I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to make these. I clipped the recipe from a Dan Lepard column in the Guardian some time ago and dutifully stored it away, where I repeatedly came across it in subsequent weeks, swearing every single time that I would make it if not that day, then the next. And so it went on, despite the fact that flapjack is one of the quickest routes to teatime satisfaction, despite the fact that I always have all of the ingredients in my cupboards, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure my face lit up like a kid at an ice-cream van every time I passed over the words ‘halva flapjack’.
The halva bit, you see, refers to tahini, one of my favouritest things. I even wrote a whole post on the subject way back here. Dan says that the fudginess-making qualities of tahini mean that you can reduce the butter content of these flapjacks without them falling apart, which is surely a good thing; I’m not sure the condensed milk doesn’t slightly offset that health benefit, but I would never argue with the inclusion of condensed milk (another one of my favourite things! Which I particularly enjoyed here and here and here. Oh yeah, and here).
Personally, even after the long build-up, this recipe didn’t disappoint. I thought they were awesome. Tom, however, thought they were not as good as normal flapjacks and tasted ‘a bit savoury’. So I guess the ultimate question may be: how strong is your burning desire to include tahini in all manner of baked goods? If you’re still on the fence, think of it this way – half a tin of condensed milk left over to play with…
Makes 9 squares
The only real changes I made to Dan’s original recipe were to up the amount of oats, which I felt was called for to even begin to make a substantial enough flapjack, and to reduce the walnuts because I know a lot of people who are not so keen on nuts in their cakes.
100g unsalted butter
75g light brown sugar
200g condensed milk
100g chopped figs (or dates)
50g chopped walnuts
25g sesame seeds
Heat the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot. Take off the heat and stir in the tahini and honey, then the dried fruit, walnuts and sesame seeds. Stir in the oats and mix thoroughly.
Heat the oven to 180c,or 160c for a fan oven. Butter your smallest cake tin – Dan says 20-25cm square, but I think 20cm is definitely better for thickness. Pack in the flapjack mixture, spreading it evenly and pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon.
Bake the flapjack for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Leave to cool before cutting, or it’s more likely to fall apart.