Caught by the River

Cake by the River

28th August 2009

mmmm, HONEY FLAPJACKS by Rosie Lovell

I was kindly asked to contribute a cake recipe for Caught by the River. It was flattering, and I realised I needed to do some research into the best picnic characters, as I’m not myself a fisher woman, just yet. But I do like baking so felt I had a good start. But, where to begin?

My research naturally led me to a famed corner of Soho where I bumped into some roguish fellows who, as it happened, knew a thing or two about fishing. I tapped their resources, and found that cakes were not always actually the best thing to take to the river. This is because that perfect cake, carefully wrapped in foil and sent off with the fishermen, as the day commences, becomes squashed, warm and miserably marred. (editors note; not entirely true. all previous recipes have stood up to the test though the same cannot always be said of the fishermen.)

So cakes were out. Then, thanks to further discussions with those Soho fellows, I struck gold. My old favourite, Flapjacks: so easy you could instruct your child to make them; firm and unmashable (especially in some lovely Tupperware) and full of slow releasing energy for that lull in the fisherman’s concentration. These should ward off any listlessness and mine are full of flower honey, scented like a John Constable landscape.

120g unsalted butter
4 tbsp flower honey
75g golden caster sugar
240g quaker oates
½ tsp Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a small baking tray with grease proof paper. In a large sauce pan melt the butter and honey and sugar so that it is just beginning to amalgamate and bubbling in a fizzing way. Now add the oats and salt, using a spatula and carefully working so that the oats are entirely coated in the syrup. Turn this out into the baking tray and press down with a bendy knife or the spatula. You want it to be pretty dense and tightly packed. Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden and the main surface is slightly rising. Remove from the oven and slice with a large knife whilst it is still soft and malleable. If you leave the slicing until the flapjacks are cool, then it is much harder to separate them.

for more Rosie we highly reccomend a visit to ‘Rosie’s Deli‘ in Brixton Market, South London. But if that’s not so easy, read her blog and pick up a copy of her new book, ‘Spooning With Rosie’ here.