Banana-Walnut Oatmeal Bars with Salted Caramel and Chocolate


So last week, I made a sophisticated twist on the American classics ‘Girl scout cookies’ as Cocoa cookie sticks.

But this week, I made a more sophisticated twist on the British classics – ‘Banoffee Pie’ (digestive biscuit crust, dulce de leche, sliced bananas and whipped cream) and ‘millionaire’s shortbread’ ( layered shortbread, caramel and chocolate) . This time, as a banana-walnut oatmeal bar (aka Flapjacks in the UK) topped with a salted caramel and a drizzle of milk chocolate.

Apparently, drizzling chocolate on food makes it more sophisticated in my mind (wait…does that mean it’s I could eat chocolate drizzled-oreos as ‘sophisticated dessert’ ?)

To be honest, I probably should have been making ice cream this weekend, it would have been more appropriate for the weather – it got up to 29 degrees C! (NOT a fun temperature for cycling in). 

Well, actually, no! I should have made both; I would totally endorse eating these warm with vanilla ice cream…

…while watching ER from the beginning ( George Clooney.) and rocking out to the dramatic hospital music (the oatmeal bar stuffed in your mouth will drown out the sound of your 100% accurate interpretation of the theme tune a bit)
These are pretty much the ultimate twix bar, easy to make, with an awesome twist.

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Coconut Milk and Ground Coconut

Coconut is the best thing ever. You can buy a whole tub of unsweetened desiccated coconut pretty cheaply, even at whole foods. Of course you can use the coconut straight up in desserts, or toasted and sprinkled on cakes, but you can also make two pretty useful ingredients from it:

  • Coconut Milk – no need to explain this one
  • Ground Coconut:
I was initially experimenting with making coconut flour, but it seems that you have to have an actual grain mill to get the leftover solids fine enough. But I realized that the texture of the dried, blended coconut solids was pretty similar to ground almonds. Once I started thinking about it, the coconut’s nutritional profile is also a lot like almonds too- some carbohydrate, protein, fiber and fats.

I’ve used it in macarons and a cake as a 100% substitute for ground almonds and both times it worked! (recipes coming!) I haven’t tried it in other cookies yet (e.g. tuiles), but you can experiment with using it as a gluten-free substitute for ground almonds in your own recipes – it’s especially useful for those with allergies to most nuts, who otherwise couldn’t have macarons…and what is life without macarons?

Sourdough Crumpets


I had my last day of year 11 on Friday, but now I’m on study leave where all you do is revise for some of the most important exams ever. My first one is on Thursday – English, and after that I only have 17 more left!

For some strange reason though, I decided to restart my sourdough starter – *made with equal quantities of all purpose flour and water and left to ferment for 3 days before using it. Rather than just make a bread loaf, I thought it would be interesting to try making some crumpets instead which usually have a slightly sour taste.

Anyways, I had better get back to revising – ahhhhhhhh

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