Thursday, 26 April 2012

Recipe road-test: Biscuity business

Yesterday was Anzac Day.  It's probably one of the most solemn and reverent days in Australia - a day to remember those that have represented Australia in military operations.  But it is not all sombre, lightened with rounds of two-up with mates, and the eponymous Anzac biscuit.

We probably all know the history of the Anzac biscuit, so I won't bother rehashing, except for the fact that they must have been pretty terrible to start with as the diggers used to refer to them as Anzac tiles!

I had initially thought that I would 'road-test' a recipe, detailed with standard highs, lows, success or failure.  However, in the initial stages of research I came across an amazing phenomenon.  What? The proliferation of fancy Anzacs biscuit recipes, with additions of spices, nuts, fruit and chocolate.  A seemingly endless variety of Anzacs.  That's all it took for one mission to be buried and another to born.

The new challenge? Three types of biscuits.  So, dear reader, just for you, I ventured in to my kitchen and made not one, not two, but three batches of Anzac biscuits.

Clockwise from left: White chocolate and macadamia, ginger and chocolate, traditional.

 The basis of any challenge like this is to go back to the original, as I did by testing out a traditional style recipe from the Country Women's Association (where else would you go for a tried and trusted recipe).  Luckily, I was able to source a recipe on the web here.  Very good, lightly coloured biscuit, not too chewy, all in all quite nice.

Then, feeling a tad bit more adventurous, I pulled out my yellow jacket covered Women's Weekly cook book Bake.  An absolute dictionary of baking recipes (if you're looking for anything in particular you are likely to find something inside its covers).  Sure enough, I found a recipe for macadamia and ginger Anzacs.  Swapping out the ginger for white chocolate was a genius move, making for a really special biscuit.

So, now it was my turn.  The result a hybridised version of the two other recipes, a ginger and chocolate Anzac biscuit recipe that took what I liked and left what I didn't.  That's why there's brown sugar, but not so much of it, with a little bit of extra golden syrup.  The method too is a blend of the other recipes, what I found that worked for me.  If you give it a go I hope you like them.  If you want more of a ginger zing in my recipe, why not add 1/4 cup of chopped up glace ginger?

My ginger and chocolate Anzac biscuit recipe - give it a go!

My live-in guinea pig, M, advised that it was hard to choose which was better, the macadamia and white chocolate or the ginger and chocolate.  He opted for the first, but he does love macadamia and white chocolate (so I'm not going to take it too personally).

I've learned that when baking Anzacs a low to moderate oven is best and it's far easier transfer the biscuit from oven to wire rack if you grease the baking trays (instead of lining them with baking paper)

Crunch or chewy, traditional or fancy what Anzac biscuit do you prefer?

No comments:

Post a Comment