Thursday, 14 June 2007

Love Bars


Love Bars

When I read about these in the Pret Food on The Move Pret DIY The Recipes book by Jane Lunzer Gifford I just knew I HAD to make them!

The book which I posted about last week ('Pret Lunches' a couple of sandwiches and the Pret Chocolate Bar) is fabulous, and I am so glad I bought it! I like how it is set out and in the introduction there are comments and phrases here and there, as in the Silver Palate Cookbook for example. Ther are no pictures in the style of a traditional cookbook, but many black and white ones of life at Pret. The nicely titled chapters are In the Thermos, The Lunch Box, Snacking on the Way, Too Good To Move, Home Sweet Home and Basics. It’s a real friend in the kitchen, it’ll keep me going with the what to have for lunch question for quite some time. I mentioned in my previous post that I’m not very good at thinking up lunches, breakfast, dinner, dessert, baking no problems, but lunch is my problem meal. The past few weekends have been a lot easier since started cooking from Pret DIY! This isn’t the first sandwich-y cookbook I’ve purchased I can think of at least two others off the top of my head, but neither have made it to the using pile, whereas Pret has. One recipe just seems to follow another and before I know it I’ll have a much more exciting lunch time reportiore. Here is a selection of some of the 35 recipes I have marked to try: Malaysian Chicken Soup, Chorizo Baguette, Pret Christmas Lunch Sandwiches, Salami, Cream Cheese & Olive Sandwich, Chicken Avocado Salad, Fennel, Prawn & Lime Salad, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Oat & Fruit Slice and Chocolate Goddess Cake.

Now back to the Love Bar. I think I was probably drawn to the bar for it’s title, I like romance, hearts, flowers and love. Just the word gives me a little smile! As for the ingredients - well it’s a gorgeous gorgeous bar. There are three layers, flapjack oaty bottom, fudgy toffee layer and then a sprinkling of healthy bits – nuts, seeds and chocolate. Chocolate healthy? You are maybe thinking and I think it is as long as you aren’t eating vast quantities in an unbalanced diet, but this is just my opinion and I’m sticking to it ha ha! I’m not entirely sure how big these bars are supposed to be but I got 20 fingers from the recipe. They are right up my street and I can only think they are called Love Bars because people love them! I do for sure.

Love Bars

Thank you so much to the lovely people at Pret for allowing me to post their recipe from Pret Food on the Move Pret DIY The Recipes by Jane Lunzer Gifford.

For the flapjack base:
150g golden syrup
1 tbsp clear honey
200g unsalted butter
350g rolled oats
60g soft brown sugar

For the Topping:
60g dark brown sugar
130ml double cream
60g unsalted butter
35g pumpkin seeds
45g dark chocolate chips
35g shelled pistachio nuts
35g chopped almonds

1) Pre-heat the oven to 150C (300F/Gas 2). Grease a 23cm (9 inch square) baking tray.
2) To make the base, warm the syrup, honey and butter until blended together in a large pan over a low heat. Add the oats and soft brown sugar and mix well.Place in a baking tray and smooth the top, bake for 20 minutes or until the surface is lightly browned but not dark. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
3) Meanwhile, to make the topping, put the dark brown sugar and double cream in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat (this prevents the mixture from burning). Dissolve the sugar and then increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil and keep boiling for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously whilst the cream thickens as the liquid evaporates.The wider the base of the pan, the larger the surface area and therefore the quicker the evaporation. Keep an eye on the consistency and stop boiling before the cream catches and burns, but it needs to thicken so that it becomes a little like fudge.Take off the heat and stir in the butter until it has all melted. Pour over the flapjack and spread with a palette knife.
4) While still warm, sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, pistachio nuts and almonds.Cut into slices when completely cold.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I loved the name when you mentioned them in your first Pret post and they certainly look like they live up to it. Love the stand/plate and dome cover/lid thing. Not sure what you would call it but it's very lovely.
I love Pret sandwiches and cake too so I might get that book.

Nora B. said...

Who can resist a catchy name like that? Oooh, I can't wait to see what "Chocolate Goddess Cake" will look like.

Kathryn said...

