In my last posting Breakfast, Lunch, Tea I promised you a recipe based on one from Rose Carrarini's first book, and here it is - Hot Gingernuts.
It must be the change of season. Root, powder or crystallised, I can't seem to get enough of warming ginger at the moment. The truth is I've been enjoying these hot little ginger nuts for years at 40 Maltby Street without knowing that Kit, the maker, based his recipe on that of Rose Carrarini. And hers, in turn, is based on a Sally Clarke recipe, kindly gifted for the opening of Rose Bakery in Paris. In the way of most recipes, each baker has tweaked the original here and there. True to her principles Rose's recipe turns up the flavour a notch with extra ginger and reduces the sweetness. In her pursuit of flavour here she has maximised the quantity of ginger, and even suggests a touch of cayenne pepper.
ready for the oven
In the spirit of "feeling free" I leave out the cayenne but would suggest unless your ginger is really good quality and fresh, you might need to add a little bit more than is shown in the recipe below. On Kit's advice, I roll the balls of uncooked dough in demerara sugar before baking for extra crunch. The quantities of both ginger and bicarbonate of soda seem a lot but it does work. They're meant to be crisp on the outside and soft within. If you want completely crisp biscuits leave them in for a few extra minutes, but watch they don't burn.
- large and small, cooling
(makes about 24 large or 48 small)
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened (plus a little extra to grease trays)
440g (16oz) self-raising flour
150g (5½oz) caster sugar
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1½ tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
240g (8½oz) golden syrup
40g (1½oz) treacle
A little demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan)/325F/Gas 3.
Butter and line trays with baking parchment.
Mix all ingredients, except the golden syrup and treacle, in a food processor until well mixed. If you're not using a food processor, cut the butter in small pieces, rub into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Warm the golden syrup and treacle together in a small pan. Add to the mixture and stir to form a stiff, glossy dough.
Break off pieces and roll in your hands to form smooth balls. The size is up to you, but I like them on the small size, about 2cm across. Roll the balls in demerara sugar or sprinkle a little on top, placing them well apart on the prepared trays and bake for about 10-12 minutes depending on size. They will rise then fall back. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled they should be crisp on the outside and chewy soft within.
Recipe based on Hot Gingernuts in Breakfast, Lunch, Tea by Rose Carrarini, published by Phaidon
Rose Bakery (no website)
46 rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris
and now branches in London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Tel Aviv and New York