Sunday, 21 August 2011

fiery ginger biscuits (and lemon cream filling)

For many people, late night drunken journeys home consist of trying to stay awake and refraining from sending lewd text messages to past lovers. Not me! My night bus journey home on Friday night passed all too quickly, as I made frantic notes on what to bake in a hungover state on Saturday afternoon....the results are these delicious ginger biscuit gems, which are the perfect antidote to that groggy feeling that I like to call a 'sauvignon state of mind'.... Enjoy!

biscuit ingredients
8oz butter
5oz golden caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2tsp (heaped) grated fresh Ginger
10oz plain flour

filling ingredients
2oz softened butter
1oz lemon curd (1tsp lemon juice if you have no curd)
1/2 tsp grated ginger
4oz icing sugar

Cream the butter and sugar together, in an electric mixer if you have one - with a wooden spoon if not, until fluffy and pale.  Separate an egg and add the yolk to the mixture.  You do not need the white for this recipe, but perhaps you can save it to be used in another recipe in the next day or two.  Mix for a couple of minutes until combined.  Grate the ginger and add to the mixture, mix again.  The amount of ginger is for guidance only - if you like your ginger biscuits really fiery then add more - remember, the ginger will taste stronger once it has caramalised inside the biscuit as it bakes in the oven.  Sieve the flour and then stir into the rest of the mixture, a little at at time, until combined and a biscuit dough is formed.  Cut this into two parts, hopefully fairly equal in size.  Wrap the two halves in cling film, or place in a freezer bag, and allow to cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and lay one of the halves on a lightly floured surface.
Pre-heat the oven to gas Mark 5.
Press down lightly on top of the dough to slightly flatten the surface - this will make it easier to roll.  Now take your floured rolling pin to the dough and roll to your preferred thickness.  If you are making ginger biscuits without the filling, then perhaps make them a little thicker.  If, as I have you done, you would like to sandwich two together with the lemon filling between, then roll the dough to a thiner thickness.  The thiner the dough a) the more biscuits you will get out of the mixture and b) the quicker they will cook.  Remember though, too thin and they will burn very easily.  I suggest no less than 3mm - whatever their thickness, they will not rise very much at all.
Now select your cutting implements!  Depending on the cutter you choose, you may get anything from 10-20 biscuits from each half of the dough.  I have chosen a medium-ish fluted cutter and, in respect of the ginger, I am going to cut out a wee gingerbread man from the centre of each of the biscuits.  This will also provide a lovely viewport to that delicious lemon and ginger filling.  Cut out your biscuit shapes and lay on a lined (with parchment) baking tray - allow a little space between them as, although they won't rise, they may spread a little.

Repeat the above with the other piece of dough, however,  If you have cut out a shape, like my gingerbread men, from the centre of the biscuits made from the other half of dough, make sure you don't from these ones, as they will be the back of the biscuit sandwich and we don't want all that lovely filling to fall out!
Place each tray of biscuits in the oven, on a middle shelf, for around ten minutes - a little longer (say 10-15) if they are thicker and a little less (say 5-7) if they are thin.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute on the tray, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely - the biscuits are likely to be a little floppy when they come out of the oven. This does not mean that they are not baked through, they will harden as they cool.
Now for the filling.  Cream the butter and add the lemon curd and ginger.  Mix together well.  Sieve the icing sugar and add a little at time to the butter mixture until it is all combined.  I'm using my mums  homemade Lemon curd, but any would do of course! The amount created from the ingredients above should be enough filling to fill all your biscuits, but it will also depend on how thinly / thickly you rolled them, so be prepared to make a little more, if required.
Once the biscuits have cooled completely, start creating your biscuit sandwiches!!
Lovely, as ever, with a cup of tea and a filum.

Katie x

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