Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GINGER CRUNCH


This baked delight was a staple within my childhood treat collection. If you turned up to a friend's for afternoon tea, the cake tins were often filled with homemade ginger crunch.

However, I've just discovered the sweet and spicy slice is some kind of New Zealand specialty. When I took a batch to work last week I was greeted with, 'What's ginger crunch?'

So here's an education, for the Australians and Americans at least. Reduce the ginger if you don't like it spicy. And be mindful that it takes a while to set, so don't plan to serve it right away.

RECIPE: GINGER CRUNCH

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar
125g hard butter, cubed

Topping:
150g butter
4 heaped tablespoons golden syrup
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
2 Tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons of ground ginger

Heat oven to 180 C/350 F, or if you have an oven like mine just crank it up.

Combine flour, baking powder, ginger and sugar in a food processor if you have one, otherwise a large bowl. Add butter and pulse or rub with fingers until you get a dry crumb. 

Lightly grease a slice tin and generously line with baking paper - so that it goes up sides to allow for easy removal after cooking. Press crumbs into tin with your hands, ensuring sides are just as well-covered, if not more. If it's too thick in the centre it may not cook properly. It will feel very dry.

Bake until golden - better to be a bit over than under done. Depending on your oven, this will take between 25 and 40 mins. 

Meanwhile, prepare topping by first melting butter and golden syrup in small pot over medium heat. It doesn't need to be stirred at this stage. While it's melting, sift icing sugar into a bowl - or use food processor to break really big hard lumps. Stir icing sugar and ginger into liquid over low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved - at least a minute.

Pour over slice and use spatula to even out. Leave to cool and set - if you're in a hurry place in freezer briefly or fridge once it's cooled down. 

Remove from tin and cut into small pieces. Store in airtight container for a few days (if it doesn't get eaten).


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