I started collecting objects, to make up for memories I forgot. A blue pool ball, a broken cigarette, a plastic table number.
I read words. Most of the time, at night. Yes, all it took was a few words. Perhaps, a bad google translation too. In fact, some words don’t translate well into French.
But it was cute. And it made me miss him even though I thought he was part of those long gone memories.
And when the world we both knew started to fold itself and disappear, I employed magical thinking.
Of the good kind. Possibly involving flapjacks. Because, let’s face it, they seem to be a bit of a mystery around here these days.
Some people want them crunchy. Most go for chewy. A pinch of flour or not? And what about condensed milk…
Finding a recipe that made everyone happy seemed to be harder than finding a map and drawing a straight line.
Those are, by no means, the best flapjacks ever. There are in my own world. But then, I wasn’t lucky enough to be brought up on crumpets and marmalade, and had to make the most of croissants and confiture.
They are those flapjacks with a thin crunchy crust and soft chewy – almost – fudgy crumb. If you’re after the crunchiest kind, I would suggest to use a larger pan (so the overall thickness is thinner) and bake them at a slightly higher temperature. Perhaps, 190°C.
Here, I bake them at 180°C. But please, as with all baking, keep in mind that I have a diplodocus of an oven. Non fan-assisted. And with all the heat coming from two gas burners at the bottom. If you have a fan oven, it’s good to reduce the temperature by 20°C (and open a bottle of champagne).
There are two important steps – if they can even be called this way. The first is to line the pan all the way to the top with baking paper. And the second is not to bring the sugar/butter mixture to the boil before adding the oats. You just want the butter and light brown sugar to be happily melted.
200g condensed milk
85g light brown sugar
60g golden syrup
5g maldon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C (see note above). And line a 20x20cm baking pan with baking paper. I like to butter the pan first so the paper nicely sticks to it, without any crease.
In a large pan, place the condensed milk, butter, light brown sugar, golden syrup and salt, and cook over slow heat until the butter has dissolved.
Mix in the oats until nicely coated. Spread into the lined mold, pressing down with the back of a spoon to chase any air. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown.
Allow to cool, then slice into rectangles – trimming the edges, as you do so – with a sharp knife.