Flapjack (made with condensed milk)

Flapjack made with condensed milk IMG-20130504-00547

My friend Trupti mentioned she makes flapjack with condensed milk (which surprised me as she is very slim). Since I’m still in search of the perfect flapjack recipe and I needed to make cake for eating as we walk the Thames barrier to Tower Bridge section of the Thames walk with my cousin Yasmin today I thought I’d have a search on the internet. The following recipe has been reworked some from the info I found to turn it into a recipe.

These flapjacks were very different, closer perhaps to good commercial flapjack in they had a softer texture although still chewy.  They were also paler in colour. The families conclusion was they these were pretty good, although I found them a little sweet. I tried with a little less sugar which worked and adjusted the recipe below.

As suggested in the comments I’ve tried freezing them and they freeze very well.

Ingredients

  • 300g Butter
  • 4 tbsps Golden Syrup
  • 300g Demerera sugar
  • 1/2 tin Condensed milk
  • 500g Porridge Oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
  2. Line a 30 x 23 cm traybake tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the sugar and syrup. Keep heating and stirring until all is melted and mixed. (Don’t rush by turning the heat up, the sugar will start to caramelise. If it starts to boil take it off the heat)
  5. Add the condensed milk and mix.
  6. Gradually add the oats, folding them in. All the oats should be coated, and the mixture quite dense, but still sticky.
  7. Pour the mixture into the tray bake tin and spread evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for ~15mins.
  9. Take them out when they just start to go brown round the edges, don’t leave longer than this. If they’re still squidgy in the middle that’s fine, they set on cooling.
  10. Leave them to cool before cutting into small slices with a sharp knife (these can still be cut into slices the next day.

Condensed milk flapjack being cut IMG-20130504-00545

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Spaghetti Carbonara – Dairy Family Cookery

Spaghetti Carbonara

Store cupboard supper last night and since we keep our own chickens we always have fresh eggs (at least from spring to early winter). There was also some leftover cream and a pack of streaky bacon in the fridge and I was feeling very lazy so spaghetti carbonara was the obvious choice. The first time I ever made this was using the recipe below from my original copy of The Dairy Book of Family Cookery. Nowadays I do from memory and have adapted a little. I use parmesan instead of cheddar for example, but when this book was published the only parmesan you could get in England was little tubs of finely grated dust that lasted for ever and smelt of old socks. I also used double cream since that was what I had to use up but if you have a choice single cream would be better. I also heat the pasta a minute or two whilst stirring after I add the egg/cream mixture.

My  boys were very happy with this meal. Quantities below serve 4 even if two of them are teen boys.

Ingredients

  • 4 very fresh eggs
  • 150ml/5fl oz single cream
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 225g/8oz streaky bacon
  • 350g/12oz spaghetti
  • 175g/6oz grated cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 30ml/2 tbsp chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. In a bowl beat together the eggs and cream. Heat butter in a frying pan and fry the bacon until crisp
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a saucepan of fast boiling salted water for about 8-10 minutes until tender but not soft. Drain and add to the bacon in the frying pan
  3. Cook for 1 minute stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and add the egg/cream mixture. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the pasta will cook the eggs
  4. Stir in 2/3 of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining cheese and parsley.

Greek lamb with Orzo – BBC Good Food

Greek lamb with orzo

This is one of those deceptively simple dishes that is delicious. The lamb is cooked until it is meltingly tender and the stock, tomatoes and lamb fat combine to make a rich sauce. You can adjust quantity of Orzo and Lamb up and down depending on budget. It is not time critical and the middle stage could be longer. It’s a good dish to make up to the end of stage 2 then leave on a low heat until people are nearly ready for dinner then turn up the heat and add the orzo. This dish is popular with the whole family.

I got the butcher to bone and cube the lamb. Getting him to bone the shoulder was a good idea but I should have trimmed and cubed it myself it would have been quicker than trimming the pieces. Quantities below serve 6.

Recipe can be found @ http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5846/greek-lamb-with-orzo

Orzo is a small pasta shaped like a large grain of rice or barley. The name Orzo is Italian for little barley and you’ll find packs of Orzo in the pasta section of any decent supermarket. The Greek name for that type of pasta is manéstra although the term manéstra is usually used for the dish made with the Orzo.

Ingredients

  • 1kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks , broken in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2l hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g orzo
  • freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks, then spread over the base of a large, wide casserole dish. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and olive oil, then stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 45 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.
  3. Remove the cinnamon sticks (if you can find them – I couldn’t), then stir in the orzo. Cover again, then cook for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through. The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with a greek salad and crusty bread.