These dessert biscuits are fantastic for Holiday treats in the lead up to Christmas!
Halloween is over and I am definitely one of those Christmas fanatics – so bear with me here.
My latest bake is a lovely soft biscuit with a outside crunch and as Mrs Beeton says “With whatever the preparation is flavoured, so are the biscuits called, and an endless variety can be made in this manner”. So go with whatever flavour your little heart desires – today I chose ground ginger to add to my biscuit batter to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
As per the usual routine I started off with my ingredients set out ready to go. The recipe needs; 1 lb Flour, 1/2lb Butter, 1/2lb Sifted Sugar, the Yolks of 6 eggs and flavouring to taste. If your mind is blank as to options for flavouring here are some ideas – Cinnamon, Lemon zest, Currants, Ground ginger, Cocoa powder…let your imagination soar. If you are feeling fancy, make half and half different flavours!
Soften your 225g (Yeah I know, it’s a lot!) of Butter and beat it vigorously until it resembles cream instead of butter. I used my mixer for this so as not to wear out my arms this early in the bake, haha. Then I added in the flour “by degrees”, which is just really a posh way of saying ‘a bit at a time’ until it is mixed in. Then in went the icing sugar and the flavouring, and followed up by your lovely egg yolks (previously beaten until light and frothy).
Your mixture will end up a soft dough, but still be able to be moulded with your hands into tablespoonful balls. This mixture made 5 trays of cookies, but you can reuse your trays after removing the cooked biscuits if you don’t have a neverending supply of cookie trays. Grease and flour, or line them with baking paper – the reusable type is a fantastic save for the environment, it may be more expensive to start with, but in the long run it is worth it.
The cookies need to go into a ‘slow oven’ for around 15 minutes, making sure they don’t gain too much colour (don’t burn them – it does not add to the flavour, haha). I put my oven at around 160 degrees Celsius and this worked well.
The average cost back in the day was apparently 1s, 6d to make these and you will get around 4 dozen biscuits out of the one dough. This is why it is such a fantastic recipe to make and gift for Christmas, or pop it on the table to let the gannets help themselves as my family did. I started out with 52 and now have one plateful left, that’s how moreish they are. I think they would look super cool decorated with some red or white royal icing and a cherry on top.
I hope you enjoyed this bake and I hope you come back to visit me again soon. I am over the moon with this fabulous new website and have to credit Yellow Banana Design for all their hard work. Remember if you are a fan of YouTube also this recipe will be up to view on there very soon under Sweet Sensations NZ.
Hi all you lovely people, and welcome to my baking blog for those of you who are new 🙂
Having recently celebrated my *cough* (we won’t say exactly what number) birthday and getting the most exciting present of a stack of rather lovely vintage cookbooks, I decided to change tack for this blog post and segue into the 60’s.
The beautiful area of Devonport here in good old NZ is home to an extensively stocked 2ndhand/vintage bookshop called, funnily enough, Book-Mark. ❤️ They always come up trumps when we visit looking for goodies and this time was no exception! Among the stack my parents bought me was a cookbook which they recognised as one my Scottish grandmother had cooked from (hopefully she will get to read this). The Kenwood recipe book is the title and this one hails from 1960. I thought this was pretty darn cool and as I have a Kenwood mixer just like my Gran did, I thought it would be perfect to give the recipes a try.
I wanted something to impress the fam and this cookbook didn’t disappoint…with the rather grand title of (putting on a perfect French accent, not 😂) “Genoise” Gateau à la Vanille, I felt this bake was perfect! There is even a byline telling the reader that this recipe was published by kind permission of Mr Trompeto, of the Grosvenor Hotel in London. How posh is that!
Scanning through I saw that even though the recipe was two-thirds of the page instruction wise, it doesn’t contain too many ingredients. You will need eggs, castor sugar, flour, butter, milk and water. The recipe is divided into two sections, the cake and the icing, and it pays to read through before starting. There is a variation note which suggests you could make this up as one Gateau or multiple petite fours, I thought why not grease and flour a few more pans and go for the smaller cakes. If you’re going to put in the work why not go the whole hog. 😁
For both parts of this recipe, you are required to warm the bowl, so I went for the old fashioned way and filled it with warm water and let it sit for a bit before drying clean again to start.
The eggs and first measure of castor sugar go into the bowl and are vigorously beaten for a good 8-10 minutes, which is where a standing mixer is fantastic if you would like to keep the feeling in your arms. 😁 It ends up looking like a fluffy vanilla cloud in the bowl..very satisfying.
The next step is a very careful folding in of the flour and the first measure of butter (melted, but not hot). Pour this mixture into your tin or tins and into the oven it goes at a moderate 375F (190C). For……minutes, it doesn’t actually say here but my little cakes took 20 minutes cosily all in together.
And voila your cake part is done. 👏
Onwards and upwards to the icing and your warmed bowl. Now, this states that you need to attach the ‘Juice extractor & Oil dropper’ to your mixer, which is a pretty cool looking attachment. Sadly I did not own this myself so I Macgyvered it and stood slowly squeezing a dropper bottle into my mixing bowl. Tedious but not very taxing on the body. 😁 The Kenwood mixer, with attachment, shown below.
The second amount of softened butter gets popped into the mixer with the second lot of castor sugar and while mixing you need to drip in the combined water and milk into the bowl slowly, taking about 5 minutes in total. Don’t forget to flavour with your vanilla essence and you should get a mixture that looks pretty similar to a mock cream.
Then the fun part…we get to ice and decorate! Woop!
Cutting the cakes in half I sandwiched the two layers together with my icing and then spread the rest thinly around each cake (Top and sides). I like to pipe so added a few fancy do-dad’s to the top of each cake and some cute sprinkles. The recipe suggests toasted almonds, and chocolate powder added to the centre icing to pipe, but it’s really up to you to go where the creative juices take you. ❤️
Here is one of my finished creations….
I hope you have fun with this bake and if you are looking for a detailed ingredient list, please check out my YouTube video at Sweet Sensations NZ. I really look forward to hearing from you and seeing you back here soon. ❤️
YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/tdLSkLtBZWY