I have been seeing “ginger crunch” around lately. Until recently I never heard of it, but I guess with the internet ideas spread. Apparently it is an old recipe from New Zealand, originating sometime in the early 20th century. I will be honest, I don’t know much about New Zealand cooking – to be honest I don’t know much about many world cuisines. But this sounded interesting, I like gingerbread, ginger cookies etc…so why not give it a go? I found a recipe analysing it out which I loosely followed, although I couldn’t resist adding tweaks of my own!
You have to start off by making a shortbread like base. I decided to mix things up and add a little crystallised ginger into the base, for an added “zing”.
I blended it in the food processor, making it into a sort of sweet ginger paste.
You follow the usual stages, creaming butter and sugar, after which I mixed in the ginger, and add flour and baking powder (baking powder is not usually used in shortbread as it doesn’t usually rise, so that’s a difference here). You can also add ground ginger powder to spice it up a bit more.
At this stage the mix is very like a shortbread dough, super crumbly – you can barely call it dough.
It looks something like this.
Similarly to shortbread, you then press the mixture into a rectangular pan, and bake it in the oven. I baked mine for 20 minutes until it came out lovely and golden brown.
Next step is to make the icing. This is where it gets “strange”. You have to make, and ice the biscuit, while it’s still hot. You make the icing by mixing icing sugar, butter, and golden syrup together and bringing it to the boil.
Let it boil for a minute or two, then bring it off the heat and stir or whisk for another couple of minutes. This is a technique I learnt making fudge – you have to whip it a little as it cools to let some air into it.
Then, pour the hot icing onto the hot biscuit.
Looks a little like a stained glass window.
The next bit is important. Leave it to cool! Don’t be tempted to cut and taste or anything. You need to leave it in the tin to cool, until it’s cool enough to put in the fridge (once you can hold it in your hands without being burnt, then put it in the fridge). Put the whole thing, tin and all, in the fridge until it’s stone cold – a few hours should do the trick.
Once it’s cool, take it out of the tin and cut into slices. They should be pretty small because it is quite rich. But very tasty. And slightly sticky, but sticky is good!
You end up with a lovely biscuity base with a sort of jam-like topping. Mmm!
- 170g butter (I used vitalite)
- 170g sugar
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 90g crystallised ginger
- 80g butter
- 170g sifted icing sugar
- 2.5 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tsp ground ginger
For the biscuit
For the icing
- Start by blending the crystallised ginger. In a food processor, whiz it up until it forms a paste. If you don’t have a food processor you could chop it very finely, or grind it in a pestle & mortar.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix the ginger paste into the creamed butter and sugar. Mix it well as it has a tendency to clump together.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and ground ginger, and mix until it forms a crumbly mixture and there’s no flour showing.
- Press this into a lined 20 by 30cm tin, and put in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- As soon as the biscuit comes out of the oven, start on the icing. In a saucepan, melt together the butter and golden syrup.
- Add in the icing sugar and powdered ginger, mix well, and bring to the boil
- Boil mixture for 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t catch or burn.
- Take the saucepan off the heat, and using a balloon whisk, beat for 2 minutes.
- Pour icing over the biscuit base whilst still hot.
- Leave to cool in the tin, and put in the fridge once it is cool enough.
- When completely cool, cut into squares and eat.
Preheat the oven to 165C/330 F
Many thanks to www.foodlovers.co.nz for the recipe base!