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’ ?)
Banana-Walnut Oatmeal Bars with Salted Caramel and Chocolate
makes 16 bars
1/2 cup (6 oz / 170g) golden syrup / mild honey
1/2 cup (4 oz / 110g) butter
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) light brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100ml) mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (10 oz / 280g) quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/3 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) desiccated coconut, toasted
For the salted caramel:
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (100 ml) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream / double cream
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Decoration: chopped toasted walnuts, toasted desiccated coconut, chocolate chips*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a 10″ x 7″ or 9″ square tin with baking paper and grease the baking paper.
Melt the butter in a medium-large sauce pan. Stir in the sugar and syrup/honey and cook for 5 minutes over a medium-low heat, while constantly stirring. Add in the mashed banana and cook for a further 2 minutes. Sir in the oats, vanilla and optional extras (if you’re adding them in). Pour the mixture into the lined tray, then spread and flatten it out with your hands. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave it in the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
In a heavy based saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cream and salt over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Turn the heat up to medium-high, bringing the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer while you stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the sides and edges of the pan, for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Take it off the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter has melted in, then pour the caramel over the baked base and spread it so it covers the entire surface. Sprinkle on any desired toppings then refrigerate until the caramel is firm. Cut into bars/ squares and serve.
*you can melt the chocolate then dip the base of each square in it and drizzle it on after the bars have been refrigerated like I did.