Warning – contains nuts!

It’s not often I rave about a recipe for flapjacks but this one really takes the biscuit – literally! It was one of those experimental recipes where I threw everything in and then found out it actually worked!

Try and resist drooling over my pics long enough to quickly jot it down and I guarantee that your family will want you to bake these babies every day! As I have a hungry husband to feed who hasn’t a pick of fat on him and two equally slim boys I believe these flapjacks contain enough goodness and energy in them to keep them all going and satisfy their appetites. I may however have started an addiction in them to my flapjacks, but hey – you only live once so enjoy eating and baking them and remember it contains nuts (me) and a couple of pecans to boot!

Ingredients:

170g/6oz. of butter

170g/6oz. of Light brown sugar

50g/2oz. of sesame seeds

100g/4oz. of pecans

75g/3oz. of sunflower seeds (optional)

100g /4oz of apricots – chopped

226g/8oz of rolled oats

2 tablespoons of honey

Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees. Put pecans and sesame seeds on a baking tray and toast lightly until sesame seeds are golden (about 5 minutes). You can substitute walnuts or almonds if you don’t like pecan nuts. Allow to cool. Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat stirring continually until sugar is melted and you get a toffee mixture (do not bring to boil!) Add in honey, pecans, chopped apricots and oats and mix until everything is  combined. Press into a square brownie tin and bake in oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. The flapjacks will be soft at first so gently mark out 12 pieces and allow to cool. Eat and enjoy once cooled!

If you can resist eating them all at once, they will keep in an airtight container for about four days.

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How much are you worth?

From this...I was recently asked by a wonderful fellow Cake Maker to help her cost up her cakes and give her some guidelines about costings. Now I believe I’m no expert on costings however there is a vast difference between a supermarket cake and a cake made with love and attention to individuality.

 

Whilst it may be easy for sceptics to say “it’s only a bit of  sponge love” – I have to disagree with them. Being a Cake Maker is not for the faint hearted! Through trials and errors we have worked our way through countless recipes to provide for you –  the cake eating public, a perfect madeira sponge or cupcake recipe, freshly baked and decorated to your design.  We bring a wealth of our experience and creativity to provide the WOW! factor on your special day be it a Birthday, Wedding or just “Love me” day.

If I was a plasterer or an architect you would want me to quote you for my work and my expertise according to what you felt I was worth having looked at my portfolio and got recommendations etc.

In the same way as Cake Makers we sometimes feel guilty about charging for cakes because we never truly cost up our time and expertise. I can guarantee that in the current trend in home baking, that very few have taken the leap of faith from a hobby to a business. But for those of us who have made that step, then it’s because we have invested time in ourselves and weighed up the cost of what we do.

I appeal to all bakers out there when you go to cost up a cake – please consider the rest of us who have the scars of being cheated on price, but in many ways we only have ourselves to blame for underselling what we do. Fear keeps us from asking for the fairest price. We have taken the cheaper option and undercharged, which in effect does not pay your bills. Neither does it do any favours for other bakers who are struggling to survive these days against the bigger giants who can afford to take a hit because of mass production.

I say this as someone who has lost an entire business in the last few months because of this recession and many other factors. It was an expensive lesson and I would rather get it 100% right next time, but if I had never taken risks I would never have enjoyed the wonderful world of being in business.

What do you think? ...to this!