Monday, 28 November 2011

Poo cakes

I was commissioned to make cupcakes for the wrap party of Holy Flying Circus, an excellent and hilarious television film aired on BBC Four last month, but it certainly wasn't an ordinary commission. Holy Flying Circus focuses on the build up and controversy surrounding the release of Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979. During this time, each cast member was sent a poo in the post by deranged protesters who had taken against the film's subject matter. Tony Roche, the writer whose other credits include The Thick Of It and Fresh Meat, rang me up to discuss his special cake request. He wanted me to make poo cakes for their party, but "not so disgustingly realistic that people won't be able to eat them". No problem. 

We exchanged various emails about the kinds of poo possible and I suggested adding an extra layer of silliness with sugar flies. My boyfriend, Richard, also became quite excited by the idea of these poo cakes and offered to make parcel paper boxes for each cupcake that we decided must have an address and stamp for realism's sake. I made chocolate fudge cupcakes and topped them with rich chocolate buttercream. Next I made cartoonish coiled poos out of chocolate plastique and added the odd sugar paste fly with rice paper wings and shiny eyes made from edible metallic lustre and melted cocoa butter. 

Richard took some very decent snaps of the cakes before they were delivered, but alas, we went on a trip to Noma in Copenhagen the next day, took lots of photos and then our camera got nicked. I hadn't downloaded the poo cake photos before we left and all the photos we'd taken of our amazing twelve course lunch were lost to us, never to be returned. So sad. Still, Tony Roche, lovely man that he is, sent me a couple of pics he took of the cakes on his mobile phone. They're not great quality, but at least they're something. Thanks Tony! So here are my poo cakes, boxes and all:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Stir Up Sunday! Triple Chocolate Christmas pudding

I can't quite believe a whole year has swung by and it's stir up Sunday again already. The full frosty chill of November might not have fully crept in yet, but the dark nights are already creating a massive internal battle in my yawning head: to resist the urge to cupboard-raid for something tasty, sweet and moreish, or to free-fall into its tempting, chocolate-y arms and say, to hell with fitting into my Christmas party frocks next month. Sugar and caffeine are dark nights' devils at this time of year, especially if you, like me, find yourself turning into a hibernating hedgehog, ready to curl up and sleep your way through the Winter. It's Sunday after all, so by all means, collapse into a cocoa cuddle by making my chocolate and espresso brownies, if you feel like it. Or, if you'd rather prevent yourself falling too far too fast with the excessive indulgence of Christmas just around the corner, why not make yourself feel useful and take your mind off your sugar cravings, by taking part in stir up Sunday. If you want to stick staunchly to tradition, you can find my recipe for Victorian Christmas pudding here, or, if you'd like to inject a slick of avant-garde glamour into this year's festive staple, why not try my triple chocolate Christmas pudding? There is certainly no skimping on the booze in this alternative and it has the good sense to  keep as long as traditional Xmas pud, so you can be more productive than you thought possible by making an extra to serve as a decadent Valentine's Day dessert too. 

Triple Chocolate Christmas Pudding

Enough for a 1.5 litre pudding basin.

100g soft, pitted prunes
100g dried figs
100g dried sour cherries
50g dried apricots
2 fl.oz/ 50ml Port
1 fl.oz/ 25ml brandy
1 fl.oz/ 25ml Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground black pepper
A pinch of salt
3oz/ 75g soft, unsalted butter
4oz/100g light muscovado sugar
2 eggs, beaten
7oz/175g plain flour
1oz/25g ground almonds
1oz/25g cocoa
3oz/75g dark chocolate
1oz/25g white chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks
1oz/25g good quality milk chocolate (I like using Green & Blacks milk chocolate), chopped into smallish chunks
8 fl.oz/ 200ml Guinness, poured out of the can so the head settles
Zest of 2 oranges and the juice of 1

