JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ginger biscuits

This is not the kind of post you'd expect to find on an earnest healthy food blog. But when I set up this blog, it was with the intention of writing about what we actually eat, so that I don't lose the recipes in the chaos of family life.

Once we took the decision to change our diet, I found pretty quickly that the best thing to do is to cook from scratch whenever possible, as the food industry does not care about the best interests of the individual, and is therefore apt to slip in something that you shouldn't be eating, or wouldn't dream of putting into anything you cooked yourself. This has the additional advantage that you then know exactly how much fat there is in a biscuit, how much sugar there is in the squash, etc etc - because you put it there yourself. And so it is easier to eat less of the things you know you shouldn't be eating.

Lucius and I don't eat these biscuits (we never really did), but the children all like them for a treat, comfort food for when life gets tough. Lettice is about to start her AS exams ... no need for further explanation. 45 minutes, start to finish.

Once, when I was pushed for time and Alfred wanted some, he said he would make them himself, and got out the recipe - a torn sheet of paper with the following notes:

12oz sr
8oz sug

4oz butter
3oz syrup

1 tsp bicarb
1 tsp ginger
1 egg


He gave up, mystified.

It's quite simple, really, except that I've never translated this recipe from imperial into metric measures - it's now the only thing I cook in imperial.

Here's a fuller explanation:

In a large bowl, mix together 12 ounces of self-raising flour with 8 oz of caster sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and one teaspoon of ground ginger. In a pan, melt 4 oz* of butter with 3 oz of golden syrup. When the butter is melted, pour it into the bowl, and break an egg over the mess. Mix it up until the flour is all absorped. Shape the mix into balls the size of conkers and arrange them on a baking sheet with plenty of space between each one, because they spread out to become flat. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a moderate oven (170C).

Take them out of the oven when they look cooked (and be aware that they go from deliciously golden to burnt in moments). Leave them on the sheet for about a minute, and then put them on a wire cooler (they'll be easier to handle if you leave them). I use a fish slice with a completely flat bottom, but this is something which is increasingly hard to buy; a flexible spatchelor would probably do just as well. The first batch is more or less cooled by the time the next batch is ready to pull off the baking sheet.

This makes around 30 big biscuits.

* 4oz is 125g, could you please do the maths if necessary!


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love the first recipe before you translate it. Conkers! That's the best! Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog too.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Your cook's short hand is delicious! I'm sure the biscuits are also!