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Old 30-08-2015, 00:07   #1021
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

Well, you got me fired up, SWL, and as I was in the kitchen making soup anyway (cauli, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and Puy Lentils, another story...) I decided I'd check the pantry and see what I needed to buy from the supermarket, only to discover that I didn't need to go out at all.

Well, okay, I only had 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar, but I topped it up with raw sugar, so that's pretty close....

So I melted the Golden Syrup into the sugar as per destructions, allowed it to cool a bit (enough so it didn't burn skin when added to flower mixture and hand mixed/kneaded).

This by the way is a good thing, as the cooler it gets, the harder it is to roll and manage the dough. It has a *strong* tendency to stick to the bench..!!

Rolled into a fat lump, halved, then halved etc until I had 32 blobs of roughly the same size.

I found that it was fairly easy to squish the ends of the 'roll' back in towards the middle and fatten the roll up if it got too thin, rather than folding it, which is a bugger to then roll out the 'join lines' thus created.

So I'd recommend doing it that way. Roll out, squish the ends back towards the middle, roll again. I ended up with two 'logs' approx 30cm (1') long, which cut easily into approx discs roughly 12mm (1/2") thick and approx 4cm (1-1/2") in diameter.

I then rolled these in the palm of my hand and dropped onto the tray, squashing down with fork (first batch) and with flat-bottomed spatular (second batch).

Decided to do in two batches.

First batch went in at 160degC for 15 min, and were overcooked. My bad. Turned into Ginger Bullets, not Ginger Nuts. They taste ever-so-slightly on the burnt side of cooked, but are 'ok', and do soften if dunked and held under for a minute or so. Reckon these could be put in a dessert spoon and simply held under for 30 secs, and then they'd be soft enough to chew on, but watch the dentures...!!! So overcooking is *not* recommended!!

The second batch I did at SWL's recommended 150degC, for 15mins, and I think even this might be too much, though my oven is fan-forced, so you'd better experiment with your own, but when I make them again I'll only do it for 10mins, or until they 'just' begin to go golden.

Why??? Well, it's clear that 15mins on the tray, in my oven, at this temp, is more than enough to 'crisp up' the top of the biscuits, but this batch, cooled on the bench on the tray, remained slightly 'chewy' underneath.

So I reckon 10mins on the tray, then cooled in the oven for 10mins, then cooked on the wire rack for a further 5 mins at 80degC, just to crisp up the underside.

It may prove that even 5mins in the first run is enough, as the tops of the second batch are *definitely* crispy/hard and 'nut-like'.

Also, I noticed that they definitely 'rise', due to the SR Flour probably, so it might be worth experimenting with Plain flour and baking soda, or at the very least, when you flatten the balls onto the tray, leave a depression in the centre so that as they rise to fill the depression they end up flat on top, like the real thing..!!

But the pic shows the (dark, with fork marks on top) 'failure' with the lighter coloured successful batch and the 'real thing' for comparison of size and colour.

Taste was 'close' to the real thing, although I suspect they use ginger essence, as the floral ginger 'nose' is noticeable in mine but not as noticeable in the Arnotts ones.

Altogether not displeased, but further testing required. Progress!

Oh, and it almost took me less time to make than it did to type this explanation up, so be not discouraged by the essay-length explanation..!!

It was quick, and *easy*....!!!! Emphasis: easy..!!

And did I mention "yum"..??
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Old 30-08-2015, 01:54   #1022
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzman View Post
Well, you got me fired up, SWL, and as I was in the kitchen making soup anyway (cauli, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and Puy Lentils, another story...) I decided I'd check the pantry and see what I needed to buy from the supermarket, only to discover that I didn't need to go out at all.

Well, okay, I only had 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar, but I topped it up with raw sugar, so that's pretty close....

So I melted the Golden Syrup into the sugar as per destructions, allowed it to cool a bit (enough so it didn't burn skin when added to flower mixture and hand mixed/kneaded).

This by the way is a good thing, as the cooler it gets, the harder it is to roll and manage the dough. It has a *strong* tendency to stick to the bench..!!