Butter and flour the inside of your pudding bowl.
  • Chop the dried fruit and place in a bowl with the spices, Port, brandy and Cointreau, cover with cling film and leave to soak for at least 6 hours, so they all plump up deliciously.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and leave to cool.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar and gradually add the eggs, then mix in the almonds and then mix in the melted chocolate.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt and mix into the chocolate-y sugar, butter and eggs.
  • Stir in the Guinness, orange zest and juice, and the boozy fruit with any residual booze left at the bottom of the soaking bowl.
  • Fold in the white and milk chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pudding basin. Fold a piece of greaseproof with a pleat and place over the top of the bowl and secure with string. Next, cover the top with a generously sized piece of foil and place in a steamer for 3 hours.
  • Leave to cool, remove the foil and greaseproof and drizzle over a little brandy and top with a disc of baking parchment or wax paper, and cover in foil. 
  • Every week, top the pudding up with a bit more booze and then pop back the greaseproof disc and cover with foil again.
  • On Christmas Day, take off the foil and baking parchment disc and place a folded sheet of greaseproof paper over the top of the pudding basin. The pleat should be in the middle. Attach the paper with string and cover the top with a generous amount of foil and steam for 90 minutes before serving with Cointreau custard or brandy butter.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Blackberry wedding cake

Blackberry wedding cake

I made this wedding cake for some friends who got married at Dulwich Picture Gallery over the weekend. While we sat in the ceremony room, forest noises of wind, creaking trees and woodland creatures played, along with the Teddy Bears' Picnic song. This was thematic of the whole day and the cake was no exception. It was an intimate wedding and Alys and Will, the bride and groom, wanted to serve their cake as pudding. They chose a fruits of the forest torte with fruits of the forest chocolate ganache, so that their chosen design was mirrored in the flavour. The cake was gluten free as a number of their guests were wheat intolerant and Alys and Will were keen for everyone to be served the same.

Close up of the bramble thorn and blossom

I made the blackberries and foliage with white chocolate plastique - a mixture of melted white chocolate and glucose syrup, that you can model into shapes. Once I had made the thorns, leaves and fruit, I painted them with melted cocoa butter mixed with edible powder dye. This made it possible to create nuances of colour and levels of berry ripeness. The blackberry blossoms were made from floristry paste, again with painted detail and a royal icing centre and then used royal icing to stick all the decorations to the cake.

Side view of blackberries

With the exception of ribbons, structural rods and cake boards, I always try to make my cakes 100% edible. I avoid the use of wires or plastic stamens in my sugar and chocolate flowers because, in all honesty, I can't really see the point of creating decorations out of edible materials that are rendered inedible by sticking wires through them. I prefer this modern and fresh approach to cake artistry and, although I can understand the sentiment of keeping sugar flowers from your wedding day for posterity, this tradition feels less and less in keeping with the demands of today's brides.

Close up of chocolate blackberries

Fruits of the forest torte

This cake contains white chocolate, but you can't really taste the chocolate. It is used to stabilise the cake, which is necessary because the cake batter is so wet due to the amount of fruit purée used. You can use double the amount of chocolate if you want to taste the white chocolate through the tanginess of the forst fruits. This is definitely a cake which needs a cake fork - deliciously moist and fruity.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and line a deep 6" round tin

3 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
100ml raspberry purée
100ml blackcurrant purée
50ml blackberry purée
125g/ 5oz caster sugar
100g/ 4oz ground almonds
100g/ 4oz white chocolate, melted

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and mousse-y. Whisk through the ground almonds, then the chocolate and the fruit purée.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form and fold into the fruity mixture, being careful not to beat out any of the air. Once combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin on a wire rack before turning out.

