Ginger and Cinnamon Biscuits

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It’s amazing how your taste buds change. There was a time when I hated ginger, the smell, the taste, the burn it left on your tongue. Fast forward two years since our return from Asia and it’s all I can talk about. I find myself adding it to almost every meal I cook, I mix it with hot water just so I can feel the burn on my tongue that I once despised, and I even use it with boiling water and lemon to steam my face. I’ve become borderline obsessed. It’s such a versatile ingredient and better still the health benefits are endless.

Unfortunately these Ginger and Cinnamon Biscuits don’t exactly scream healthy, but we are all allowed a little treat from time to time and at teatime these are one hell of a treat. You’ll need some self-restraint though if you’re making these as one is never enough, they have been such a hit with my friends and family that I needed to make a second batch the same day. Luckily they are quick to prepare, so quick that I was taking them out of the oven less than half an hour after I’d started making them.

The distinctive crackle top is all down to the bicarbonate of soda, the more you add the more crackle you get, so add as much as you prefer, or if you want to make them without then just simply omit this from your ingredients.

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Makes 24

Prep time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes


200g plain flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking power

1 ½ bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp honey

1 tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, fresh ginger and ground cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers to form what resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl mix the honey and milk and wait for the honey to dissolve. Stir this liquid into the breadcrumbs mixture then bring it all together with your hands to make a dough.

Break off small bits of dough and roll them into small balls roughly 20g in weight. Space 12 balls out onto each baking tray, ensuring you leave enough room for them to spread during baking.

Bake for 10 minutes until amber, but keep your eyes on them towards the end of baking as they can darken very quickly.

Once out of the oven, leave them on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


When life gives you lemons…

…make Lemon Drizzle Loaf.

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On a cloudy Sunday day, when the rain is tapping against the window and you have absolutely no intention to walk out the front door, there is simply nothing better to do but bake.

A self-confessed bakeaholic any spare time I have is filled creating tray bakes, cupcakes or anything that involves using my new Kenwood food mixer. I had a few lemons in my fruit bowl which were screaming to be used in something else other than a gin and tonic, so to give the house a bit of sunshine I decided on Lemon Drizzle Loaf.

This simple recipe requires barely any hard graft, especially if you’re letting the mixer do it all. Zesting the lemons is about as tough as it gets. The first time I made this loaf it turned out VERY lemony but used less lemon juice in the syrup this time round and while it still had the tang it was delicious.

So if you fancy brightening up your day, this fool-proof recipe will give you the perfect Lemon Drizzle Loaf every time.

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

Ingredients

125 g unsalted butter

175 g caster sugar

2 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon (2 if you want more of a lemon burst)

175 g self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 tablespoons milk (optional)

23x13x7cm loaf tin buttered and lined

For the syrup

Juice of 1 ½  lemons

100 g icing sugar

For the glaze

Juice of  ½ a lemon

150 g icing sugar

 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4.
  2. Butter and line your loaf tin well. Cream together butter and sugar and add eggs and lemon zest, beating them in well.Gently fold in the flour and the salt, mixing thoroughly and then add the milk.
  3. Spoon the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45 mins or until cake tester comes out clean.

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For the syrup

  1. Put the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. As soon as cake is out of oven, puncture all over with skewer and pour over the syrup.
  2. Leave cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.

For the glaze

  1. Combine lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth and white, add a little more icing sugar if needed.  Make sure your cake is completely cool before drizzling with the glaze.

Knickerdrawer Tip: For a while my kitchen was missing one vital piece of baking equipment…scales. I wasn’t going to let that stop me from baking so I learnt how to measure in spoons. Should any of you find yourself in the same unfortunate circumstance then please see below for a run down on how many spoons of sugar, flour and icing sugar you’d need to create my Lemon Drizzle Loaf.

175g = 6 oz

100g = 3.5 oz

1 oz of flour = 3 level tablespoons – so you’ll need 18 tablespoons

1 oz of sugar = 2 level tablespoons – so you’ll need 12 tablespoons

1 oz of icing sugar = 3 1/2 tablespoons – so you’ll need 12 (and a bit) tablespoons