I had a Proustian moment when I saw these golden syrup and black treacle tins (pictured below) used to store sugar sachets in the Summer House café in Lismore. Saying that may casually imply that I have read Marcel Proust’s major opus A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, which for the record I haven’t. But I know the story of how Proust, on tasting a madeleine which had been dipped in tea, was transported back to the landscape of his childhood to a time when his aunt customarily gave him a similar tea soaked madeleine each Sunday morning. When I saw the Tate & Lyle tins I remembered the days of my childhood when home-baked treats were plentiful and a tin of golden syrup was always a staple in the store cupboard.
I doubt my memory would have stirred except that the golden syrup tin looked identical to the one I remembered from my early years. When I looked up the golden syrup website (www.lylegoldensyrup.com) I discovered the packing has been the same since 1884. The only deviation was for a brief war-time period when metal was in short supply and the ‘tin’ was made of cardboard. Such continuity is reassuring in an age when so many brands revamp their packing with alarming regularity. No doubt brand managers and marketing folk will say there are sound reasons for these redesigns. But ultimately consumers pay for them and it oftentimes seems (to me at least) that the redesigns are done on some madcap capricious whim in response to a mistaken clarion call that change is good. So praise be for the long-lived stylish golden syrup tin.
While I was looking at the golden syrup website I found a recipe for banana and chocolate chip flapjacks and I decided to whip up a batch.
* 115g butter
* 75g light Brown soft sugar
* 3 rounded tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 350g rolled oats (porridge oats)
* 2 medium size ripe bananas
* 100g dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a shallow 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla extract into a saucepan, heat gently until everything melts. Stir in the oats and leave to cool a little. Peel and roughly mash the bananas and add to the mixture with the chocolate chips. Mix well then turn into the tin, level and press the mixture evenly and firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes then cut into 12 or 16 pieces whilst still warm. Cool completely before turning out and cutting again with a sharp knife.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Update: I have now eaten two flapjacks and have concluded I prefer a more traditional flapjack with just the addition of some dried fruit.