Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Ginger: Does everything Fred does, but backwards and in heels

Or at least perks up biscuit recipes no end. This Sunday, with the recent acquisition of a pot of candied ginger, and nothing to do except watch the rain and prep for Guides I decided to make some ginger biscuits. There must have been something in the air, as Jules from Trainee Domestic Goddess had the same idea.

I knew I didn’t want to make ginger nuts, as much as I love them I am yet to find a recipe that accurately replicates the crunchy and fiery biscuit that seems to have been made for dunking alone. Before I open up any cans of worms, this is my blog and as such I get ultimate veto. The judges decision is that: Dunking is to be encouraged, but only with worthy biscuits such as the ginger nut.

My stack of cookery books did little to help in my quest; I’ve already tried and put post in notes on the varying ginger biscuit recipes that weren’t up to scratch, so with a sinking heart I decided to approach Google. Now for most things in life that I don’t know, the answer is Google it. Recent queries have included:

How to tie a friendship knot in a necker?
What are the actions to ‘Alive. Alert. Awake. Enthusiastic’?
Gordon Ramsey F word lasagne recipe

So as you can see, whatever the question Google generally has the answer, with great faith I entered the search criteria ‘ginger biscuit recipe’ hoping that someone somewhere would have one that I would like. The proliferation of recipes for Gingerbread men saddened me, as without an appropriate cutter I had little hope of making those, and was getting progressively more excited each time I saw one as I went through my search results). Note to self, definitely buy the next gingerbread man cutter I see – this is a necessity.

Eventually I found a blogger - Carla Nayland who seemed to have a recipe that:

a) Sounded interesting
b) That I had all the ingredients to in the cupboard and so didn’t need to get changed out of my yoga pants and Popular t-shirt.
c) Was in old measurements. Does anyone else find recipes in pounds and ounces distinctly comforting?

So off I pottered… I did make some changes, so this isn't exactly the same as hers, although the method is.

4oz butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup (when measuring this out, fill a teacup with boiling water and dip your spoon in it before each spoon of syrup and it'll slip straight off)
1 oz sugar
4 oz candied ginger (this is doubled from the original recipe - I considered blitzing it to a paste, but wanted the textural difference)
6 oz self-raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger (again I doubled it)

Put the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the flour, ground ginger and candied ginger. Mix thoroughly. It should form a soft dough that leaves the sides of the pan clean.
Put teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray, spaced about 1 inch (approx 2-3 cm) apart to allow room for the biscuits to spread as they cook.
Carla says that she, usually gets 30 biscuits out of the quantities given, but using a teaspoon I probably got half that...
Bake at about 180 C (approx 375 F) for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and set.
Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. If they get the chance, they keep for up to 2 weeks (they lasted 24 hours in this house!)

The biscuits were nice, I should have probably flattened them with a fork, and remember thinking that I needed to do that so I have no idea why I forgot. They could still be more gingery, and I had already added more than the recipe suggested but I do like things fiery and if I were to do it again, I might add some pepper aswell, although then I'm crossing over into Christmas tree biscuit territory. Overall though, the quest for the perfect ginger biscuit recipe continues apace.
I picked our first rhubarb of the year this weekend, and as my flatmate had already wowed us with her rhubarb fools (I forgot to take photos but they were lush) I made a fruit compote with apples, tea soaked sultanas, cinammon and more ginger. It tastes amazing on porridge and makes me feel like I'm being super healthy in the morning - probably at least in part to the tartness of the rhubarb.


Anonymous said...

I'm really craving a ginger biscuit now! I've only tried to make gingerbread before, (which I assume is different?) and it was a complete disaster. These sound great though and fairly straight-forward too.

I've just bought some strawberries, I bet they'd be lovely with a ginger biscuit.

Pen said...

I thought of you when I named this post actually! I want to be able to make really good ginger nuts and just can't which makes me sad. Gingerbread is the more usual recipe I find. Although what I call gingerbread is actually cake... which is confusing. I can't wait for yummy strawberries, and cream! Hurrah! :-)

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Where would we be without google??!

I like old-school measurements too - they seem so reliable.

Your ginger biscuits look gorgeous :)


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