My favourite ingredient to be used in baking at the moment is ginger. Stem ginger. It lives in a jar (full of syrup to preserve the ginger) and can be sliced and diced to provide the most delicious flavour to cakes and biscuits. Ginger is such a versatile ingredient - fresh root ginger can be an amazing, zingy edition to a stir fry!
Lovingly wrapped and ready for our cottage holidaymakers, these stem gingernuts are a fixture on the Bank Newton menu at the moment. For eating alone...or dunking in a cup of tea. Bliss.
So, how do I make them?
Melt 115g unsalted butter and 85g golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat and leave on one side to cool.
Sift 350g self raising flour, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 200g caster sugar in to a mixing bowl.
Pour the cooled butter and syrupy mixture in to the dry ingredients and add 1 beaten egg and 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped.
Mix together then roll the mixture in to (approximately 24) small balls with your hands, then arrange on greased baking sheets.
Bake in an oven set to 170 C / Gas Mark 3 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave on wire racks to cool before removing them and keep in an airtight container.
And how do I ensure quality control? I try to follow these two simple top tips.
1. Practice patience. Don't rush the melting sugar and syrup stage and do leave it long enough before the mixture has cooled and become a wonderful sticky consistency before adding it in to the dry ingredients.
2. Use real butter. Every time. No skipping for margarine or similar.
Do hope you enjoy - either sampling here or making at home. Biscuits - best enjoyed as part of a well balanced diet. Everything in moderation, they say :o)