Friday feeling: tahini flapjack

A vegan treat that’s so delicious, it just might unite the nation

“What’s the most contentious cake in the country?” is not a question any one has ever put to the country, because the answer appears to be a forgone conclusion. It’s a scone. It has to be. The cake’s condiments—jam and cream, cream and jam, plain butter—have divided the nation for so long, the contention has become a cliché. But what if it wasn’t a scone? What if, having done the requisite research, we realised our fury could be redirected toward a food whose variety of shapes and guises leaves the scone standing? What if we put the flapjack—its ingredients, its texture, its bite and thickness—under the scrutiny of the national lens?

Let’s face it, most of us would probably welcome the distraction. How much better to debate the bite of the oats and the legitimacy of seeds in a flapjack than national politics? How refreshing would it be to have people rail against flapjacks masquerading as health food on the one side, and, on the other, flapjacks masquerading as cake? We’ve all got firm views on flapjacks—not least on their firmness—and the inclusivity of the subject and its relative harmlessness might be just what the nation needs in this uncertain age.

Flagrant flouting of protocol
Which brings us to The Cinnamon Tree Bakery, and the vegan tahini flapjacks which, on the face of it, threaten to unite flapjack lovers everywhere in protest against their flagrant flouting of protocol. A flapjack without butter is like a cheesecake without cheese, or a tabloid without a royal family rumour: impossible to imagine, even in this baffling new world. Fortunately, Max is on hand to enlighten us: “Our vegan flapjack has been made so it tastes almost identical to our previous, non-vegan flapjack, but with coconut butter instead of dairy. There are raisins, dates, seeds—it’s nice. I like it a lot,” he says simply.

He’s not vegan himself, but much like the rest of us he’s learning veganism does not necessarily mean compromising on texture or taste. “It’s all in the recipe—and the technique,” he says; and by opting for natural ingredients and going bold on flavours like the rich, nuttily sweet tahini, whole seeds and dark, jammy dates, Cinnamon Tree has nailed it—at least for these particular flapjack fans. Now it’s over to you.