Category Archives: baking

Anzac biscuits for Thea

Anzac biscuits

Making food for Thea is an interesting task. Somedays she enjoys the things that I put in front of her, other days she blows raspberries at them, turning her head away in disgust, communicating her disdain for my lack of insight into what she would like to eat. Anzac biscuits though are always well received. I break one in half and give her the pieces to hold, one in each hand. She clenches her little fists tightly around the halves and scoffs alternately from left and right. The Anzac biscuits that I make for her are a slightly modified version of the original, a ‘healthy’ interpretation if you will, but as Anzac Day is approaching I thought that to commemorate the day of remembrance, I would make Thea some ‘proper’ Anzac biscuits.

Anzac biscuits

The funny thing is that when I was at school, I was good friends with Charlotte. Every Friday we would catch the bus back to her house and before we even changed out of our school uniforms, make Anzac biscuits. Charlotte’s mum was from New Zealand and the recipe that we used was handwritten with black pen on a well referenced piece of paper. In her narrow kitchen, with Crowded House and REM playing in the background, we would carefully measure out the oats, and probably not so carefully the golden syrup, to make our afternoon snack. Warm for the oven we would take the biscuits and cold glasses of milk up to Charlotte’s bedroom and read fashion magazines, whilst munching hungrily on the crunchy oat discs.

Anzac biscuits

Oats are always a staple in the kitchen and are so much more than the main ingredient in a steaming bowl of porridge to comfort the soul on a cool winter’s morning. They make a great summer breakfast too, soaked overnight with freshly squeezed orange juice, and eaten the next day with a handful of chopped nuts and some plain yoghurt. Oats are beautifully suited to mixing with almonds, sultanas and some cinnamon and brown sugar to stuff into cored apples before they are baked and subsequently eaten with lots of double cream. They are also a nice addition to fruit crumble toppings, bringing with them a further textural dimension. Their flavour is excellent paired with fish, used in the exterior coating of smoked fish cakes for example or scattered liberally on to the mashed potato that crowns a fish pie. And of course, they are fantastic for baking biscuits.


It is very safe to say that Thea enjoyed the more traditional Anzac biscuits that I made for her. The tartan tin in which they were stored was quickly remembered by association. When ever she caught sight of it in the kitchen cupboard, she made it very clear with a pointed outstretched arm and a persistant ‘mmm’ that she wanted what was inside. In fact the contents of the tin emptied very quickly indeed, Thea’s dad, grandma and grandpa all enjoying an Anzac biscuit. I enjoyed one too. With a cold glass of milk and a magazine.

Anzac biscuits

Anzac biscuits

 Anzac biscuits

Recipe adapted from one by the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales circa 1933

  • 1 cup each of rolled oats, raw sugar and shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water)
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup

Begin by preheating the oven to 150C and melting the butter.

Next, add the golden syrup to the bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the 2 tablespoons of boiling water, then add the melted butter.

Mix the oats, sugar, coconut and flour together in a bowl and then stir in the wet ingredients.

Using your hands, form small balls of the mixture and press down on to a paper lined baking tray. If the mixture does not easily form into balls, add water little by little until it does.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are deep golden brow. Cool completely before biting in.

DSC_1001paleo Anzac biscuitsThea’s Anzac biscuits

Adapted from a recipe by Teresa Cutter

  • 175 g rolled oats
  • 40 g shredded coconut
  • 60 g flaked almonds
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Simply add all the ingredients, except the water to the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse for about 30 seconds until the mix is well combined.

Now add the water and process again. This will help the mixture stick together.

Using your hands, form the mixture into balls and press onto a paper lined baking sheet

Bake for 20 -30 minutes, checking regularly, until golden brown.

Cool completely before eating, but if you’re Thea this never happens, bite in and enjoy.

Traditional Easter biscuits

Easter biscuits

I’m smiling to myself right now as I remember the table in my grandma and grandpa’s lounge where as a child, on Easter Sunday, my chocolate eggs were placed. A ridiculous amount of them. Some with my name on, some with smaller chocolates inside. All eaten far too quickly. I can also recall hot cross buns though, toasted under my grandma’s gas grill, slightly charred at the edges and dripping with melted butter. And big, golden, round, scalloped edged, crumbly biscuits, with a fine cap of caster sugar that used to get stuck on my top lip, eaten straight from the white paper bag. Easter biscuits, bought from the bakery once a year.

Easter biscuits Easter biscuits

Easter might just top Christmas as a treat laden holiday, full of specially dedicated morsels. The weekend seems full of family feasts and over indulgence. Maybe it’s because of the preplanning involved in what’s going to fill the table, shops being closed for a portion of the time, or perhaps it’s due to there being four consecutive holiday days in a row, enough time to start to unwind, relax over long meals and enjoy respite from the everyday.

Traditional Easter biscuit

Easter biscuits

Easter biscuits

Punctuating holidays of the year with recipes, might be why certain foods are remembered so fondly, because they are only enjoyed for a brief moment on the calendar. Memories are made more vivid as anticipation builds around special dishes and the days that they are paired with. My life in Sydney is now highlighted by a Good Friday dawn trip to the fish markets to procure an assortment of seafood. Bright orange, rainbow scaled and filigree fringed creatures from the sea are prepared without haste for a long, lazy family lunch. A far cry from the roast beef and Yorkshire puddings that was served throughout my childhood. But the biscuits. Well somehow, they still taste the same.

Traditional Easter biscuit recipe Traditional Easter biscuit recipe

Traditional Easter biscuits

  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 level tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • 100g currants
  • A little caster sugar for sprinkling

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. With the mixer still running, add the yolks. When they are incorporated, stop the mixer and add the flour, spices and milk. Turn the mixer back on to a low speed and mix until the flour is just incorporated. If it looks too dry, add a little more milk. The mixture shouldn’t look crumbly. It shouldn’t look too sticky either. Tip in the currants, let the paddle turn a few more times and then remove the dough to a well floured surface.

