It's not officially the holiday season until that first gingerbread biscuit has been wolfed down, am I right?
We wanted to bring you the perfect gingerbread biscuit recipe. But that statement alone is plagued with trouble - we all have a different idea of perfect! However we think we've nailed it with this recipe.
May the streets of your neighbourhood be filled with the salubrious scent of baking gingerbread over the next couple of weeks.
Makes approx 30
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
Preheat the oven to 180C-200C.
Place butter, honey/maple syrup/rice syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan, and heat until melted. Cool in a saucepan for approximately 20 minutes.
Add egg to the butter mixture and whisk well.
Place ginger, mixed spice, bicarb and flour in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Add butter mix and stir to combine into a sticky dough.**
To make gingerbread shapes, roll out the sticky, thick mixture between sheets of baking paper, to ½ cm thick, and use a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes. The thinner you roll the crunchier the biscuit will be. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper or a reusable silicone wrap. Place gingerbread shapes on a tray leaving 3cm between each biscuit.
OR to make plain roundish biscuits simply place teaspoon sized balls of the dough onto the lined tray, spaced apart.
Bake for 8-10 mins. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to a week or you can freeze them for up to a month.
**At this point you can roll the dough into a log and wrap in cling wrap (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 6 months. You can then simply thaw, cut and bake fresh when required.
For a Gluten Free Version:
You can substitute the cake flour for an All Purpose Gluten Free Flour but you may need to add a bit more liquid sweetener to balance the dough texture.
From Hetty McKinnon's Provençal Grain Salad & Ottolenghi's Farro Salad to the ever popular Cypriot salad, we Sydney folk sure love robust, earthy and vibrant dishes. Our Village Feast Salad is our take on this popular dish. What I love about it is that it's a meal in itself - no need to make anything to go with it! And it can easily be adapted to feed a crowd.
With the holiday season upon us, this is just the kind of salad to have up your sleeve. Featuring many pantry staples we all often have on hand, it makes for excellent leftovers and leaves wiggle room for creativity and putting your own spin on it. We encourage you to tweak it to make it yours.
Feeds 4 as a Main or 8 as a Side dish.
½ cup Cracked Freekeh
½ cup Puy Lentils
½ cup Buckwheat (*toasted if preferred. See note)
1 tsp Vegetable Stock Powder
1 head Broccoli (cut into small florets)
1 Red Onion
½ bunch Mint
½ bunch Parsley
½ bunch Coriander (optional)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
Pinch of crushed Pepperberries
⅓ cup Pepitas
Juice and zest of 1 Orange
⅔ cup Greek Yoghurt
⅔ cup Hulled Tahini
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Honey
⅓ cup Cranberries
1 tbsp toasted Pepitas
To make things easier we're going to use 1 pot to cook 4 things. The ones with the longest cooking time of 20 mins - cracked freekeh and puy lentils, go into the pot first, followed by buckwheat then finally broccoli. Here goes:
Put a big pot of water on to boil. Add the tsp stock powder.
When boiling, add freekeh & puy lentils. Simmer gently uncovered. 10 mins later add buckwheat. Keep simmering the 3 together for a further 9 mins. Lastly, throw in the broccoli florets for a quick 1 min blanch.
Now retrieve the broccoli from the simmering water with a slotted spoon or tongs and pop it in some cold water. This arrests the cooking process and ensures it keeps its bright green hue and a bit of crunch.
Drain the buckwheat, lentils and freekeh well and leave to cool in the colander while you make the dressing. It doesn't have to get completely cold; warm is fine.
While the grains and pulses are simmering, chop up your onion (finely) & herbs (coarsely) & put it in a large mixing bowl with a glug of olive oil & pinch or two of salt.
Note: you may like to reserve a handful of chopped herbs for garnish at the end.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, season to taste.
in a dry frypan, toast pepitas over a medium-low heat for 2 mins or til almost golden. Remove from the pan immediately and reserve.
