Thursday, 12 April 2012
Get out in the garden!
My Mini Greenhouse
It’s National Gardening Week and time to get sowing and planting. I love being out in the open air, remembering how I used to help my dad in the garden at the railway station where we lived. He would grow all sorts of vegetables and fruit which kept Grandma busy in the late summer preserving jams, chutneys and bottling syrups as well as serving up fresh vegetables.
With all this hard work, we gardeners need a break so what could be better than a mug of tea or coffee with a homemade biscuit (or two!). Here’s a recipe for a perfect tea break.
Chocolate Orange Biscuits
6oz/175g caster sugar
8oz/225g plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
3oz/75g plain chocolate (chopped)
Grated rind of an orange
1 tbsp orange juice
Pre heat oven to 350F, Mark 4, 180C. Beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy. Then sift the flour and baking powder straight onto the creamed mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and work the mixture together until you get a fairly stiff paste. Roll out onto a floured working surface, about ¼ inch thick. Then cut out the biscuits with a 2 inch cutter and place on baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the biscuits are a golden colour. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes and place on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.
Grandma’s hints on how to make biscuits :
Biscuit baking depends on the type of method of mixing i.e. rubbing in, creaming or melting. The main difference is usually the amount of liquid added to the mixture. Just enough is needed to bind all the dry ingredients together as a stiff dough is the usual consistency. Then the dough or paste can be shaped or rolled out and cut without crumbling.
Soft flour such as rice flour or cornflour can be mixed with wheat flour to reduce the gluten content. You can make tasty biscuits with full gluten free flour.
The type of sugar depends on the type of biscuit:
Caster sugar gives a smoother result.
Granulated sugar has coarser crystals which give a speckled appearance when cooked.
The same applies to golden caster and granulated sugar and soft brown and demerara sugar.
Get out in the garden and celebrate everything about gardening everywhere but don’t forget the tea or coffee break!