Friday, 28 October 2011

'Short and Sweet', and Spicy - Ginger Macadamia Biscuits

I'm probably one of the last of the baking bloggers to mention Dan Lepard's new book - Short and Sweet - but that doesn't mean I'm not impressed by it. As well as bringing many recipes from his Guardian Weekend column together in one place, Dan prefaces each section of the book with tips on equipment and techniques and information on why ingredients are used and how they interact with each other. While this makes it an excellent book for beginners, there are also things for experienced bakers to learn too. As always, many of Dan's recipes stand out as innovative in terms of using unusual ingredients and flavour combinations as well as for some of the techniques used - the cook has to have a certain amount of trust and just leap in, but as long as the recipes are followed carefully, success is almost guaranteed. I'm sure this book is set to become a baking 'bible' for many bakers.

My one disappointment is the lack of a photograph for every recipe, but I can see that this would have made the book huge, and unwieldy in the kitchen. As it is, the book is specially designed to stay open at the chosen page, making it easier to use when hands are floury or sticky.

For my first recipe from the book, I chose a recipe I haven't made before, and one which fitted into the 'spicy' theme I have for my October baking - Ginger Macadamia Biscuits. The recipe previously published in the Guardian is slightly different in that it uses a large egg, whereas the recipe in the book uses a medium sized egg, but that was the only change. The book also suggests that the recipe will make about 35 biscuits, but I only got 29 walnut-sized balls out of the dough. The only other change I made was to use unsalted macadamia nuts.

These biscuits were very subtly flavoured - the ginger, macadamia and coconut complimented each other without any one of the flavours standing out. Macadamias have a very strange texture because they aren't crisp or crunchy - more chewy and waxy - but they fitted well into these chewy biscuits.

11 comments:

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Mr Lepard's recipes are always worth a serious look but I'd not come across this one before. It manages to combine some of my favourite biscuit ingredients - ginger, coconut and macadamias. I love that chewiness.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Well they look good. I haven't read the book yet but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy! I love Dan's methods and unusual take on traditions so it should be interesting!

Foodycat said...

They look perfect! I love this spice kick you are on.

I never get as many biscuits out of a dough as the recipe suggests.

Chele said...

Not true my dear friend, I haven;t mentioned Dan and his new book yet ... only because Santa has been yet and I know its on the sleigh lol.
Lovely biccies, can;t wait to sink my teeth into this recipe and all the others in the book ;0)

Brownieville Girl said...

Sounds like a book to add to my Christmas wish list - the biscuits look delicious.

Choclette said...

Lovely looking biscuits Suelle. I've only used macadamias once and they were in brownies, which didn't really do it for me. Think they are much better suited to biscuits. as you know I'm a big fan of this book. I've made several things from it already and have been pleased with all of them.

snowy said...

Love Dan's recipes in the Guardian, and have the book on my wishlist. These biscuits look so moreish.

C said...

They look like lovely biscuits, and a really interesting combination of flavours - just what you'd expect from Dan.

I too wish that there were more pictures, but understand there can't be. I do wish that he would put the Guardian subforum back on his website though - it was a true mine of information and you could carry on commenting long after the Guardian closed its comments... a sad loss.

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I've yet to buy Dan's book- although it is No 1 on my Christmas List!! All the bloggers who've bought it, and baked from it, have enjoyed delicious recipes, not least this- They sound utterly scrummy!

Hotly Spiced said...

I like cookbooks to have photos of every recipe as well. The recipes that don't have photos are the ones I am the most reluctant to cook.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Dying to get into making something from this book, these sound fabulous. We don't see macadamia nuts in enough stuff here.