At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The stickiest cupcakes ever!! ;) flapjack buns!!!

I often find I derive great enjoyment from combining things in baking. Of course first and foremost there is the biscuit cake sponge. And then we have the Neo cake. Both of these collaborate cake and biscuit. And then there are these exceptionally sticky, syrupy little buns, which are basically a fluffy, airy cupcake with a splodge of flapjack in each.

Flapjack? Just in case you may not be familiar with this term - for there have been a couple of occasions when I have offered people a flapjack and have received looks of both suspicion and puzzlement. Now I'm afraid I can't explain the origins of this curious name - maybe some Jack in a flap made them, sometime someplace?  - but I can of course tell you a little about what defines a good flapjack. Oats, butter/margarine, syrup and demerara sugar are the basic ingredients; and it's porbably one of the simplest of things to make - it's only a matter of melt, mix and bake. You have to be alittle careful with the baking time, of course - trying to cut, and eat, an overbaked flapjack is somewhat like trying to spread rock-hard butter from the fridge on soft fresh bread - but there can be no denying the fact that nothing quite beats a good, syrupy, crunchy flapjack for dunking in coffee or popping into a lunchbox for nibbling on when you're on the go. ;)
The next time I make flapjacks, I promise I will share my recipe on here - trust me, it's a great little recipe to have in your repertoire. They are ever so quick and cheap to make, they keep quite happily in an airtight tin for over a week, and of course they are just so, so yummy. ;) But today we are talking about flapjack cupcakes, as I just happened to make these yesterday. I was in the mood for a cupcake, you see: but when I opened my baking cupboard and saw the dark green can of Lyle's golden syrup sitting temptingly at the very front, the newly opened bag of demerara propped right next to it, my heart melted with nostalgia as my mind wandered back to the days of my early baking, when I would spend hours upon end in the kitchen, uncovering the secrets of the arts of baking for myself; whipping batch upon batch of those bakes most suitable for the novice baker - currant-studded queen cakes; soft white scones;  and, of course, the inevitable flapjack in all it's gorgeous golden-syrupy glory. And so, what to do - how could I compromise and satisfy both my cupcake craving and flapjack fancy? The result of my deliberations was, of course, the flapjack bun: quite likely the most sticky cupcake I have ever made for quite some time - and, even more likely, the most scrumptious. :)
Ingredients (makes 8 cupcakes :) )

  • 50 g porridge oats
  • 95 g margarine
  • 1 large tbsp golden syrup
  • 45 g demerara sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 50 g light brown soft sugar
  • 50 g self-raising flour
Method :)
  1. Preheat oven to 190c/170c fan and put 8 cupcake cases in a bun tin.
  2. Put 45 g of the margarine in a small saucepan and add the syrup and the demerara sugar. Use a heated tbsp to meansure the syrup as this makes it alot easier to handle. Put the saucepan over a very low heat until the margarine has melted. Pour in the oats and mix together well.
  3. Put the remaining margarine in a bowl and bbeat with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until very soft.
  4. Add the light brown soft sugar and beat well for about 3 minutes until soft and fluffy.
  5. beat the egg in a jug lightly. Pour about a quarter into the bowl with a small spoonful of flour. Beat together well until incorporated, and then add another quarter of the beaten egg with another spoonful of flour. beat again and repeat the process until all the egg has been used up.
  6. Sieve in the remaining flour and fold in with a metal spoon. Add a few drops of water, if necessary, if the batter is not quite of a nice soft dropping consistency. 
  7. Divide the cake batter amongst the 8 cupcake cases. Then, divide the flapjack mixture in the saucepan amongst the cupcakes, spooning it over the top of each one.
  8. bake for about 20 minutes, until golden, but not too dark.
  9. leave to cool for abbout 5 mins, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
WARNING: you might require a wee spoon when you go to eat your cupcake(s ;)), if you don't like having sticky fingers!!! ;)

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