Fruits of the forest chocolate ganache

100g/ 4oz dark chocolate
100g/ 4oz unsalted butter
125 ml of fruit purée (a mixture of blackcurrant, raspberry and blackberry)
100ml double cream
1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, stir in the fruit purée. Pop the cream and sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, bring the cream to the boil and pour the cream into the chocolate mixture. Leave to cool and once cold, refrigerate until the ganache has set. Once set, slice the cake horizontally and sandwich the cake with half the ganache and use the remaining ganache to smooth over the outside of the cake. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Chocolate, lime and Szechuan pepper cake

A couple of weeks ago, I was very kindly invited on a food crawl around Angel  by the good people of Great British Chefs, who have created an amazing app full of delicious recipes from the UK's leading chefs. It is elegantly designed and user friendly and packed full of handy hints, tips and snappy little interviews. The app includes 180 recipes for a snip at £4.99 from iTunes. Not bad for less than a fiver!

The food crawl kick started with bubbly and canapés from the lovely ladies of Home and Pantry. Purveyors of all things rustic and cute, their shop is an Aladdin's cave of home and garden ware. Next up on this cold and rainy day was a frozen yoghurt from Frae. Despite the umbrella weather, my pot of green tea frozen yoghurt generously sprinkled with fresh raspberries was refreshing and delicious - like Mr Whippy for grown-ups AND less calories than a Kitkat (though for those unwilling to remain too saintly, you can get those calories back with a Kitkat topping*). What's not to like? After our fat free pot of frozen goodness, off we crawled to Giraffe for a generous array of dishes and drinks from cajun chicken wings and edamame beans to mini smoothies and cocktails, but not before we sampled the delights of Paul A. Young, master chocolatier. Paul welcomed us into his pretty purple premises and we all sighed with pleasure at the rich, intoxicating smell of chocolate. It's a gorgeous little shop full of treasure and we were all invited to pick one chocolate from the tempting display. 

Photo courtesy of GBC, see more here

After much umming and aahhing, I settled on the lime and Szechuan pepper chocolate truffle. The chocolate was smooth and silky with a subtle but zingy hit of lime, and not until after the citrus works its magic on your tongue do you feel the warm and fragrant cuddle of Szechuan pepper at the end. I'm a huge fan of chocolate with pepper and, despite having a keen fondness for a Szechuan pepper rub on duck breasts, I'd never thought to try them out with chocolate before. After tasting Paul A. Young's delicious truffle, I knew this would have to change, and I decided to pair these flavours together in a cake. At first, I was considering just adding the flavours to a chocolate cake batter, but more and more people I know and clients I meet have gluten allergies, so I decided to make this cake the subject of another experiment I've been plotting for some time. Many of my most delicious gluten-free cakes contain nut flours, which is fine if it's only gluten you have a problem with, but not so hot for those who need more of an all round 'free-from' experience. So I decided to make this fruity little number  gluten-, nut- and dairy-free to boot. In my household we are extremely partial to a plate of grilled tomatoes on socca bread for a weekend brunch and, as such, are almost never without a huge bag of gram flour knocking about in the cupboard. I've never used gram flour in a cake before but have often wondered about it, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. What's more, as gram flour is made of chickpeas it must surely count as one of your five a days too, no? So here it is, my free-from chocolate, lime and Szechuan pepper cake and I am very pleased to report that it's none too shabby!

Chocolate, lime and Szechuan pepper cake

Grease and line a 6" round tin and preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C Fan)

for the cake

6 oz/ 150g dark chocolate (best quality you can afford)
7 fl. oz/ 200 ml sunflower oil
8 oz/ 200g dark muscovado sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 limes
2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, ground
5 oz/ 125g gram flour
1 oz/25g cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar

  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water and leave to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites with the salt and set to one side.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the dark muscovado sugar and oil together and then add in the egg yolks one at a time. Keep whisking until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in the chocolate, pepper and the zest of 4 limes.
  • Sift the gram flour, cocoa and bicarb over the chocolate mixture and whisk in. Don't worry if the mixture looks a bit peculiar at this stage.
  • Fold in the beaten egg white and pour into your prepared tin and bake for about an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • While you are waiting for the cake to bake, mix the juice of 2 of the limes with the caster sugar.
  • As soon as the cake is out of the oven, stab it all over with a skewer and pour the lime and sugar over the top of the hot cake. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in its tin before turning out on to a wire rack with the top of the cake facing up, so all the lime syrup will soak through.
for the topping

2 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar
The juice of 2 limes
6 oz/ 150g of dark chocolate
A handful of Szechuan peppercorns

  • Bung all the ingredients, minus the peppercorns, in a saucepan and place over a gentle heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted.
  • Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before spreading the topping over the top and sides of the cake with a palate knife.
  • Scatter with peppercorns and leave the topping to cool completely before serving.

