

450g (2 cups) rice (you can use basmati or long grain rice)

900ml (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley, to serve

Method:

1. Add the saffron threads to a small bowl. Pour over the 2 tablespoons boiling water, mix and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan gently melt the butter and oil. Add the chopped onion, season well with salt and pepper and sauté on a medium heat for 3 minutes. Now add the minced garlic and bay leaf and continue cooking for a further minute until fragrant.

3. Add the rice and toast for 2 minutes. Now add the stock and the saffron infusion you pre-made earlier and stir to combine. Bring up to the boil and then once boiling turn down the heat to low and allow the rice to simmer covered for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked fully.

4. Once the rice is cooked, take off the heat and leave on the side for 5-10 minutes. Fluff the rice up and adjust seasoning, if needed.

5. Serve warm with a sprinkling of parsley.

Note: To make this dish vegan, omit the butter and add an extra tablespoon of oil or 30g of your preferred butter substitute.

Enjoy!

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Baking · Breakfast · Gluten-Free · Granola

Basic Homemade Granola

Easy, healthy and nut-free granola. This recipe will soon be a staple for your weekday breakfast and it can be topped anyway you like!

Looking for an affordable, healthy and delicious breakfast recipe? If so, I have a great granola to share with you. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it’s what sets you up for the day ahead.

Granola just like cake and cookies is another one of my favourite things to make. Most granola recipes I make usually tend to be for a crunchier, clustered-style granola, which is typically higher in fat and sugar. But since I like to keep as healthy as I can I wanted to share a healthier and lighter granola that can be eaten for breakfast or that could also even be enjoyed as a nourishing snack.

To make my granola, oats are combined with honey (this can be substituted with agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan granola), oil and cinnamon and vanilla, the last two of which are both optional additions.

I’ve experimented adding ground cinnamon to my granola whilst testing out this recipe, the cinnamon adds a warming flavour and it also brings some health benefits. Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory properties and it also helps stabilise blood sugar levels. A bit of food science for you!

Granola is one of my go-to breakfasts to enjoy weekdays before heading to work and my favourite way to eat this granola is with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries. If you wanted to try something different you can even layer the granola with yoghurt and fruit compotè in a jar and make yourself a granola parfait.

With this basic recipe you can add anything extra you’d like such as different nuts or even dried fruit like apricots, cranberries or raisins and if you’re a chocoholic just like me you can add chocolate chips!

Ingredients:

300g (3 cups) old-fashioned/rolled oats

75ml (5 tablespoons) honey or maple syrup

75ml (5 tablespoons) rapeseed oil – canola/vegetable oil both work well as a substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) – you can add different spices if you like

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C / 130°C Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2.
  2. Weigh the oats out into a large mixing bowl and toss together with the cinnamon (if using).
  3. In a small saucepan gently heat together the honey, oil and vanilla until warmed. Don’t boil this mixture.
  4. Stir together the honey mixture with the oats until all the oats are moistened. Spread the granola out onto a large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give it a stir and return the granola to the oven for a further 15 minutes. After the second lot of 15 minutes is up, again remove the granola from the oven and give it a stir. Pop the granola back in the oven for another 15 minutes more to finish baking. (Granola will have been baking for a total of 45 minutes before it’s ready.)
  5. Once the granola is baked, take it from the oven and leave it to cool. As it cools it will get crisp. This granola will store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks – it may last longer, but this never lasts longer than a week in our house and I personally think it tastes a whole lot better when it’s fresh.

Enjoy!

jess

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