Rolled into a fat lump, halved, then halved etc until I had 32 blobs of roughly the same size.

I found that it was fairly easy to squish the ends of the 'roll' back in towards the middle and fatten the roll up if it got too thin, rather than folding it, which is a bugger to then roll out the 'join lines' thus created.

So I'd recommend doing it that way. Roll out, squish the ends back towards the middle, roll again. I ended up with two 'logs' approx 30cm (1') long, which cut easily into approx discs roughly 12mm (1/2") thick and approx 4cm (1-1/2") in diameter.

I then rolled these in the palm of my hand and dropped onto the tray, squashing down with fork (first batch) and with flat-bottomed spatular (second batch).

Decided to do in two batches.

First batch went in at 160degC for 15 min, and were overcooked. My bad. Turned into Ginger Bullets, not Ginger Nuts. They taste ever-so-slightly on the burnt side of cooked, but are 'ok', and do soften if dunked and held under for a minute or so. Reckon these could be put in a dessert spoon and simply held under for 30 secs, and then they'd be soft enough to chew on, but watch the dentures...!!! So overcooking is *not* recommended!!

The second batch I did at SWL's recommended 150degC, for 15mins, and I think even this might be too much, though my oven is fan-forced, so you'd better experiment with your own, but when I make them again I'll only do it for 10mins, or until they 'just' begin to go golden.

Why??? Well, it's clear that 15mins on the tray, in my oven, at this temp, is more than enough to 'crisp up' the top of the biscuits, but this batch, cooled on the bench on the tray, remained slightly 'chewy' underneath.

So I reckon 10mins on the tray, then cooled in the oven for 10mins, then cooked on the wire rack for a further 5 mins at 80degC, just to crisp up the underside.

It may prove that even 5mins in the first run is enough, as the tops of the second batch are *definitely* crispy/hard and 'nut-like'.

Also, I noticed that they definitely 'rise', due to the SR Flour probably, so it might be worth experimenting with Plain flour and baking soda, or at the very least, when you flatten the balls onto the tray, leave a depression in the centre so that as they rise to fill the depression they end up flat on top, like the real thing..!!

But the pic shows the (dark, with fork marks on top) 'failure' with the lighter coloured successful batch and the 'real thing' for comparison of size and colour.

Taste was 'close' to the real thing, although I suspect they use ginger essence, as the floral ginger 'nose' is noticeable in mine but not as noticeable in the Arnotts ones.

Altogether not displeased, but further testing required. Progress!

Oh, and it almost took me less time to make than it did to type this explanation up, so be not discouraged by the essay-length explanation..!!

It was quick, and *easy*....!!!! Emphasis: easy..!!

And did I mention "yum"..??
Buzzman, you are a trooper! Thanks for the feedback. They look great.

A bit of feedback and a few thoughts:

I will go and edit my recipe to mix the flour in while the sugar mix is still warm. Also I'll add a note not to overheat the sugar so it doesn't turn to toffee .

These bikkies do need to be cooked slowly until just golden. The time taken is highly oven dependent. Not all ovens runs at the displayed dial temp, many have hot and cooler spots (rotating the tray 180 at the halfway mark helps then). Just keep a close eye on them. Unlike cakes that flop if gusts of cold air blow over them if the oven is opened, this will have little effect on biscuits, so you can open the door as often as needed to check them.

A fan forced oven would be great for this as the temp would be pretty even, but the temp needs to be lowered as usual (10-20).

The initial cooling in the oven then very slow drying out on a rack at 80 will definitely avoid any chewy tendencies.

Regarding the flour, maybe plain with just half to one teaspoon of baking powder? Bicarb needs acid to activate it (would be fine if lemon juice is used here). Without an acid you would end up with a bicarb taste. Baking powder is essentially just 1/3 bicarb and 2/3 dry acid (such as cream of tartar) with a bit of cornflour. It is activated by getting wet. I know Weav suggested bicarb, but I think baking powder would be better here, just less than you get premixed into self raising flour given yours rose too much. All plain flour as in NornaB's recipe would produce an even flatter top, but they would be denser.

