Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Apple and Oat Shortcake Bars

I decided to make the next recipe in Annie Bell's Baking Bible Traybakes section. That was Apple and Oat Shortcake Bars. These have a shortbread base, apple and then are topped with flapjack. The recipe, as always, was very straightforward and worked nicely. However, this time I decided to make it twice and alter the recipe slightly. The full recipe I used will follow but firstly I'll talk about the recipe from the book. 

The base is a simple shortbread recipe where the ingredients are combined in a food processer until dough like. It is then chilled for a few hours and pressed into a tin before baking. 
Shortbread chilling
The apples are then sliced and mixed with currants and sugar. All sprinkled on top of the shortbread and then topped with the flapjack, which is just a case of melting butter and golden syrup and mixing with oats. 
Assembled and ready for the oven

The whole thing is then baked and enjoyed. 
Baked and cooling
I found that this fell apart too easily and was very difficult to eat. It was lovely and moist but there wasn't enough shortbread and in places you couldn't taste it at all. 

So in line with these comments I adjusted the recipe to try and improve it slightly. 

Ingredients:

Shortbread:
250g Butter
110g Sugar
352g Plain Flour
100g Currants

400g sliced cooking Apples
75g Muscavado Sugar

Flapjack:
200g Butter
200g Golden Syrup
225g Rolled Oats

Method:
Mix together the ingredients for the shortbread in a food processor. They should form a dough which is fairly sticky, not dry. 
Dough ready to be pressed into a tin and chiled
Press into a lined tin and cool in the fridge for several hours. 

Prick the shortbread with a fork and place in the oven, 140oC, for 30minutes until just beginning to colour. 

Place the sliced apples over the shortbread and sprinkle with the sugar. 

For the flapjack melt the butter and golden syrup together in a saucepan. Mix in the oats and spread the mixture on top of the apples. 

Place in the oven, 180oC, for 30minutes. The flapjack should be starting to colour. 
Cooling
Leave to cool and then slice and enjoy. 
Sliced finished product

The verdict: As you can see from the picture this shortcake held together much better than the original. The shortbread was much more promenant and tasted really good. Gary stated that if it was just the shortbread and flapjack it would be even better but I disagree. The apple adds some moisture to the cake making it less dry. I would have prefered a little more moisture but the risk would be that the cake would then fall apart so I think this was a good compromise. I give it 8/10.