Thursday, 27 May 2010

Anzac biscuits for a misadventurer

Legend has it, or maybe its real history, that ladies sent these biscuits to Australian and Kiwi soldiers fighting at Gallipoli in WW1. I made my ANZAC biscuits for an Australian friend who is recovering from a fractured jaw and black eye which he acquired when a couple of good-for-nothings biffed him by the marketplace on the way home. He is not a soldier but he is definitely being brave at the moment, far from home and having to have surgery.

Here is a rather official recipe for ANZAC biscuits (.gov = reliable source no?) from the Australian War Memorial website. That recipe is in cups (boo hiss cups) so I will give you the recipe I followed in metric from the trusty W.I.

115g plain flour, 115g caster sugar, 80g oats, 80g dessicated coconut, 115g, butter, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tbsp boiling water.

preheat oven to 180 C - mix the dry ingredients together - melt the butter and syrup on a low heat - dissolve the bicarb in the water and stir into the buttery/syrup mix - [watch it go whoosh] - pour the bubbly liquid into the bowl of dry stuff and stir - place spoonfuls of the crumbly mix onto a greased baking tray - bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown - cool for a few minutes on the tray before cooling completely on a wire rack

I have mixed-feelings about Australia but these biscuits are a wholeheartedly good thing. They are are beyond Hobnobs and that statement comes from someone with a pretty serious Hobnob habit. They have both crunch and chew at the same simultaneously and I recommend you bake a batch soon!
Production line
Keep soldiering on Dave! This sort of thing is not supposed to happen in Norwich and it certainly shouldn't of happened to you.
Drink tea. Eat soggy biscuits.
Not being able to chew Dave perused my soup recipe book and 'Team Rave' (Rachel and Dave) made Tomato and Plum soup. I thought it sounded a bit wacky but it tasted really good. Tomatoes are technically fruit so this is just an extra fruity soup. We were rather pleased with the results but especially proud of...
the garnish, look at the garnish!
P.S Thanks to the sunshine I have been late posting this up and in the meantime Dave has been recovering well. Too woozy-headed to stray far from bed for a few days Dave has started a new blog called The Irony Mark, take a look right here.

Also, my current favourite place for a along the Wensum offers this view. I find these cars piled up as if about to fall in to the river rather captivating. Who put them there? What for?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Eating like a Princess

My Mum and sister were in New York last week and I had a craving for bagels. Norwich is not New York but the festival is on and loads of exciting things are happening, so lets pretend! I have been volunteering, spending my time helping out at events like Electric Hotel, a really ambitious contemporary dance piece, and the Red Ball Project. The other day I got to control a carousel - I was actually in charge of pressing the buttons to make it go round - childhood ambition achieved!
bagel dough
I followed a suitably authentic recipe in Denise Phillip's The Jewish Mama's kitchen. The results did not taste any worse for me being neither Jewish nor a Mama. I got to use the dough hooks on my whizzer for the first time whilst mixing together the flour, egg, oil, sugar, water and yeast. Dough hooks are part mesmerising and part ominous-looking. Whirr-whirr-ooh-err. The only hiccup in the procedings was that the first batch I baked got well and truly stuck to the greaseproof paper that the recipe had told me to place them on. The boiled bagels created a glue-like effect and thats how the first 6 lost their bottoms. Oh and also, the bagels were supposed to float to the surface after 2-3minutes in boiling water but they were floating when I first put them in the pan so maybe they got even more buoyant? I have no idea, answers on a postcard please.
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber bagel for my eating like a Princess tea!

We are in the middle of asparagus season so I treated myself to a lovely bunch. Boiled and twice-buttered, following the 'if you can't see it then it isn't there' rule that also applies to crumpets, this is the classiest way to eat your greens. Om nom nom.

My little brother turns sixteen this week. He has already overtaken me in the height stakes, anything could happen next! I baked him some chocolate chip cookies and posted them first class, haste post haste. I think the cookies tasted best still warm from the oven and the girls and I were super-restrained in not eating them all before they made there way to the letterbox.
P.S. I had my first and final exam last week so I am free from university commitments for over three months, an intimidating expanse of freedom. I've made a ludicrously ambitious list of things I want to learn to bake over the summer. Bagels were top of the list. Big tick. Watch this space!