Saturday, 21 September 2013

Muesli Bars with Vanilla Yogurt Topping and Baking Music

The other day a keen runner friend of mine explained excitedly how her times had improved dramatically after she began listening to a specially compiled 'Running Trax' album. 

It got me thinking. Could a specially created 'Cooking Tunes' album provide more rise in my bread? More flavour to my Florentines? More skill to my piping?

I'm not the first to have thought this. Way back when, Jamie Oliver put together a selection of his favourite Brit Pop songs in "Cookin'" and more recently the imaginatively titled 'Cook Songs' has been released. 

If the BigWigs at Song Music came to me for my Cooking Compilation album, these would be my suggestions, niftily split into helpful sections...

'Now That's What I Call....Sizzling'. 

(The title is a work in progress). 

The Bread Section

Westlife 'You Raise Me Up
 Bill Haley and His Comets - Rockin Through the Rye
Meat Loaf - I Would Do Anything For Love
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag

The Fruity Bakes Section

Bananarama - Love in The First Degree
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever 
The Jam - Going Underground
Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven 

The Sweet Section

Robbie Williams- Candy
Ricky Martin - Shake Your Bon Bon 
Billie - Honey to the Bee
Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop

The Section You'll Hopefully Never Have to Listen to

The Prodigy - Firestarter
Talking Heads - Burning Down The House 
Jennifer Lopez - On the Floor
Garbage - The Word Is Not Enough

What music do you cook to? Do you vigorously whisk to Wham? Gently stir to Sinatra? Crack your eggs in time to Coldplay?

I baked this to Radio 4's 'Just a Minute'. Which meant a lot of giggling and guffawing. 

Muesli Bars with Yoghurt Topping
(makes 10-12 bars)


For the base:
75g butter
3 tbsp honey
75g soft brown sugar
200g porridge oats
100g mixed seeds
50g raisins
50g flaked almonds
50g dried chopped apricots

For the topping:
250g white chocolate
125g natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Heat the oven to 160 C/fan 140 C/Gas Mark 3.
2. Grease and line the base of an 18 x 25cm tin
3. Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon throughout
5. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oats, the dried fruit, nuts and seeds until the mixture is thoroughly combined
6. Tip into the tin, flatten lightly with the back of the wooden spoon and bake for 20- 30 minutes until golden brown
7. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water or in short bursts in a microwave. Once completely melted, stir in the yogurt and vanilla and pour the topping over the cooled oaty base. 
8. Place into the fridge to set the topping. Once set, remove from the tin and place on a chopping board. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry off any excess water and cut the traybake into twelve bars 

Baker's notes...

  • A wide variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds can be used in this recipe. Just ensure the total quantity is no more than 250g
  • For a simple milk or dark chocolate topping, melt 300g chocolate in a small bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water or in short bursts in a microwave before drizzling over the oaty base and placing in the refrigerator to set 
  • The bars will keep for up to three days when stored in an airtight container. Unless you happen to work with my colleagues, where they last about two and a half hours
  • What music to you bake to?
  • I am entering this into this months Tea Time Treat bogging challenge, alternatively hosted by myself and Karen from Lavender and Lovage. September is Karen's month and the lovely theme is Flapjacks, Oats and Traybakes.
Tea Time Treats


  1. I love your selection of music! I had to chuckle at some of the songs. I like the sound of my whirring brain when I bake so I usually don't have music going.
    These muesli bars look wonderful, and with a yoghurt topping..yummy!


  2. i love the section of songs we'll hopefully never have to listen to! inspired!
    sometimes i like to bake in silence, especially if i've had a chaotic week and need some quiet. otherwise, i usually have our national Classic FM radion stattion playing. i like calming music.

  3. I heard it through the grapevine?
    Lame, I know....

  4. Clever music selection
    What about Brown Sugar, or Magic Moments or something from Hot Chocolate!

  5. Some great music. What about Sugar Sugar, Honey Honey or American Pie?
    Love the yoghurt topping on the bars.

  6. Love your traybakes and great music choices. When I have a fruit glut, I'm very partial to Jammin in the kitchen to Bob Marley!

  7. I love the idea of baking music! I tend to have a film on the tv on in the background whilst I bake (such as X-Men!) although whenever I whip eggs I can usually be found shouting/singing "I whip my eggs back and forth I whip my eggs back and forth!" Willow Smith style :)

    Love the sound of a yoghurt topping on muesli bars!

  8. LOL! You make me laugh Kate, and you have also made me hungry looking at these LOVELY bars! Karen

  9. Loving the song collection to go along with the cooking - very amusing ! I think the yogurt is a great touch on top, I often snack on yogurt coated fruits! very tasty


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