Winter can be bleak. The festivities of Christmas and New Year have been laid to rest, December’s wages have all but dwindled away, cold days and dark evenings make you feel like hibernating.
Yet, it’s around this time of year that diets and detox regimes are encouraged and resolutions are made to exercise more, eat less and be more mindful of how we treat our bodies. It takes a lot of willpower to hit the gym or pound the streets and tuck into leafy salads, when all you want to do is sit in front of the fire and eat your bodyweight in carbs!
That is why I have settled upon a recipe that combines both of these ideals. Flapjacks are the perfect slow release energy food popular with cyclists and runners alike. They are great as a lunchbox favourite, easy to make even if we all know that they’re not quite as wholesome as we try to convince ourselves they are.
I have taken this sugary, buttery treat one step further and made it more grown up with the addition of a dark chocolate ginger ganache topping. Although it could be considered indulgent and not particularly healthy, the ganache does have its own benefits.
Dark chocolate is full of flavanoids and antioxidants, which are great for your heart. If you opt for 70% cocoa chocolate like the Amedei Toscano variety used in this recipe, it can help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
The other main ingredient is ginger, included here in both ground and preserved forms. Ginger is a powerful root, great for the digestive system and can aid nausea and indigestion. There has also been some evidence that it can provide relief for rheumatoid arthritis.
You can make these flapjacks without the ganache topping but if you do I would recommend increasing the ginger syrup to 35g and reducing the golden syrup to 40g, alternatively you could make these entirely with golden syrup and omit the ginger syrup. Although I think the addition of the ginger makes these a warming, spicy treat, perfect for this time of year.
Whether you’re making these ginger ganache flapjacks for a much needed energy boost, a reward after exercise, or a pick me up to make January that bit sweeter, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Ginger Ganache Flapjacks
55g Golden Syrup
20g Ginger Syrup (from the jar)
75g Granulated Sugar
250g Porridge Oats
½ Tbsp Golden Syrup
150ml Double Cream
75g Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
50g Stem Ginger (in syrup)
300g Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa (I used Amedei Toscano)
1 Firstly begin by making the flapjacks, preheat the oven to
190C/170C Fan/Gas Mark 5 and grease and line a 20cm square shallow tin with
2 Place the butter, golden syrup, ginger syrup and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat until the butter has all melted, stir regularly and ensure the mixture doesn’t boil.
3 Take the pan off the heat and add the porridge oats to the hot liquid, mix thoroughly until they are combined, you don’t want any oats left dry.
4 Pour the flapjack mixture into the baking tin and press it down flat with the back of a spoon, ensuring it forms a nice even layer.
5 Bake the flapjacks for 20 minutes until the mixture is just starting to brown. This will give you a chewy flapjack, bake for a further 5 minutes if you prefer a crunchier flapjack.
6 While the flapjacks are in the oven, make a start on the ginger ganache. Add the golden syrup, sugar, cream, water, ground ginger and stem ginger to a heavy bottomed pan. Bring the mixture to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds.
7 Use a stick blender or a food processor to blitz the hot mixture so that there aren’t any large lumps of ginger. You wont be able to make a completely smooth mixture, but as the ganache thickens, some small pieces wont be a problem.
8 Heat the mixture again gently and then add it to the chocolate. Stir gently to melt the chocolate and combine it with the ginger mixture.
9 Allow the ganache to cool a little then pour it on top of the cooked flapjacks, which are still in their tin. Spread the chocolate evenly with a spatula or palette knife and allow to set.
10 When the ganache has set (about 4 hours), remove the flapjacks from the tin and using a sharp knife, cut the flapjack into 8 slices.
11 These will keep well in an airtight container for around 5 days.