What is it?: A brown-sugar biscuit with stem ginger, coconut and macadamia nuts
Occasion: Treats for colleagues
One of the main problems with working so far from home (OK, it’s ten miles, but in London, that is what we term a ‘total mission’) is that it is difficult to transport baked goods between the kitchen and the office without them falling apart. Since starting my current job, I have learned that layer cakes, cupcakes or anything with frosting or elaborate decoration is pretty much a no-no, simply because they would never withstand the amount of barging that happens on London’s subterranean transport network. All is not lost, however, as salvation comes in the form of the biscuit. Not only does everybody love biscuits, they are robust enough to survive the tube! Hurrah! I have been dying to try out one of Dan’s biscuit recipes since I began this project and, given the cold snap we are experiencing in London at the moment, I thought the ginger macadamia biscuits would be a perfect winter warmer.
It was my birthday last week and my lovely aunt bought me the ultimate birthday gift: a new Kitchen Aid mixer. It arrived yesterday, and I was so excited by its lovely white shininess, I decided to make my biscuits in it, despite them being easy enough to make by hand. The combination of ingredients in these biscuits give it such a wonderful texture, it is almost forgivable to ignore the flavour – the brown sugar and butter give a smooth base, then the addition of chopped stem ginger and desiccated coconut give both a squidginess and a graininess that co-exist beautifully. Finally, the final addition of folding in the chopped macadamia nuts make it really substantial. The stem ginger, combined with a hefty two teaspoons of ground ginger, make the flavour both sweet and hot. The coconut flavour is barely there subtle, and I would even go so far as to say the macadamias were overpowered by the ginger just a little.
This mixture makes about 35 decent-sized biscuits and, when cooked for just one minute over the recommended time, they come out of the oven crisp around the edges and soft in the middle. Two minutes less would have given an even softer biscuit, almost a ‘cookie-like’ texture which, although has its merits when served up with vanilla ice cream and wolfed down, are not so good for transporting across town. Similarly, for a crisp biscuit, you could bake for an extra couple of minutes. These aren’t too sweet, so there is a danger of eating too many of them in one sitting – luckily these were devoured within half an hour of being unwrapped in my office, so the temptation to overindulge was taken away. My best feedback from today: “Gemma, your biscuits were FIT.”
In other news:
It seems like a long time ago, but on Saturday night we went to the House of Tippler for some rather belated birthday cocktails. The House of Tippler is one of the louder and more raucous of the bars on Lordship Lane. It used to be called Liquorish, it was dark, had a good cocktail menu and ace pizzas; it has a new owner, is still dark, has a good cocktail menu and apparently makes ace pizzas. I started the evening with a few Lychee Thymes (lychee, raspberry, lime, lemon thyme, lemongrass, vodka), and then moved onto the Sassy (strawberry, gin, lemon, sweet vermouth, cherry, chocolate liqueur). The party continued quite late into the night and the bar stayed crowded and buzzy throughout – I think I’ve found my new late-night venue. Oh yes, and I was suitably drunk.
House of Tippler, 123 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London SE22 8HU