KJ, I made these at the weekend and, ahem, I didn't get 20 fingers out of them. They are so moreish!! Indecently so. I loved them - and have never eaten them in Pret, but just the sound of them made me want them. Yours look prettier than mine - I cut mine into greedy slabs and took them to work as a daily treat...

Freya said...

Yummy, anything with pistachios and in a bar format - I'm there! These look great, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I have been on a pistachio nut craze lately~ this looks yummy!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This looks like a fun recipe -- and who can pass up Love Bars? -- I'll bookmark!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, pistachios and pumpkin seeds with chocolate chips! It sounds heavenly!

Anna's kitchen table said...

They look amazing KJ. I'll have to take a look at the Pret book now....

Elle said...

What a great write up and lovely recipe. This is one that will please my has lots of his favorite things. Maybe for Father's Day? Thanks!

Lis said...

Those lil bars look so yummy, Kelly-Jane! And I can not wait to see how the other recipes turn out.. that cream cheese/olive sammich and the chorizo baguette sound SO GOOD! =)


Peabody said...

These look quite good, especially the topping.

Anonymous said...

That is such an interesting bar! Delicious. Love the name too.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm with Nora - I loved the recipe the minute I saw the name, Kelly-Jane!

Kelly-Jane said...

Amanda, the cake / cheese dome is from Nigella's Living Kitchen range. I bought this one and was given a blue one - love them both :)

Nora, I'm going to try the Goddess cake soon!

Kathryn, How wierd is that? We bought this book almost on the same day, and made this recipe at the same time too. These would be just the boost needed at work :)

Freya, I'm going to have to do more with pistachios, because I had to buy a big bag to get a decent quality nut! I am very fond of bars as well!

Sandi, thank you :)

Lydia and Lynn, they are so good!

Anna, maybe you should take a little peek ;) :)

Elle, hope you like them if you manage to give them a go.

Lis, ther are so many good ideas in the book :)

Peabody, it's not the usual caramel topping, but it remained moist and gooey ofor the 3 days before they were gone!

Kristen and Patricia, I was the same when I read the recipe name I so wanted it to be good, and it lives up t it thank goodness :)


Maggie said...

I recently bought this book, I think I will have to take a closer look inside and see what other goodies they have, now I have seen your delicious bars.

Unknown said...

I live in NY. The lovebars at Pret in NYC are different from yours. What is golden syrup? Also, double cream? Our lovebars contain: choc chips, coconut flakes, walnuts, almonds, granola, dates, raisins, condensed sweetedned milk, butter and graham cracker crumbs. Help?

Anonymous said...

Hi there :)

I was eating my morning love bar and decided to google them to see if there were "out there" on the web, which is how I found your page. I love them too, and I thought it might be helpful to you to know how big they tend to be - I just measured mine and it is about 5 inches long, 1 and a half inches wide, and 1 inch deep. The pumpkin seeds have a sort of vanilla dusting too, which makes them extra delicious, imho.

Hope this helps!


Anonymous said...

Hi it's anonymous here - I forgot to say, I am in London, UK.

Kelly-Jane said...

Hello Twins x two Mum,

Golden syrup is like loosely corn syrup, except Golden Syrup has a distinct taste of its own - sort of butterscotch like. The brand here is Tate & Lyle, often the shops on Ebay have it.

Heavy cream is the American substitute for double cream, and if I'm doing a US recipe with heavy cream, I use double cream here.

Hello Anonymous in London,

Thank you for posting about the size of the bars, I think mine were a bit smaller.

The pumpkin seeds sound lovely, there is a recipe for vanilla coated pumpkin seeds in the book - I must give it a go.

Thank you both for visiting!


Anonymous said...

You're welcome, KJ. On the subject of golden syrup, it's absolutely essential. It's the basis of several much-loved english puddings, cakes and biscuits and has a distinct flavour, as you say. Tate and Lyle's is as iconic to us as Betty Crocker is to you, I guess. I have it on my porridge (oatmeal).

Thanks for shreading the love!


Anonymous said...

The Love Bars Pret has in their New York establishments are completely different. They have chocolate chips, coconut flakes, almonds, granola, dates, raisins, condensed milk on a graham cracker base. Totally delicious... but these ones sound divine as well!