Typical scenario on the day that I am planning to bake something:
Get up in the morning, take the butter & eggs out of the fridge. You never know when I can sneak in a chance to bake & I dont want to have cold & hard butter staring at me then. Besides its a tip I have picked up regarding baking – unless otherwise mentioned, all the ingredients should be at room temperature for you to have a chance at the desired end result.
Once I see that I might have some time on hand, I switch on the oven to ‘pre heat’ to the specified temperature, then go about my other chores along with getting together the ingredients for the bake. I start taking the flour out & if S happens to be in the kitchen at that time, I have to postpone it because she always likes to stick her hand in the flour and make a mess, however hard I try to prevent it! Then I have to either wait for her to go out again or make an excuse to send her out to her toys because if I tell her to go so that Mum can work on something she is sure to stick around in the kitchen to ‘see’ what Mum is up to so that she can replicate the same in her toy kitchen the next day & impress everyone!
I somehow manage to get the dry ingredients at one place & keep everything ready for the wet ones. Then I take a quick look to check if S is duly occupied & not up to any mischief, if I find that she is indeed doing something she is not supposed to, the ingredients have to wait some more till I resolve that. So after I have scolded S for whatever she was doing, reading a story to her just to pacify her, playing with her & getting her to play on her own, I return to the kitchen to the well ‘pre heated’ oven & the forever waiting ingredients.
By the time I finally manage to put everything together & slide it into the oven, the oven has been in the ‘pre – heated’ state for at least 2-3 hours. Thats the minimum by the way and I realised it last time I baked something. So this time I put on a timer just to determine how much time it takes
I almost always bake in the afternoon, either after S has settled into her high chair with the lunch or after she has gone to sleep. If its something complicated like a layered cake or a new recipe I wait for GM to be at home to ensure there are no interruptions.
I always wanted to try out something with oats. Imagine baking some cookies & enjoying them knowing that they dont have any plain flour to threaten your health, although I admit, this recipe almost makes up for it with the amount of butter involved! Remember my very modest first investment in a cook book? This recipe comes from the same book.
Hazelnut Chocolate Bars
- 2.5 cups rolled oats
- 5 tblsp Hazelnuts, lightly roasted & chopped
- 1/2 cup Plain flour
- 8 tblsp Butter (extra for greasing)
- 7 tblsp light brown sugar
- 2 tblsp Golden syrup
- 5 tblsp Chocolate chips (I used plain chocolate)
Method: Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease a 9” shallow square tin or any other equivalent tin.
Mix together the oats, hazelnuts & flour in a bowl and keep aside.
Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently on a low flame until all the sugar has dissolved.
Pour this into the oats mixture and mix well. Add in the chocolate chips and combine.
Put this mixture into the prepared tin, level as much as possible and then bake in the pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes until firm to touch.
Once you take it out of the oven, mark the surface using a sharp knife into pieces as you like. The recipe called for triangles but I made them into rectangles. Once you have marked them, leave to cool in the tin.
Once cooled, cut into pieces and remove from the tin and store in an air tight container.
My Notes: This was super easy! How simpler can it get? The bars were very tasty and got over in no time.
The original recipe called for chocolate chips which would have resulted in something like chocolate chip cookies. But I did not have the chocolate chips so I used plain chocolate instead. This gave the bars a chocolate flavour but the chocolate was uniform throughout and we couldnt really bite into the chocolate. We didn't mind it though.