Thursday, 29 October 2009

It's all in the crack

Well, yet again it's been a while. Still trying to catch up with myself really, and to find the balance between work and home. It's pretty tough, as oh-so-many of you know.

I find that there is one sure-fire way to make things a little calmer, to bring a pause, a bubble of niceness, into the mania of the answering of emails, the printing and reviewing of documents, and the ridiculousness that is trying to book a room for an event.
Biscuits. And knitting (preferably munching on the former whilst steadily, soothingly, progressing with the latter).
Tonight I needed a little space of calm to curl up in, so well before bedtime I donned the old dressing gown, rolled up the sleeves and perused a cookbook. Ah, it felt like old times, and because of this I wanted an old fashioned recipe. A biscuit from my childhood. Gingernuts. As soon as I fell upon the recipe in the suitably 1970s "Delia Smith's Book of Cakes" I knew all other suggestions were going out the window and this biscuit just had to be it.

They've just passed the taste test of my harshest critic whose response was "it's a proper biscuit!" followed by "sometimes what you really want is just a biscuit." How true that man is.
I have a feeling these will be just the thing at work tomorrow, around eleven, with a cup of tea.

So, here I give you a recipe for a "proper" biscuit. Not a cookie. No, it's a biscuit, and a rather nice one at that. I would also like to dedicate this post to Siri, as a far too belated congratulations, and a huge thank you for the particular excellence of the postcards that have graced our flat recently. I have a whole backlog of things to post on the Mavens site (including wonderful and much needed warnings on tsunamis and bears - Molly, you crack me up),but frankly, nothing quite beats a Norwegian milk maid riding a pig, or a 1950s bikini-clad water skier. I have long drooled over some of Siri's ginger recipes, and so here,finally, is one of my own...

Gingernuts - adapted from Delia Smith's Book of Cakes

Makes 15 aprox.

4 oz self-raising flour
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp baking soda (on reflection I'd use 3/4 tsp, I feel one is a bit much)
1 1/2 oz muscovado sugar
2 oz cold butter, cubed
2 oz golden syrup

Preheat the over to 190C (375F) and line two baking trays with parchment.

Whisk together the flour, soda and ginger. Stir in the sugar (I would use a spatula, it'll come in handy later), and then rub in the butter until it is the texture of bread crumbs. Now add the syrup, and stir with the spatula until it begins to come together in a paste. You can then help work it together with your hands.

Form 15 equal balls of the mixture, and place them on the baking trays. Allow them a little space as they will spread. Press them down slightly to flatten them a little.

Bake for 15 mins, until the tops are cracked, and they are a dark golden colour. Cool, and enjoy with a nice strong cup of tea.


The domestic novice said...

Thanks for the recipe - they look scrumptious. Will have to try those at the weekend. I do like ginger nuts.

I so know what you mean about the ol' work/life balance. Mine is completely off at the moment. Roll on the weekend! Cat x

Stitch'nbitch with litch said...

So glad this recipe worked so well. They look amazing - that crack is indeed just right! Do you think they would work as well with the 'fling it all in the processor and turn on' method I tend to use?

Rebecca said...

Cat - Ah, yes, the weekend can't come soon enough. I'm hoping that the work/life thing will begin to balance out, but I get the feeling it might always be a bit too full of work with not enough life!

SnB - Yes, I think the processor method would work really well. I nearly did mine in the mixer, except it seemed a bit over the top for such a small batch. Might have to double it next time!

Liz said...

Ooh, lovely gingernuts. Will have to give the recipe a try. Hope you manage to have a more balanced weekend.

Cucinista said...

Proper Biscuit: love it. Nothing like a bit of baking (and biscuit eating) to soothe one's soul.