Archive for September 2007

Gingernut love

September 11, 2007

gingernut heroin biscuits 

I acknowledge that I am a little bit quirky when it comes to ginger. Due to an unfortunate experience in my adolescence involving Dehli Belly, a plane and a piece of cake filled with crystallised ginger I swore off it for many years of my life. Even just thinking about that piece of ginger makes me feel a little bit peaky.

I am pleased to say that I got over my phobia (at least as regards fresh and ground varieties of ginger) and recently I have been rediscovering my childhood love for gingernut biscuits. My grandma used to buy Arnotts gingernut biscuits and I loved them. They used to be so hard that it would take all of my strength as a little girl to bite into them, but that was all part of the fun. Since Arnotts changed their recipe, the biscuits are no longer hard and the taste is not the same but I have found something a lot better-  Hot Gingernut biscuits from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The many little meals of Rose Bakery. While they are not as hard as the Arnotts ones, they are infinitely better- the kick from the cayenne is optional in the recipe but I personally think it’s mandatory.

Hot Gingernut Biscuits

From Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: the many little meals of Rose Bakery

200g butter softened

440g self-raising flour

150g Caster Sugar

3 tblsp (yes, I do mean tablespoons- seems like a lot but these are really ginger-y biscuits)

pinch of cayenne

1 1/2 tblsp bicarbonate of soda

240g golden syrup (warmed)

40g treacle

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius

If you are using a food processor (and I’m lazy so I do) process the dry ingredients with the butter. If you are doing it by hand then just rub the butter through the dry ingredients. Either way, you will end up with a mix resembling breadcrumbs. Then mix (using a spoon or the processor) in the golden syrup and the treacle until a dough forms. Roll tablespoons of mixture between your palms and flatten on a baking tray (leave a good gap between them, these babies spreeeeaaaad). Bake 10-15 minutes in the oven or until they are starting to look a bit brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on the tray and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

A note of warning: If you do make these and find yourself at 2am in your pyjamas with one hand in the biscuit tin and the other stuffing biscuits in your mouth a la the cookie monster (like I did the other night), I will not be held responsible.

Pear Cake for a Happy Birthday

September 7, 2007

Pear and Hazelnut Cake 

Funny how the months seem to be slipping away from me lately. Things have been pretty hectic around here and I had a look at the blog and realised I hadn’t updated for (gasp!) two months. Plus, I forgot to post about the cake I made for my sister’s birthday- on the 19th of August. However, despite the apparent tardiness of my wishes for my sister’s happiness on her birthday, I still think it is worth posting anyway due to the absolute magnificence of the cake.

This cake uses a classic combination of pears and hazelnuts with one important difference- the pears are poached in marsala prior to making the cake. This small but important step takes this cake from the really good to the extraordinary in my opinion. I have had this recipe in my “to make” folder on my computer for many months just waiting for pears to come into season and when they did… boy was it worth the wait. The recipe is from Melissa at the Travellers Lunchbox (her picture is a lot better than mine, but that is to be expected- her pictures are always wonderful).