Whenever I enter the kitchen with the aim of producing food rather than eating it, I always manage to hear the faint bellow of klaxons going off in the mind of my mother. Sure, it’s 2017 and gender roles are no longer as defined as they once were, but this doesn’t stop mother dearest and “The Mistake” from watching my dabbling from afar whilst praying that they still have a house left at the end of it. As for dear father, well – he’s still amazed that I know how to fry an egg.
The truth is, I’ve come a long way from my early days of cooking, baking, and generally recreating a bomb site in the kitchen – all of which involved fairly idiot-proof recipes that even I couldn’t mess up. Thinking back, one of the very first things that I ever made in the kitchen were peanut butter flapjacks, which were so dense and thick and monstrous in size, that one could probably have utilised them as a sort of square-shaped ballistic missile. Faced with a frantically short window in which to eat Suhr, and inspired by Golden Tiffin’s “date and pistachio ladoos”, I decided to reinvent my notorious flapjack missiles into *slightly* smaller, more manageable “laddoo” grenades. These hefty bites will do well to nourish you in the closing days of Ramadan, and can also double up as a projectile alarm clock for your sleepy siblings.
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Baking time: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 15 medium-sized laddoos
- 300g Oats.
- 250g Crunchy Peanut Butter (+ extra for a peanut butter core).
- 200g Honey.
- 1 large ripe banana / 2 small ripe bananas (pulped).
- 100-150g desiccated coconut (optional).
- 100g dark chocolate (optional).
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the peanut butter and the honey in a heatproof bowl, and melt over a pot of boiling water – (on a very low heat).
- (Literally) beat the banana(s) into a pulp using a fork – or as is my preferred method – a fist.
- Pour the pulp into the mixture of peanut butter and honey, and stir thoroughly. Turn off the heat.
- Gradually add the oats into the liquid, and coat them with the mixture. You may find it easier to use your hands once the liquid starts to get absorbed by the oats.
- Take a handful of the flapjack mixture and make a sort of flattened sphere (see above) with a divot in the centre. Add a small scoop of peanut butter to this centre to create a peanut butter core.
- Use your hands to close up the flat sphere and roll it into a ball. Keep a bowl of honey on the side to close up any cracks, and a bowl of water to stop them sticking to your hands.
- Place the laddoos on a baking tray and place them in the oven for no more than 15 minutes. Check on them every five minutes and consider turning them over to stop them burning at the bottom.
- Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool. Finally, if desired, lightly coat the laddoos in honey, and roll them around in a bowl of desiccated coconut. (You could also add a drizzle of dark chocolate to add a subtle, bitter finish).
Let us know how you get on, and be sure to send us your snaps!