*Other toppings are available.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

2011: iced

For the last 10 months all my free time has been taken over by a culinary challenge I set on 6th July last year in which I gave myself exactly 1 year to cook my way through the letters of the alphabet. You can check it out here. I'd love to hear your thoughts. James Ramsden, who came to T night on Saturday, wrote a lovely review of his experience here and if you still want to read more after that, Dolly Alderton wrote a brilliant blog about her time at the letter O here.

I'm now coming to the end of Alphabet Soup, with only a few more weeks until the letter Z will be dished up and digested. It's been wonderful, it's been exhausting, it's made my clothes feel tighter and it's made my face wobble slightly more than it used to when I run in high heels,  but more than anything else, it has definitely made me a better cook.  On top of all of this, Alphabet Soup has also been almost entirely responsible for my shameful neglect of this cake blog.  To bring cakes back to the fore for a little while,  I thought I'd share with you some photos of a few of Victoria's Cake Boutique cakes commissioned in 2011.

5 tier chocolate plastique covered chocolate and Guinness and passion fruit layer cake decorated with pink and shimmering oyster blossoms

3 tiered white and dark chocolate plastique cake with chocolate roses and calla lilies

A tower of chocolate scroll dessert cakes topped with fresh red rose petals

White iced creme egg flavoured 3 tiered cake with piping details, white blossom and dusky pink sugar roses

3 tiered white chocolate scroll cake dressed with fresh red rose petals

3 tiered white iced summer garden cake with sugar roses, bumble bees, forget-me-nots and daisies

4 tiered iced and chocolate plastique cake dressed with dusky pink chocolate roses with sage green beading. This cake was collected in pieces and stacked in Devon (we didn't assemble the tiers, but whoever did made rather a wonky job of it. Still, Kirsten and Mark were very happy)

3 tiered buttercream topped rustic cake for a bride who wanted her cake to look like a cake and who had a severe aversion to fondant icing

This stack of books cake was commissioned to celebrate a group of women who had completed an OU English degree

This "trifle" cake was commissioned to celebrate the 60th birthday of a woman who has a huge passion for traditional trifle

This penguin cake was commissioned to celebrate 2 year old Madison's birthday. Her mother hates fondant icing, so this snow scene was created with desiccated coconut

This cat cake was commissioned to celebrate to marriage of  a couple who wanted their pet cat on top bearing their wedding rings

A cake commissioned to celebrate the 5th birthday of Your Golf Travel. Their party was held at the top of the Gherkin

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Chocolate and Lapsang Souchong Cake

I had a lovely email from a fan of my blog from Canada to say she was planning a trip to London and would love to order a cake from Victoria's Cake Boutique during her stay. I sent her the cake list and it was the chocolate and Lapsang Souchong that she chose. I made an extra one to share with the lovely Chris Neill, who had come round for lunch and a lesson in backgammon from Richard. He writes a very funny food blog called Chris Neill's Dirty Kitchen, which I  thoroughly recommend you all have a read of it. When my Canadian client collected her cake, I promised to post up the recipe so she could make the cake herself when she returned home. So here you go, Sarah, enjoy!

Chocolate and Lapsang Souchong Cake

The smokiness of the Lapsang Souchong really complements the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the fudginess of the molasses sugar in this cake. If you aren't a fan of Lapsang Souchong tea, this probably won't be on the top of your list of "recipes to try", but I urge you to give it a go anyway - this may just surprise you. This cake is also naturally gluten-free and, if you choose not to ice it, dairy-free too.

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) and grease and line a 6" round tin.

