The Domino’s boxes litter every surface in the kitchen, beer cans roll across the lino floor, and someone’s left their coat hanging on your door handle for some unknown reason. Plus, half your stuff is still in your suitcase under your bed, and you still haven’t found your toothbrush charger (did you pack it? Did Mum?? Who knows).
But more importantly, your blood sugar’s low, and you need a sweet fix FAST (and preferably something that isn’t of the takeaway/alcoholic variety) … These three easy bakes are the perfect pick-me-up recipes for when you need a bit of comfort in Freshers’ Week (and beyond). After all, nothing brings together a flat of eight exhausted people who only met 72 hours ago more than homemade cake. This trio of bakes are easy to make, eat, and share (although you might need to reserve a few, because in my experience, nothing freshly baked hangs around for long in halls).
Infamous Freshers’ Flapjacks
The one that will never let you down (especially when you feel like you haven’t slept for a year).
Perfect as a mid-morning snack, an afternoon nibble with a cuppa, or a post-night out tiptoeing-into-the-kitchen treat (you’ve been partying for hours, you deserve it). Or to hell with it, eat it for breakfast, it’s got oats in it anyway…
- 240g demerara sugar
- 240g butter (either unsalted or salted! Swap for margarine to make vegan flapjacks)
- 2 large tbsp golden syrup
- 280g oats (there’s always at least one serial porridge maker in the flat, and I’m sure they won’t mind parting with their oats for some of the best flapjacks they’ve ever had)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan (give it a while to heat up, the ovens in halls are notoriously lazy!). Grease and line a standard square brownie tin with baking paper (or any shape/size tin/s you have – no one will mind a puzzle-shaped flapjack once they’ve tasted them!).
- Melt the butter, sugar, and golden syrup in a pan on the hob on a low/medium heat (make sure it doesn’t start bubbling too furiously!). Heat until everything has melted into a syrupy golden mixture that smells amazing, and the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Take off the heat and mix in the oats until they’re completely coated.
- Press into the tin, and smooth to the edges.
- Bake for 10-14 mins (or until the flapjack mix bubbles up around the edges of the tin, turning golden brown), depending on whether you like your flapjacks fudgy or on the crunchy side! When you take them out of the oven, they won’t look cooked – have faith and cut them whilst still slightly warm, as they will set and harden as they cool (don’t leave it until they’re completely set, otherwise this will be impossible!).
Now all you have to do is open the kitchen door and let the smells of butter, sugar, and syrup (undoubtably the best things in life) waft down the corridor, and wait for a flurry of bedheads to poke out of their rooms in hope of a sweet fix. These flapjacks will keep for a week in an airtight container (not that they’ll last that long).
(I need chocolate NOW) Refrigerator Cake
The one for when the oven’s broken, and you need the sight of melted chocolate to revive your tired Fresher’s soul… This is a true standby recipe, and will become a flat kitchen classic.
- 250g digestive biscuits
- 150g milk chocolate
- 150g dark chocolate
- 100g butter (either unsalted or salted)
- 150g golden syrup
- 90g raisins
- Use clingfilm to line a 20cm shallow, square shaped tin. Leave extra clingfilm hanging over the sides.
- Put the digestives in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin (or anything else that will do the job!). Don’t take out all of your Freshers’ frustrations and end up turning them into dust, but leave some chunkier pieces for a bit of bite.
- Melt the chocolate, butter, and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, and make sure the water beneath doesn’t boil.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the biscuits and raisins.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and level out the surface.
- Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge for 1-2 hours to set firm.
- Turn the chocolatey goodness out of the tin and peel off the clingfilm. Cut up into squares and watch as they disappear.
This refrigerator cake will force even the quietest flatmate to fight for the last piece! Add anything you fancy to spice up the fudgy, chocolatey mixture even more… try nuts, dried apricots, Crunchie bars, or make a malted refrigerator cake by swapping digestives for malted milk biscuits and Maltesers.
The only issue you might encounter here is fridge space, but once they’ve tasted one of these delicious squares, you might find your flatmates more than willing to give up part of their fridge shelf for first dibs.
No Weighing Scales, No Problem: One Cup Pancakes
Maybe this is the one for after Freshers’ Week… It’s a couple of weeks in now, the reality of studying a degree has really set in, you’ve got a million deadlines and if anyone mentions another night out you might scream. Times like these call for pancakes… you might have 99 problems, but brunch sure ain’t one of them. Use your fave mug for the measuring and you’re away.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of self-raising flour
- 1 cup of milk
- Whisk all the ingredients together until you have a silky smooth batter.
- Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add ½ tbsp oil, leaving it to heat up before wiping round the pan with some kitchen roll.
- Make your pancakes! You should be able to have 2/3 in the pan at the same time, depending on how hungry you are (and how big you want them to be).
- Cook them for 1-2 mins, until bubbles start appearing on the surface.
- Flip until both sides are golden (raid the kitchen drawers for a fish slice/spatula) and the pancake is cooked through – try not to drop on the floor (and if you do, please bin it, God knows what’s been on that floor).
- Serve up and artistically arrange (or chuck on, depending on desperation levels) your favourite toppings.
Who doesn’t like pancakes? These are perfect to make for a flat brunch – get everyone involved, get flipping, and properly get to know each other.
Get fancy with your toppings (or as fancy as the Marketplace will allow) and add Nutella, berries, banana, Greek yoghurt, honey, nut butters, or just traditional lemon and sugar to make the ultimate brekkie with a boost.
These comforting easy bakes will save your blood sugar (and happiness) levels time and time again, because we all know there’s nothing a homemade treat can’t fix.
Check out @takingthebiccie for more easy recipes to fuel your Freshers’!