Although gingernuts don't contain lemon zest, I love lemon and ginger together and I think I would add the rind of a lemon when making these.

I would love to have more of a play. Do you think honey would work instead of golden syrup? It is about all I can think of to use as a substitute. It needs to be something liquid, otherwise the dough will be too dry.

SWL
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Old 30-08-2015, 02:32   #1023
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post

I would love to have more of a play. Do you think honey would work instead of golden syrup? It is about all I can think of to use as a substitute. It needs to be something liquid, otherwise the dough will be too dry.

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Try corn syrup, available just about everywhere in Greece, usually with the baking ingredients. Honey would be likely to have an effect on the flavour.
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Old 30-08-2015, 03:03   #1024
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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Try corn syrup, available just about everywhere in Greece, usually with the baking ingredients. Honey would be likely to have an effect on the flavour.
Thanks for the tip. I have never used corn syrup. I think I will have a go with honey rather than using corn syrup though. The ginger (and I will add lemon zest too) will most likely override the honey, but if it doesn't, I think the flavour of honey will simply add to these.

I cracked a smile earlier when I wrote that I had looked at the "nutritional" info Buzzman provided from the Arnott's pack. Almost half sugar and most of the rest white flour kind of makes the term "nutrition" a bit of an oxymoron .

I guess as far as sweet treats go it could be worse though. These homemade gingernuts at least contain no trans fats or artificial colours or preservatives. And ginger is a powerful antioxidant and apparently an antidote to sea sickness. These sound like good excuses to indulge a little occasionally .

SWL
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Old 30-08-2015, 09:33   #1025
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Gingernuts continued .....

OK, I am way too impatient to wait until next year , so without any golden syrup or any other kind of treacle on board, I resorted to honey and made up a batch of gingernuts based on the recipe in post #1020.

Armed with the results of Buzzman's trial, I used plain flour and just one flat teaspoon of baking powder. Because I love the combo of lemon and ginger I added the zest of one lemon, as in Weav's recipe, and used two tablespoons of ginger for a real hit of flavour rather than trying to mimic the flavour of Arnott's version.

It pays to divide the mixture evenly, as they cook equally then and look good. These rose only a little and didn't spread much, so flatten the balls roughly to whatever final thickness you want with a spatula or the flat base of a mug before baking. The mixture was not at all sticky (it must be different using honey as opposed to golden syrup). They kneaded well into a moderately firm dough and easily rolled into logs to allow them be evenly divided into 32.

I popped them in a cold oven to start, as my oven just tends to burn furiously hot (great for pizza, not so good for bikkies) and I watched them like a hawk while they were baking. I gave them 5 min and flipped the tray for another 5, as my oven is hotter in one corner. Then I inverted each biscuit and turned the oven off (they were crispy at the edges with soft centres at this stage, but cooked through) and I let them cool completely before taking them out. No extra oven time was necessary.

These little morsels are only suitable for dunking. In fact they need to come with a warning, as they are like concrete when cold . Fantastic flavour though. The honey did not detract at all. Anyone hankering after gingernuts that need to be dunked won't be disappointed.

This is a great boat recipe as everything will keep long term for ages unrefrigerated and no fancy equipment is needed. They are child's play to make.

Here is the recipe again:

GINGERNUTS (Mk 3)

1 packed cup (200g) brown sugar
cup golden syrup or honey (I used honey)
cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (250g) plain flour
1 flat teaspoon baking powder
1 - 2 flat tablespoons ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Optional: finely grated zest of 1 lemon

- Combine sugar, syrup and oil and gently heat until the sugar is starting to dissolve. Don't overheat the sugar mix, as it will turn to toffee.
- Cool just enough that it can be touched without burning yourself
- Add lemon zest if using
- Sift flour, baking powder, ginger and salt
- Mix everything together and knead well a minute or two
- Halve the dough, roll each portion into a skinny log and divide each bit into 16 to form 32 equally sized pieces.
- Roll these into balls, flatten with the base of a mug and place well spaced onto lined baking tray
- Bake in a "slow" oven (150-160C, less if fan forced) for about 10 minutes until golden, checking frequently to make sure they are not browning too much. Rotate the tray 180 midway if your oven has hot spots.
- Carefully flip each biscuit upside down and allow to completely cool in the oven until the oven is stone cold.
- If they are not as hard as you would like (unlikely), place them on a wire cake rack and bake in a "cool" oven (around 80C) for as long as necessary to dry them out.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Dunk in tea or coffee to avoid broken teeth .

