With Simon Holst
Ginger Crunch is another perennial family favourite; even though it seems to have been around forever, it is still popular. Make it yourself, or better still, teach your kids how to make them for themselves - there are a couple of steps, they're not really very complicated.
For about 20 pieces:
Cost per piece: about $0.20
Time to prepare: about 20 minutes
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup standard (plain) flour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp ground ginger
2 rounded household Tbsp golden syrup
1 Tbsp water
2 cups icing sugar
about 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (or other nuts) to top if desired
Heat oven to 180C (170C fan bake), with the rack just below the middle. Line the sides and bottom of a pan about 18x28cm with baking paper, allowing enough extra paper on the sides for lifting the cooked slice out, or thoroughly non-stick spray a 23cm square loose bottomed pan.
For base, cut the cold butter into nine cubes, then process in brief bursts with remaining base ingredients, until the mixture is the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. If mixing by hand, warm butter until soft, mix it with the sugar, and then stir in the sieved dry ingredients.
Spread the crumbly mixture into the pan and press it down firmly and evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes or until evenly and lightly browned. It will still feel soft while it is hot. While the base cooks make the icing, since the base should be iced while hot.
For icing, measure the butter, ginger, golden syrup and water into a small pot or microwave bowl. Heat, without boiling, until melted. Remove from the heat, sift in the icing sugar, and beat until smooth. As soon as the base is cooked, remove it from the oven. Pour the warm icing onto the hot base and spread carefully so it covers the base evenly. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired, then leave the square to cool and set, marking it into pieces while still warm. Do not remove from the pan until it has cooled completely.
Note: If you like a really thick icing, use one and a half times the icing recipe!
(TX: 28 June 2011)