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Hard Breakfast Bars

Asked by Annee79. Answered on 3rd March 2016

Full question

Hello! The Breakfast Bars are definitely delicious, but I do not know what I am doing wrong. I'm following the recipe step by step but they always turn up rock hard. They are nice and chewy when I take them out of the oven but as soon as they cool down you need a hammer.

I have tried to bake them shorter time on low heat, but still the same rocky result. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Our answer

Nigella's Breakfast Bars (from NIGELLA EXPRESS and on the Nigella website here) should have a slightly chewy texture, rather than being hard. Often it is the oven temperature or baking time that can affect this. However if this has already been ruled out then it is sometimes the sugar content in the recipe that will give the chewiness and softness. Sugar is hygroscopic and attracts moisture so can affect the texture of cakes and bakes.

The sugar in this recipe comes from the condensed milk. This is the thick, sweetened, canned milk and should not be confused with evaporated milk. If evaporated milk were used then the bars would be quite hard. Also if you are using the light version of condensed milk then the lower fat levels could affect the bars. It is also worth checking the pan size as if the pan is larger than specified then the bars will be thinner and will cook more quickly and be harder. You may also like to consider trying Nigella's new Breakfast Bar 2.0 recipe from Simply Nigella, which contain plenty of extra nuts and seeds and are sweetened with dates rather than refined sugar.

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