Toss cooked grains and pulses, chopped onion and herbs in a bowl.
To serve, spoon onto a large serving platter or individual bowls, top with the dressing, cranberries, pepitas and herbs. Or you can serve the dressing on the side.
This recipe can be made ahead. Don't dress or add olive oil til serving time.
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This recipe focuses on taking a fresh look at ingredients, and using them in different ways.
This gorgeous dessert is the perfect example. Originally I used dried apricots for this dish, but any dried fruit you have on hand works beautifully.
Next time you feel like something sweet after dinner but don't think you have anything that will suffice, try the pantry: there's nearly always dried fruit of some kind in there!
2 cups dried fruit of your choosing*
⅔ cup warm water
2 tablespoons butter
Few drops vanilla essence
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup walnut pieces or raw pistachios
Greek Yoghurt to serve
Add vanilla to warm water. Soak fruit in water for 10 mins. Now pour the fruit and water onto a greased oven tray. Dot the butter over the fruit, sprinkle the walnuts and sugar over the top. Bake for 25 mins at 180°c.
Serve with Greek yoghurt
*the fruit pictured is a mix of sour cherries, peaches, pears and currants.
If the thought of homemade bread makes you think of effort, time, just too much hassle, I'm here to change your mind. This focaccia recipe requires NO KNEADING and MINIMAL BABYSITTING! You combine the ingredients in a bowl, pop the bowl in the fridge overnight, pour into a baking tray and bake the next day.
Focaccia is perfect for a bits n’ pieces supper, a ploughman's style lunch, a quick breakfast, the lunch box, or a host gift next time you're invited to someone's place for a meal. We like using it as a pizza base at our place.
Let's do this!
2 cups heritage flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp soft butter for greasing pan
3 tbs olive oil
Italian herbs or dried rosemary
Sea salt flakes
Combine flour, kosher salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl, stir to combine. Add warm water, whisking it in as you go, til it's mixed well. (A wooden spoon will suffice if no whisk handy). Cover the bowl well and pop it in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, maximum 24.
Butter a 22cm cake tin or brownie pan. The shape doesn't matter. Line the pan with baking paper then pour in 2 tbsp olive oil into the pan. Put dough in a pan, turning it over so it's coated in oil. Tuck the dough edges in so it's a roughly shaped ball in the pan.
The 2nd rise: cover the pan and leave it to rest for about 2 hours. A warm place is good - sometimes I pop my dough in the car to give it a little nudge. When the dough has swollen to cover most of the pan, it's ready for the oven!
Baking: drizzle the remaining tbs of olive oil over the risen dough. Now the fun part: press down on the dough with both hands so all your fingers make deep dents in the surface. Sprinkle top with Italian herbs or Rosemary and flaky sea salt.
Bake at 200°c (180°c fan forced) on the centre oven rack for 25 mins approx. Check it at the 20 min mark. If it's nicely golden and the sides are crispy its ready.
Use a spatula to transfer carefully to a cooling rack
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Wattleseeds are Australia's beloved Golden Wattle tree's gift to the culinary world. Roasted and ground much like coffee beans, they resemble coffee in appearance and even a little in taste - although much milder in flavour - along with a subtle note of hazelnut.
So with a flavour and aroma reminiscent of coffee and hazelnuts, you can imagine how well it lends itself to all sorts of baked goods: try adding a spoonful or 2 to your favourite banana bread recipe, Anzac biscuits, choc chip cookies or pancake batter!
Here is the ultimate breakfast muffin recipe.
2 cups wholemeal or white self raising flour
1 generous tbsp ground wattleseed
1/2 cup sugar
100g salted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
Few drops Bloomfield vanilla essence
½ cup 55% dark chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
Combine the flour, baking powder, wattle seed and sugar in a bowl.
Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. Beat with a whisk or an electric beater until smooth. Gradually add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Fold chocolate chips into the mixture.
Pour into the wells of a greased muffin tin, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched.
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