Friday, October 15, 2010

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits have got to be my favourite kind of biscuit. Their caramelly flavour and grainy texture means I can never stop at one.

These biscuits are one of the first things I remember cooking with my mum. My favourite part was melting the golden syrup and butter then watching it all foam up as I added the bi-carb soda. Mum would always have the job of putting spoonfuls of the delicious dough onto the baking tray...probably because most of it would end up in my mouth if it were left up to me.

Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) where it has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation

For me, the perfect Anzac has to be soft and chewy with a big caramel hit from the golden syrup and brown sugar. I like them quite chunky too, so I never use those "quick oats". So, without further or do, here is my perfect Anzac biscuit recipe.

Anzac Biscuits
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
125g butter
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.

Melt the butter in the microwave, add the golden syrup then microwave again on high heat for about 30-40 seconds (or until the golden syrup is very runny)

Whilst making the butter mixture, put the bicarbonate of soda in a small dish and add a tablespoon of boiling water, stir then add to the butter/golden syrup mixture.

Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart. Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spiced Banana & Date Bread

I have bananas coming out of my ears at the moment. This seems to me a reoccurring event for me...I stock up on bananas when they are on special and I never get around to eating them, then they end up looking rather sad and I am left searching for recipes to use them up.

I decided this time it was going to be banana bread. I haven’t made it for a while and I thought I would look for a new recipe. The one I usually make is a healthyfied one which uses apple sauce as a substitute for oil or butter, which works wonders, but as I was going to take it into work for my colleagues to devour, I thought I should not subject them to my health quirks.

This banana bread was yummy, and got the thumbs up from all my work colleagues. It was moist with lots of banana flavour, but I think it could have done with a little more spice.

Spiced Banana & Date Bread
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 10cm x 20cm loaf tin. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add brown sugar, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the centre.

Place eggs, milk and olive oil in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Stir through banana and dates.

Pour the banana mixture into the centre of the flour mixture, folding gently until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.