Remember they were named "...nuts" as they were traditionally as hard as unshelled nuts to crack . If you want a softer more chewy biscuit, add a tablespoon of water or lemon juice to make a softer dough and cool them out of the oven.


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Old 30-08-2015, 19:45   #1026
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

I'm wondering it maybe turning them after 5-10mins and cooing out of the oven might keep the centre less bullet-like and the layer of hardness on the outside?

As I said, my first batch were definite bullets. Even softening them by dunking with a spoon they are still tough until you first get your teeth throught he outer 'shell' and re-dunk them to absorb more moisture.

I suspect the texture of the mix is too fine - Arnotts version seems somehow 'grainer' whereas the DIY ones seem much finer, more dense somehow..??

Not sure how to replicate that..??

The second batch I did were hard on top, and this morning I checked them again, and yeah, they've hardened up underneath, so perhaps a hotter oven to get the colour, and 'not quite completely cook' the inside..?? Less time??

The density definitely affects the ability of liquid to soften the biscuit when dunked, so a slightly less dense biscuit would be theoretically less bullet-like also.

Ideas?

Also Golden Syrup is definitely part of the flavour, but perhaps a little less GS abd perhpas some water (that would evaporate when baked) to keep the mix moist enough to mix and roll, but a bit less dense?
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Old 30-08-2015, 21:20   #1027
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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I'm wondering it maybe turning them after 5-10mins and cooing out of the oven might keep the centre less bullet-like and the layer of hardness on the outside?

As I said, my first batch were definite bullets. Even softening them by dunking with a spoon they are still tough until you first get your teeth throught he outer 'shell' and re-dunk them to absorb more moisture.

I suspect the texture of the mix is too fine - Arnotts version seems somehow 'grainer' whereas the DIY ones seem much finer, more dense somehow..??

Not sure how to replicate that..??

The second batch I did were hard on top, and this morning I checked them again, and yeah, they've hardened up underneath, so perhaps a hotter oven to get the colour, and 'not quite completely cook' the inside..?? Less time??

The density definitely affects the ability of liquid to soften the biscuit when dunked, so a slightly less dense biscuit would be theoretically less bullet-like also.

Ideas?

Also Golden Syrup is definitely part of the flavour, but perhaps a little less GS abd perhpas some water (that would evaporate when baked) to keep the mix moist enough to mix and roll, but a bit less dense?

That's for achieving a dunkable gingernut that looks and tastes pretty close to the Arnott's NSW version. Great team effort .

I agree both adding a bit more liquid and cooling them out of the oven would help result in something you could bite on. My dough was quite pliable, but an extra tablespoon or two of water would make it even more so and help keep them from becoming rock like.

I don't think turning them at 5 min would work well though, as they as super soft at this stage and easily damaged (I gently lifted one in the hottest position with a fork at the 5 min mark, as mine burn on the bottom first and it wasn't very happy when I did this).

What might help to produce a more even and slightly softer texture is to throw a tea towel over the tray as soon as it comes out if the oven and perhaps then to seal them in a tin while warm . The slight amount of steam should help.

Regarding the problem of the texture being finer, maybe we should try not melting the sugar and using granulated white instead? That should produce a grainier result.

If you want a laugh, read this review:
https://chillikebab.wordpress.com/20...inger-nut-nsw/

Does this ring any bells?

"However, when you come to take a bite, you laugh. You see, someone has switched your packet of biscuits with a joke pack, and in fact these are fake ones made of wood. You put them down, still chortling, and check carefully; ask around as to who the trickster was and so on.

