>> Saturday, December 11, 2010

When I was nineteen, I used to nanny for a family with two children. Tom was twelve and I think Charlotte must’ve been about nine. Such cute kids. Tom was quiet and bookish in the sweetest way, and would be in his room doing homework for most of the evening before he went to bed. But Charlotte was bubbly and loved company and would often sit with me finishing off her homework at the kitchen table or just having a chat.

It was with Charlotte that I discovered this ginger nut biscuit recipe.

One evening she whipped up a batch after dinner. You could tell she knew her stuff. She melted the butter with confidence, drizzling spoons of golden syrup into the pot (and all over the bench) with the most serious expression on her face. And what came out of the oven were delicious honey-coloured discs of goodness. They were so good that I got her to copy me out the recipe which she wrote in pencil on a white sheet of paper. I still have it in my recipe book and every time I see her wonky little kid writing I think of her.

Charlotte always followed the recipe exactly which said to bake them for only 10 minutes, so hers were always chewy and soft: so good eaten warm straight out of the oven for a snack before bedtime with a glass of milk. I like my ginger nuts hard and crunchy and really gingery, so I add extra ginger and leave them in the oven for about 20 minutes until they turn deep brown and little tiny cracks appear all over the surface. (Almost exactly like the shop-bought ones from home - but better!)

What I particularly like about these biscuits is that you’ll probably have all the ingredients already in your cupboards – perfect for spur of the moment baking, as I discovered last Sunday when I had a sudden impulse to do a bit of baking at one in the afternoon still dressed in my pyjamas....

You can even dress them up a bit and serve them for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some stem ginger preserved in sugar syrup spooned over the top.

Recipes that remind you of someone or evoke particular memories are my favourite kind, and to me these will always be Charlotte’s Ginger Nuts.


100g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup (I used about 1 ½)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ¾ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons ginger (I added 3, but would probably add about 5 next time to get a more intense ginger flavour)
1 teaspoon baking soda

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in rounded household tablespoon of syrup. Soften then remove from heat.
Add the sugar and egg and beat with a wooden spoon to mix.
Measure dry ingredients into pot through sieve. Stir to mix.
Spoon warm mixture onto greased or sprayed trays, allowing space for spreading. Cool mixture may be shaped into balls if preferred.
Preheat oven to 190°C between tray loads, bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. If you prefer, hard, crunchy biscuits, leave them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they turn a deep golden brown.
Lift off tray when cool. Store in airtight container.



Copyright: All images and text appearing on this blog ( may not be reproduced, copied or manipulated without the written permission of Natalie Graham © 2010

  © Blogger template 2009

Back to TOP