It’s Nutter time, although it feels like it’s been that all day today. Nevertheless, this is the real deal, with baked goods, not just ranting on street corners. What does the baking Nutter have in store for us today, apart from a lemon shirt?
“We’re barring mad” is Nutter’s introduction. He’s pleased with the phrase, so repeats it. I think is meant to sound like “barking” with an intense glottal stop. What it means is there will be bars, and we’re hitting the recipes right out of the gate. (I’ve just realised why this is such a surprise to me – I’m so used to the drawn-out start of Masterchef, that any cooking within 10 minutes of opening credits appears to be unseemly haste).
The bars, after the jump.
Lemon and citrus slice
Nutter is wearing a very lemony coloured shirt today. He does favour those citrus colours, doesn’t he? I wonder if he figures out the recipe for the day before his wardrobe, or the other way around. As we know, it is quite often coordinated.
Delicious lime base, which couldn’t be simpler
170g plain flour
55 g icing sugar
170g unsalted butter
Zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 170
Sift the dry ingredients and then rub the butter in until the texture is breadcrumby. Add the zest and toss it through the crumbs. DO NOT OVERWORK! Pour the mix into a non stick slice tin and press it down with clean hands. Make sure it goes into the corners, but don’t be too anal about even-ness. Pop it into the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Make sure you check your oven for anything the pastry fairy may have left you.
Topping (or filling), which is even more simpler! (and he said that couldn’t happen…)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
350g caster sugar
175g whipping cream
Tip – warm your lemon in a microwave for 10 seconds to maximise juiciness. Make sure you juice them in real time, because it is a rare skill that your viewers will want to see demonstrated.
Add lemon juice to the eggs and add the sugar and lemon zest. Whisk gently with an electric whisk, but DO NOT OVERWORK! Pour the cream into the lemon mixture and blend it in, but DO NOT OVERWORK! Now pour the mix over the warm base (it is essential that the base is still warm, so if you decided to prepare this step in advance you’ll have to go back and do it all again, or make arrangements with the pastry fairies). Pop back into the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until set. It should have a spongy feel and look like “pure heaven”. Make allowances for poetic licence here, unless your idea of heaven is a beige slice.
Allow to cool and then chop it into bars, to ensure that the introductory pun is not redundant. A dusting of icing sugar counts as a Nutter flourish, as long as you have some candied lemon to sprinkle around the edges and a fan of lime slices “to complement the base”.
After the break? Delicious melt-in-the-mouth shortbread and… orgasmic flapjacks? That sounds wrong. Not that I haven’t heard people describe food as “orgasmic” before, but I wouldn’t have thought to apply that description to flapjacks.
Flapjacks (which may or may not be orgasmic)
During the break, Nutter has revised his opinion of the flapjacks to “wicked”, perhaps in line with the fact that he’s aiming the recipe at the kids at home.
55g unsalted butter
70g dark brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 pinch mixed spice
Tip: warm your golden syrup in the microwave to make it runnier.
Preheat oven to 180
Heat a large frypan and pop the butter in (it sizzles, which seems a bit wrong, but anyhoodle…). Add the sugar and stir it around until it’s a nice toffee colour and then add the golden syrup. Keep stirring until it’s all melted, and then add (or “bung in”, remembering to pronounce the final “g”) the oats and the spice. Stir to coat the oats.
Pop the oaty mixture into a lightly greased slice tin and press it down with a wooden spoon, so it’s in an even layer. It doesn’t need to be precise, as it “will go all ooey and gooey while it’s baking”. Pop it into the oven for about 25 minutes.
Cut the cooked flapjack into bars with a knife, and not – as nearly suggested by the Nutter – with a fork. Make sure you do this while they’re warm, or they’ll be too hard to cut. The infamous Nutter twist, or extra Nutter Finale Finish, is to garnish with toffeed apple, which is created thus:
1 ounce butter
1 ounce caster sugar
1 chopped apple
Melt the butter and sugar together until the colour is a little caramelly, then pop the apple chunks in. While that’s toffeeing, you can whip up some cream with sugar and orange liqueur. This all seems like a bit of overkill for oat bars, but I guess that’s what elevates it from a school lunchbox snack to “orgasmic”.
“Cool” shortbread (no, really, he said it was cool)
225g unsalted butter
140g plain flour
Preheat oven to 170
Cream the butter and sugar whilst talking about the tins of shortbread your granny used to bring you. Work the flour and semolina into the butter mixture with a fork. Not a knife this time, really a fork. Put the mixture into a round, greased tin and push it flat into the edges of the tin. Don’t do this under studio lights, as it will melt the butter. Level it off with a spoon and then prick with a fork. Bake for about 40 minutes until light golden brown.
You can serve it plain, but of course it’s much better transformed with a Nutter twist. This seems to involve having already made a batch of chocolate shortbread, which is the same as the recipe above, except that a tablespoon of flour is replaced with a tablespoon of cocoa. Then cut both rounds – the normal and the chocolate, into wedges and recreate a round with alternating colours. I am actually surprised, and not a little disappointed, that we didn’t get a rendition of “Ebony and Ivory” here.
An alternative presentation is a Nutter original creation. Take some fresh fruit, bung it into a blender until it’s a smoothish paste. Pour the puree into some cream that’s been whipped “gently lightly” and add some sugar. Check for sweetness, make a crack about your mum, and then serve a normal piece of shortbread on a normal plate (I’m missing the pretty crockery of the past couple of weeks). Smother with the grown-up cream, and then top with another piece of shortbread to make a little sandwich. Pour some of the fruit puree over the top and garnish with some unhulled strawberries. (Well, he doesn’t specify unhulled, but that’s what we see here.) If you make it for your girlfriend, you’re guaranteed to get some, seems to be the Nutter message here.