I have been baking – I’ve actually made three (!) batches of mince pies since I last posted! As I’ve already said pretty much everything there is to say about them, though, I won’t subject you to more of the same.
Back to the ginger nuts. Felicity Cloake of the Guardian wrote a column earlier in the week with a recipe for her perfect ginger nut biscuits, based on extensive research as always and with copious amounts of spices, including two types of ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. I do love a good ginger nut or five (with compulsory tea dunking) and just so happened to have all of the ingredients in, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
The recipe starts off with a pretty basic method for making biscuit dough. I used my stand mixer, which took a lot of the legwork (or should that be armwork?) out of things. I hit a stumbling block when it came to the rolling and chilling, though.
The recipe calls for the dough to be rolled out to 1cm thick before being wrapped in clingfilm and refrigerated for a couple of hours. Now, the thought of attempting to wrap a large, fragile piece of flat dough in pesky clingfilm worried me somewhat, so I thought I’d split the dough in two to make things simpler. It was still a faff, though, and the dough kept breaking. Next time I’ll cut out the biscuits first and chill them on the trays to make things a bit simpler.
It was plain sailing from then on. Baking was straightforward and the biscuits were indeed baked to perfection after 25 mins (although you can’t really tell because the dough is already dark by this point, and doesn’t change colour in the oven). This is only if they stay on the top shelf for the duration – I did a bit of swapping of trays across the top and middle shelf to try to get an even bake, but ended up with some slightly softer ones – ideally, the biscuits should have a bit of a snap to them.
Regardless of whether they were properly baked or not, the biscuits ended up being absolutely delicious. I found them to be a bit spicier than your average shop-bought ginger nut, which is excellent, and perfect for dunking in a good strong brew. The crystallised ginger really makes these biscuits special, and well worth the effort if you have a craving for a good quality ginger biscuit. All in all, I would most certainly make these again!
Can be found on the Guardian website here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/nov/20/how-to-make-perfect-ginger-nut-biscuits