Ginger and Pistachio Chocolate Dipped Fairings

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Fellow Londoners and readers of Stylist Magazine may have noticed that 2 weeks ago Stylist announced they would be launching The Great Stylist Cake Off competition, in celebration of course, with the Great British Bake off which aired on that same week.

Over nine weeks, Stylist will be setting weekly challenges via their Instagram account @stylistcakeoff which will match the challenges set on GBBO. All eager contestants have to do is post a photo of their bake tagging @stylistcakeoff using the hashtag #stylistcakeoff and they will repost it onto their page. The most liked photo that week will then go through to the reader final to be in with a chance of winning a KitchenAid.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that it took me all of five seconds to jump at the opportunity. A baking competition inspired by GBBO is the kind of competition I can most certainly get on board with. The first challenge was Biscuit week (with a hint of chocolate) so I quickly began pondering which kind I would create. Shortbreads, Stables and Biscotti were all high contenders, but then I remembered how successful my Ginger and Cinnamon biscuits had been before, so I set upon recreating them with a new and exciting twist.

As one of the first to post my photo, it was then a long and nerve-wracking week as I waited for the closing date to arrive. To my absolute delight my photo reached the lead in the early stages, but I couldn’t get complacent as in the game of “likes” anything can happen. This became all the more apparent when two other photos joined me in the leading ranks and they weren’t far behind. The final 24 hours turned into a steeplechase with the contenders likes increasing ever closer by the hour. It was intense to say the least.

As the final hour approached my like count reached 287 which is where it stayed. Midnight was fast approaching and with one challenger on my tail it was utterly unbearable. It was only as the clock struck twelve that I think I managed to take a breath. I had won, by a margin of 31 likes. Did I mention how intense this was?

I’m now so excited to be baking in the reader final with the eight other weekly winners. The theme of our final bake is yet to be announced but I will keep you all updated once I hear more.

First things first however I am delighted to give you my winning biscuits – Ginger and Pistachio Chocolate Dipped Fairings.

For more information about The Stylist Cake Off Competition please click here.

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Makes 24

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes


 200g Plain Flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g Pistachios (finely blended)

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp milk


 For decoration

200g good quality dark chocolate

50g Pistachios (finely blended)


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

Blitz 100g of pistachios and weigh out 50g for the biscuits and 50g for decoration. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, fresh ginger and pistachios 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 fully cool.

While they cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and pour into a small ramekin. Into another ramekin pour your remaining blitzed pistachios.

To decorate, dip the biscuits into the chocolate so that half is coated, then transfer over to the pistachios and sprinkle them all over.

Continue with all biscuits then pop into the fridge to set for an hour.

Sea Salt, Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It was at a summer BBQ not so long ago (you know one of those low-key, paper plates kind of BBQ’s) when I was fully able to appreciate my love for salt and sugar combined.

Having already consumed my body weight in meat, wedges and potato salad there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to succumb to dessert, but then the chocolate cake came round and my sweet tastebuds took charge ordering all the savoury inside my stomach to move up an inch and make some room.

The chocolate cake was fast approaching however, to my distress all the fresh paper plates were gone. I had a dilemma, I could go inside to search for a clean plate, but with only a few slices remaining doing that risked getting no cake at all. If I wanted dessert I was going to have to use the plate that still housed a few remaining salty wedges.

As the host reached me a decision had to be made. By this point the anticipation of chocolate was making my mouth water so I had to bite the bullet and take the only option available. As I lifted the cake off the tray my eyes darted around searching for potential clean spots.

None

“I just won’t eat the contaminated parts” I said to myself, which let me tell you is harder said than done with a cake that tasted this good. It’s at times like this that I applaud my lack of self-control and give it a well deserved pat on the back. Like love at first sight the salt instantly clung to the sugar buttercream and when my fork scooped it up, my mouth was given one hell of a taste sensation. From that very moment I’ve been hooked. I even used the last potato wedge to wipe up the last of the chocolate buttercream and I’m not even ashamed of it!

These salted butterscotch and chocolate cookies are just the start of a whole range of salt and sweet related recipes. I’m obsessed with this flavour combination and am intent on finding new ways of using it in different kinds of bakes so watch this space; but first make these!

Sea Salt, Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Makes 24

Preparation time: 1 hour

Baking time: 8-12 minutes


85g Brown sugar

100g Caster sugar

100g Soft unsalted butter

1 Egg

2tsp Vanilla

200g Self-raising flour

1tsp Baking powder

80g Chocolate chips

80g Butterscotch pieces

1tsp Sea Salt


Preheat the oven to 180C/250F/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Weigh out all your ingredients and cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat the egg in a separate bowl with the vanilla and slowly combine with the butter mix, adding a teaspoon of flour if it begins to curdle.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add this to the wet mixture until fully combined then stir in the chocolate and butterscotch pieces.

Combine the dough and gently knead to form a ball, then wrap it up in a lightly floured sheet of cling film and leave in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.

Cut the ball into quarters and tear into 6 equal sizes balls. Roll them neatly and drop them onto a baking sheet, making sure they are spaced well apart so they can expand during baking.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown. While they are still warm sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt then lift from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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.