Then realisation dawns. These are no joke. Gingerly you try taking another bite; you hold the biscuit between your teeth and pull down in an attempt to break off a mouthful. Amazingly, despite gripping with the full extent of your jaw muscles and heaving with all your might, you are unable to get the NSW Ginger Nut to yield. You take if from your mouth and it looks completely unharmed, without so much as a scratch or an indentation from your teeth."


SWL
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Old 30-08-2015, 21:56   #1028
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

NFOMCL

So true, so true. I love watching the expressions on the faces of people not fomr NSW when I offer them a NSW GN.

Often puzzlement is followed by a sense of outrage, and then quizzical curiousity takes over.....at this point I step in and advise: "You have to dunk them".
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Old 30-08-2015, 22:56   #1029
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The morning after ....

I am just having my first coffee for the day. Always the best .
I have of course reached for the jar of gingernuts. My only complaint is that they take WAY too long to soften when dunked and even then you can only just nibble at the edges. The texture is perfect though once you are halfway and have kept dunking. No mush at all, they crumble into crunchy bits all the way through.

I think what they mostly need is to be thinner so that they don't need to be submerged for so long. "Grainier" would be good too. I will try white sugar next time and not melt it.

I do love the flavour despite the lack of golden syrup. Very gingery with just a hint of lemon .

SWL
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Old 30-08-2015, 23:03   #1030
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PS The verdict from my better half is that he preferred Weav's version. He mumbled something about wanting to keep his teeth intact .
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Old 30-08-2015, 23:08   #1031
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
PS The verdict from my better half is that he preferred Weav's version. He mumbled something about wanting to keep his teeth intact .
I mentioned in passing that exchanging baking soda for baking powder would stiffen up the mix...... start with 50/50 baking soda and powder

The other thing to say is that the Brtiish version of the ginger biscuit is a firm and dunkable product, it does not quite hit the NSW solidity....... it has managed to make the grade by breaking before teeth wear out and dental visits are part of the process.
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Old 30-08-2015, 23:24   #1032
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I mentioned in passing that exchanging baking soda for baking powder would stiffen up the mix...... start with 50/50 baking soda and powder
Weav, I was going to try this, then had second thoughts. Baking powder is simply roughly 1/3 baking soda to 2/3 dry acid (eg cream of tartar). Without much acid in the mix (unless you use lemon etc) I think the extra baking soda would be retained and leave that slightly caustic aftertaste that I really dislike.

Its purpose is to react with an acid and produce carbon dioxide that bubbles and lightens a mixture. Why do you think it would stiffen the mix?

SWL

PS This has been a great learning exercise for me. I think understanding the underlying process helps tremendously when baking, particularly when recipes need to be modified due to lack of ingredients or equipment (or having a "challenging" oven ).
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Old 30-08-2015, 23:48   #1033
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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Why do you think it would stiffen the mix?

SWL
Its about WHEN the action takes place. As long as there are enough acids to absorb the soda, there should be no after taste.Most hard American cookies use soda in manufacture.

The rising process, due to making 'bubbles' expels air and in cookies leaves a more dense and tougher base in its wake. (in hard cookies)

Baking powder has a mix of ingredients which 'leavens' on contact with water etc. and has a secondary effect later in the process, usually used when a lot of acids are not required in the mix.

Does it work? Well Ive eaten a lot of hard American cookies and it works for them.

And a Baker friend has tried to explain it to me and this is as much info as Ive retained........... however his goods would suggest he knows what he is doing...... (Belgian and lives in Florida. Bread is fabulous and his cakes are amazing.)

Never had a Ginger biscuit from him though.
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Old 31-08-2015, 00:09   #1034
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Thanks for the explanation .

I'm still a little skeptical though that baking soda will harden a mixture regardless of when it does its thing, but I am happy to be proved wrong if it produces better gingernuts .
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Old 31-08-2015, 00:20   #1035
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re: Mouthwatering Boat Recipes (mainly plant based)

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Thanks for the explanation .

I'm still a little skeptical though that baking soda will harden a mixture regardless of when it does its thing, but I am happy to be proved wrong if it produces better gingernuts .
You will be the first to know.
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