Highland Heart Attack

This is one of the yummiest traybakes of all time.

This recipe was shared with my mum while I was still in school, so I have no idea where it came from originally, but I’m so glad that it’s in my life.

It’s basically layers of chocolate, buttery golden oats, melted chocolate-caramel-nougat bars and double cream. Sound good?

I guess from my description, you can see why the words ‘heart attack’ are in the title. It’s not exactly low on calories or fat content. However, you’re not going to be polishing off the entire traybake yourself in one sitting!

I baked this as a dessert for a friend’s barbecue over the summer and it went down a storm. Actually, it’s always extremely welcome at any occasion whenever it’s made!

I love the difference in texture that you get in each bite of these bars, from the rough oats to the hardened chocolate to the gooey chocolate-toffee top.

So, enough teasing you with the chocolatey, creamy goodness and let’s get down to how you make it…


This recipe originally came in ounces (oz), but as I prefer to use grams I’ll put both here (the conversions are rounded), just in case!

230g (8oz) plain flour, sifted

115g (4oz) porridge oats – not instant

145g (5oz) light brown sugar (Peru – I would use panela, not azucar rubia, for a similar texture)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

145g (5oz) unsalted butter, diced

1 medium egg, beaten

230g (8oz) good quality milk chocolate, broken into squares (in my experience, Cadbury’s is actually fine to use here, but I wouldn’t recommend using chocolate like Hershey’s, as it’s too sweet and has a weird taste)

150ml (5floz) double cream (Peru – I have no idea where to find this in Lima, as it’s not in any supermarket, but you could maybe try using a thicker crema de leche)

4 full-size chocolate-caramel-nougat bars, chopped – think Mars bar in the UK, or a Milky Way in the US & Peru (the UK supermarket own brand mini ones are fine to use – and cheaper – so you can just make the weight up from those)


You will need a 9 x 13in swiss roll tin (or similar), buttered before you start.

1. Mix flour, oats, sugar, bicarbonate and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Add the beaten egg and mix again until combined. Use the back of a metal spoon to press 3/4 of the mixture onto the base of your buttered tin. Leave to one side.

3. Melt the chocolate and spread it over the oat base, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edge on all sides.

4. Place the tin in the fridge for 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes) until the chocolate hardens.

5. Now preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

6. Melt the chopped Mars bar (or whatever you’re using) with the cream in a bowl over hot water (seems safer than the microwave) and whisk until creamy. Note: be prepared for this to take a while, nougat seems to melt slowly, but keep the mixture moving so nothing sticks to the bottom.

7. Pour this mixture over the hardened chocolate and oat base and try to leave another 1/2-inch margin (it’s not really an issue if it runs to the edge, it can be hard to stop the mix from doing that!)

8. Crumble remaining oat mixture over the top so that it’s roughly covered. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges with a knife. Then, allow to cool until the bake is hard enough to be cut into squares or bars (up to around 2 hours).

10. Share!

And to finish.....

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