For the cake 

150g/ 6oz good quality dark chocolate
3 eggs, 2 separated
75g/ 3oz molasses sugar
50g/ 2oz caster sugar
75g/ 3oz ground almonds
A pinch of salt
2-3 heaped teaspoons Lapsang Souchong tea, finely ground

  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof dish over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Place the egg yolks and whole egg and sugars in a large bowl and whisk together until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture and then stir in the ground almonds and Lapsang Souchong.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until it gets to the stiff peak stage.
  • Fold the whisked whites into the chocolate mixture a third at a time, keeping as much air in the mixture as possible.
  • Pour the mixture into a tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour - this really depends on your oven - or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Pop the cake, still in its tin, on a wire rack to cool, before turning out.
For the ganache icing

100g/ 4oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped
100 ml double cream
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
2 - 3 heaped tsp of Lapsang Souchong
50g/ 2oz soft, unsalted butter, cubed 

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  • Place the cream, sugar and tea leaves in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has melted and the cream just begins to boil. 
  • Strain the cream through a sieve on to the chopped chocolate and leave to stand for one minute before stirring with a plastic or wooden spatula (a metal spoon will reduce the temperature) until all the chocolate has melted. 
  • Whisk in the butter and leave the icing to cool.
  • Whisk again quickly before spreading on the ganache icing on the top and sides of the cake with a palette knife.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy! 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Green tea and chocolate ganache gateau with ginger ice cream and ginger biscuits

I have decided to start the new year with a little cross-posting, because one of the highlights of the end of 2010 for me was being asked to write an article for the ES Magazine on a venture of mine which I have mentioned on here before: Alphabet Soup. I am cooking my way through the letters of the alphabet and although I am currently about to embark on the letter J, I am shamefully behind in my write-ups and have just posted the letter G, but I am determine to catch up so I can stop chasing my tail.

For G night's pudding, I made a gold glittered green tea and chocolate ganache gateau with ginger ice cream topped with a ginger biscuit and I thought I'd share the recipe with you here.

I wanted to make a pudding involving green tea, as I love the bitter tang it gives sweet things as well as the extraordinary colour - which is strange really, because I've always found green tea, as a drink, a bit nothing-y. I am also particularly keen on the combination of green tea and ginger, so I thought a home-made ginger ice cream would be a winner. And I was right. The addition of the little ginger biscuit added an extra little punch of aromatic warmth as well as an extra layer of texture with its pleasing crunch.

The gold glitter top received many "oohs" and "aahs" - absolute essentials for any Guy Fawkes Night and I was thrilled we didn't miss out on making these traditional noises, even though we didn't have any actual fireworks.

Gold glittered green tea and chocolate ganache gateau

Green tea layering cake

You can make a gluten-free version of this cake, by substituting the plain flour for more ground almonds.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C Fan) and grease and line a large roulade tin.

3 whole eggs
5 egg whites
A pinch of salt
2 oz/ 50 g caster sugar
1 1/2 oz/ 40 g unsalted butter, melted
2 oz. 50 g plain flour, sifted
7 oz/ 175 g icing sugar, sifted
7 oz/ 175 g ground almonds
6 tsp green tea powder (matcha)

Whisk together the whole eggs and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the almonds and continue to whisk on high speed for about five minutes. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour and green tea powder until fully incorporated. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they reach the soft peak stage. Add the sugar in stages, whisking in between, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue. Add a generous spoonful of the meringue to the ground almond mixture and beat vigorously to slacken it. Fold in the remaining meringue in stages and then pour the mixture out into your prepared tin. Level the top with a palate knife and bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until the cake is no longer sticky to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Chocolate ganache filling

I like a ganache to be rich and darkly chocolatey, but you can always substitute some of the dark chocolate for milk if your palate demands it. Personally, I have always felt that milk chocolate is sickly when used in cookery, so I've always felt much more at home on the dark side.

When making ganache, it's easiest to think metrically - for every 100 g of chocolate, you'll need 100 ml of cream.

