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Welcome, one and all, to the throes of the exam period. Getting a seat in the library has become like finding a needle in a stressful, red-bull powered haystack. Tempers flare. Conversations are punctured by pressure-induced expletives. Worst of all, perhaps, is that food is placed on the metaphorical (and often literal) back burner.
What the student needs, on days where venturing out to the Greggs queue can cause the loss of a perfect seat, is energy. Pure and simple. Energy that can be consumed, little and often, over the course of a long day. Carbohydrates, to contradict many a misinformed blogger, are your friend.
Far from wishing to chain you to the cooker, I am offering a recipe that, well… is it even a recipe? This is something you can put together at the end of a frazzled day, with lackadaisical ignorance of quantities, and cooking times, temperatures…
Yawn. This is fun cooking. Take some porridge oats and toss into a small/medium baking tray at about an inch deep. This is your size reference. Melt half a block of butter slowly in a medium saucepan, and stir in whatever you fancy. Yes, like I said: whatever you fancy. Chocolate spread is particularly good, as is golden syrup. Honey works a treat. Anything that will make those oats stick together, as well as flavour them, is ideal.
Stir the oats into the gluttonous mixture and make sure each oat is covered. Any extras should be tossed in now: dried fruit, chocolate chips, candied nuts. The gym-goers amongst us will surely stir in some protein powder. Nothing is off-limits… within palatable reason.
Spoon this mixture into the baking tray, taking care to scrape every clinging oat from the edges. With the back of a wooden spoon, flatten the flapjack evenly. The flatter it is, the less oxygen will seep into the mixture. The less oxygen, the softer your flapjack will be.
Bake at 200’c, or so, for between twenty and thirty minutes. Leave to cool in the tray. Using a sharp knife, slice along the middle of the flapjack and lift the two halves onto a chopping board. Cut into whatever size is desired. Drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top – if you’re really procrastinating. Wrap up in tin foil, or store in Tupperware, and take to the library. Try and stop your neighbour from stealing them.