Friday, 25 January 2013

fleur de sel caramel oatbars

day eleven: 13. 10 stone (183lbs) - is this on my diet... i don't think so...

... imagine a taste so wonderfully complex and difficult to get your head around that, one moment you're not quite sure you like it and the next you're thinking you've never tasted anything so exquisite... welcome to the world of salted caramel... now i know i'm by no means the first person to taste or cook with this glorious elixir of the gods but I am relatively new to actually eating the stuff and up until two weeks ago The Viking was a definite non-eater... he being from the right-wing school of 'sweet is for pudding, salt is for putting on roast potatoes'... but after our visit to the Oakville Grocery in Sonoma Valley I have made a convert of him... at last...

... the little pot of caramel I bought uses milk from the lovely jersey cows grazing on the fresh green grass of the Petaluma hills and salt hand-skimmed off the Pacific coast... well it does if you believe the prose written on the back of the pot, which I do, whole-heartedly of course... and its virtue is it's sin...

fleur de sel caramel oat bars with apple butter and dried fruit
I think one calls this a larder cake or store-cupboard surprise as it quite literally has all the healthy stuff I had in my cupboard thrown into it, so I apologise for the 'cups' measurements here but it was the easiest way I could keep track of stuff and to be honest this kind of thing doesn't really need a recipe, it's all about trial and error... as long as you get the sweet balance right... remember that the dried fruit will add a lot of sweetness which means you don't have to add any 'real' sugar... the apple butter is also sweet, so i'd advise to add all the sweet stuff sparingly...

1 cup of porridge oats
1/2 cup golden rolled oats
1 cup crushed mixed nuts and fruit
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3 tablespoons apple butter (you could use apple puree and more honey)
2 teaspoons fleur de sel caramel
2 teaspoons golden Lincolnshire honey

place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well together

place the apple butter, honey and caramel into a pan and gently heat until it bubbles

add the wet to the dry and stir until all the dry is coated then pour into a parchment lined 9cm x 9cm square tin and bake on 120C for 25-30 mins

once out of the oven let it cool entirely before cutting it into bars

warning: tenuous blogger challenge link alert
this months AlphaBakes challenge, hosted so beautifully by Caroline from Caroline Makes and Ros from The More than Occasional Baker and which I didn't have time to do in December has the letter D as it's theme... these oatbars are made by me, Dominic and therefore more than qualify for an entry... don't they... being Dominic's Oatbars...

eat and of course, enjoy!



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