400 g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
400 ml double cream
A small pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod
Icing sugar, to taste

Chop the chocolate into small, evenly sized pieces (this is a tiresome business if you don't have a sharp knife, so get sharpening) and place in a large bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan and split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out into the pan. I usually throw the pod in too for good measure. Heat the cream and vanilla gently until it is barely boiling and immediately take the cream off the heat. Wait 30 seconds before passing the cream through a sieve (if you stuck the pod in, you won't need to bother with a sieve if you left it out) on to the chopped chocolate. Leave the cream to begin to melt the chocolate for one minute, before carefully stirring the mixture with a rubber spatula until all the chocolate has melted and you have a thick, smooth and glossy ganache. Stir in the salt. Sift a spoonful of icing sugar into the ganache and mix it in. Taste for sweetness and sift in more sugar if needed. Leave the ganache to cool completely. It will thicken on cooling. Once cool, whisk the ganache (an electric hand whisk is best here if you have one) to aerate it and make it more spreadable.

Gateau assembly

Trim the edges off of your green tea cake and cut lengthwise into four. Using a palate knife, spread one layer of the cake with a generous layer of ganache. Place the second layer of cake on top and repeat. Once the final layer is on, smooth the top and sides with a generous covering of ganache. Sprinkle the top of the gateau with edible gold glitter (which is available from most cake decorating suppliers). Slice the gateau and serve alongside the ice cream topped with a ginger biscuit.

Ginger ice cream

This was a real hit on the night and Jane from Really Hungry liked it so much she couldn't wait for me to write up my blog post to get the recipe. If you have an ice cream maker, don't forget to pop it in the freezer the night before you want to make this.

for the custard 

If you are making fresh custard as an accompaniment instead of as a component to this ice cream, you will only need half the amount of sugar and you should add a scraped out vanilla pod to the cream when you heat it or, failing that, a few drops of vanilla extract.

4 egg yolks
4 oz/ 100 g caster sugar
12 fl. oz/ 350 ml double cream

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it is barely boiling and pour it on to the eggs, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over a gentle heat until the custard has thickened - dip a dessert spoon into the custard and once you can draw a line with your finger down the back of the spoon, the custard is ready. Transfer to a clean, cold bowl or jug and leave to cool. Popping a sheet of clingfilm over the top of the jug will prevent a skin from forming.

to make the ice cream

1 quantity of custard (as above)
1 pot (227 g) of clotted cream
The ginger syrup from 1 jar of stem ginger
4-6 stem ginger balls, finely chopped

Simply mix together the cold custard and clotted cream with the ginger syrup and place in the fridge for an hour to get really cold, before pouring it into your ice cream maker. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, but mine takes roughly 20 minutes. Once set, add the chopped stem ginger and allow the machine to churn it through. Transfer the ice cream into a tupperware container and pop in the freezer until needed. If you don't have an ice cream maker, mix together all of the ingredients and put it straight in the tupperware box and pop it in the freezer for about 4 hours, stirring every half an hour or so to prevent ice crystals forming.

for the ginger biscuits

2 oz/ 50 g icing sugar
1 1/2 oz/ 40 g butter
1 egg white
1 1/2 oz/ 40 g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger

Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Sift over the flour and ginger and mix together. Fold in the (unwhisked) egg white. Pop the mixture in the fridge to rest for 10 minutes before spreading it thinly across the baking tray. Pop in the oven for five minutes and cut out circles with a pastry cutter while the biscuits are still warm. Leave the biscuits to cool completely before serving on top of a scoop of ginger ice cream, scattered with green tea powder, next to the gold glittered green tea and chocolate ganache gateau. Serve with a glass of Grappa.

After G night was over I thought it would have been an excellent thing if I had cut out mini gingerbread men for ginger "Guys", but, alas, my brainwave came too late in the day this time. Ah well, maybe next year...

For more delicious puddings and cakes, visit Sweet As Sugar Cookies for the amazing Sweets for a Saturday link up