Proust. Golden Syrup. Flapjacks


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.

Tate & Lyle tins

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 ( 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.


Filed under Recipes

12 responses to “Proust. Golden Syrup. Flapjacks

  1. H

    Hi B I literally collect recipes for flapjacks under the guise that the oats are good for us! Your recipe is a new one for me so I will try it . Thank you indeed. Hx

    • Hi H I have exactly the same belief about flapjacks. When I saw this recipe contained banana I felt it was even more virtuous. I have just added and update to the post (now that I have eaten two!) saying I prefer the more traditional flapjacks with just the addition of dried fruit. But that’s just me. Thanks as always for your comment. Bx

  2. I love Golden syrup! Mum used to make popovers that we dipped in syrup and of course there are always Anzac biscuits. I think I will make some when I get home.

  3. The tins were well designed; I can see why the company chose to stay with them. And I enjoyed your comments about the changes in packaging – much of it just seems like change for the sake of change.

  4. Sounds delicious! And I really like your title, too 🙂

  5. That’s a lovely memory … love that they’ve kept the classic design on the tins. I have had of the volumes of Proust tucked into my bookshelf for many years – but have only managed to read and re-read the madeleine passage – so wonderful! 🙂

    • It is a nice to have memories of lots of home baking during my childhood. You are a few steps further down the Proustian literary road than I am as I don’t have any of his volumes on by book shelves. One day … 😉

  6. I love the design of the syrup tins too! And yes there was always a tin in the cupboard, and I still use it – nothing quite like it 🙂

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