My belly has become prime real estate. There’s a bidding war going on between my ever growing baby and the space in my stomach to feed said growing baby and baby is winning hands down. He/she is a ruthless negotiator and as my stomach gets shoved into a tight corner eating has become more of a challenge than a pleasure. It’s a good lesson in pacing myself. Us Helm’s and our days competing at the boarding school dinner table have not made us genteel feeders but pregnancy has taught me how vital it is to slow down. Otherwise what goes down will get kicked (quite literally) back up.
Gone is the joy of the first trimester and the glow of the second- the third trimester has hit like a ten ton truck full of ugly sticks. My back hurts, my right hip hurts and my life has become one long kegal exercise as I try to ward off any unfortunate incidents resulting from a surprise left-hook from my little real estate tycoon. Ahh pregnancy….you were so wonderfully uneventful up until now. Which brings me to my real point of being here today.
Millionaire’s flapjacks. Hello.
Now before you start questioning how I could take a perfectly healthy flapjack and smother it in caramel and chocolate- let me remind you of two important facts. 1/ I am a hugely pregnant woman with raging hormones and 2/ don’t delude yourself, flapjacks were never healthy in the first place. Sure they mostly consist of oats but sugar and butter weigh in at a close second and third place so really what’s a little caramel and chocolate too?
It’s pure joy- that’s what. Fortunately, I was destined to share these at the second annual NY cookie swap supporting Cookies for Kids Cancer or else baby might have had something to say about them. Or perhaps more likely, would have kicked up a fuss about how many I was trying to squeeze in my stomach. I’m telling you, It’s a war in there.
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Makes 24 large squares
for the caramel layer
1 can condensed milk
for the flapjack layer
225g/2 sticks unsalted butter
175g/6 oz sugar
140g/5oz golden syrup (or honey)
425g/15oz porridge oats (quick cooking oats- NOT 1 minute oats)
1 Tbsp flour
for the top layer
450g/1lb chocolate (70% is best)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp maldon sea salt (optional)
• First get the caramel going. Put the tin in a large pot and completely cover it with water. Bring up to the boil and let gently simmer for 2 hours, topping up the water as necessary.
• Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line a 22×32 cm (13 x9 inch) baking tin with parchment paper.
• Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together until the butter has completely melted. In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour and salt. Once the butter has melted stir in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
• Spread into your prepared pan evenly and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges but still pale in the center. Allow to cool.
• Once your caramel has completed cooking allow to cool a little before opening the can and spreading evenly over the flapjack layer. Chill in the fridge.
• Melt your chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in the microwave and then spread over the caramel layer. Sprinkle over the salt and allow to set up. Don’t try to cut the bars straight from the fridge or the chocolate will crack. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30mins- 1 hour first.