Using a sprinkling of flour here and there so that the dough is easy to handle, roll it out to a thickness of about 2-4cm. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough and place the discs on a paper lined baking tray. Before baking, sprinkle the biscuits with caster sugar.

Bake at160C for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden, remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little more caster sugar. Enjoy.

Overcooked quinoa 2 ways.

overcooked quinoa

I’m not quite sure what I was thinking, but I added double the recommended amount of water to cook some quinoa the other day. Having spied some preserved lemons at the back of the fridge, I was intending to make a Morroccan inspired salad to go with some lamb cutlets. Then besides dinner, I got stuck in to other household chores, rushing to get them done before Thea woke up and totally forgot about the simmering pot on the stove. After a sharp intake of breath when I remembered the intended base for the salad, which now resembled a mass of tiny, sludgy, beige pearls, I composed myself and set about thinking what the hell was I going to do with a mound of overcooked quinoa.

overcooked quinoa

I’m not one to waste food, which drives Mark crazy. He despairs with all the little parcels of leftovers in the fridge, but I always find a use for them. Stale sourdough bread is consistently made into crumbs for schnitzels, the ends of cheese are grated to go into a smelting pot in the freezer for pizza, cheese sauce and the occasional toasted sandwich and leftover gravy is added to béchamel sauce for robust green leafed  vegetable gratins that I love to serve with roast pork.  Faced with the watery, stodgy, flavourless mound of pseudo grains, I thought about what they resembled and in turn might be converted into. The mushy quinoa seemed like it would work well in place of mashed potato to make salmon cakes. And the fishcakes could be spiked with preserved lemon, capers, dil and parsley, punchy ingredients that would transform the bland pile into something edible once again. Some crisp green leaves would form a complete evening meal and once again dinner was back on track.

overcooked quinoa

But wait. That’s not all. After making six large salmon fishcakes, I still had oodles of overcooked quinoa left. I started to wonder if I’d added four times the amount of water I was supposed to! That or I’d had a brain freeze and cooked enough for a large catering order. Either way, another recipe was needed to make use of what still remained. With the tiny person still asleep, I embarked upon another dish. This time a recipe from the Petite kitchen cookbook for Cheddar and quinoa muffins with sun dried tomatoes and basil. Single serve snacks that could be put in the freezer for when a tummy rumble struck. They’re very simple and quick to make and baked in little paper cases, an entirely portable snack.

overcooked quinoa

After all the huffing and puffing and scolding of myself for not having set a timer for the quinoa, I was now able to survey my kitchen bench burdened with dinner, possible lunches and enough snacks for the foreseeable future. Hindsight usually reveals mistakes to be entirely perfect in their outcome.

overcooked quinoa

 Salmon fishcakes – a recipe using overcooked quinoa.

4 cups (over)cooked quinoa
2 fillets of cooked salmon, flaked
A handful of chopped parsley
A handful of chopped dill
1-2 tbs chopped capers
1 preserved lemon, rind finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and then shape into tennis ball size fish cakes.

I will confess that I tried to pan fry one of the salmon cakes, imagining that it would go crisp and chewy. This was not the case as the patties were too wet from, ahem, the overcooked quinoa. Baking resulted in a much better result.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180C.

Enjoy with a crisp green leaf salad.

Cheddar and quinoa muffins with sun dried tomatoes and basil.

From My Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich

540g cooked quinoa
4 eggs
100g Cheddar cheese, grated
2 large handfuls basil, chopped
40g sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and then divide among the holes of paper lined muffin tin.

Makes approximately 6 large and 12 mini muffins.

Bake at 180C for about 25 minutes.

Gougeres-bite size balls of cheesy choux pastry

Always a sucker for a new food store, and a French one at that, I popped in to Le Petit Marche in Newport when I had a spare five minutes last week. Beautiful wooden shelves were filled with jars and canisters of imported French deliciousness. Of course the visit resulted in a purchase. I was able to talk myself out of any food, although the salted caramel spread that I was given a taste of did make me slightly weak at the knees and the ‘with the fairies’ strawberry and vanilla tea (who wouldn’t fall in love with a tea with that name) nearly had me reaching for my purse. But no. What I bought was a book. The Paris pastry club. I just can’t help myself when it comes to books, and if a cookbook can give you just one good recipe that you use again and agin, then it’s a winner in my eyes. This book’s a winner and the gougeres that I made from it on Sunday have firmly been wedged in to my repertoire.

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But what are gougeres? They are moorish and delicious and far too easy to consume with very little effort. More technically, they are bite size balls of cheesy choux pastry, light and airy with a bit of crunch and a salty cheese hit. Even though the thought of making choux pastry intimidated me slightly, Fanny Zanotti’s  description of these savoury snacks won me over and I made a commitment to try the recipe out. With a side of red, as she suggested. The perfect opportunity arose when Ma and Pa came over on Sunday afternoon. Thea loooves Ma. I think it’s because she is such a calming presence and gives Thea her complete undivided attention. Ma doesn’t try to multi task like me, she’s simply in tune with Thea, and Thea knows it and relishes in it. Plus Ma always knows how to make her cackle. The biggest, heart melting, overwhelmed with love, tear in the eye type cackles you have ever heard. So when Ma and Pa took Thea out for a walk to the park, I set about making gougeres.


Having been concerned by the thought of choux pastry, my worries were unfounded. I mean, I know I have room for improvement in the technique department, but within half an hour of following some simple step I had several dozen bites of cheesy pastry in the oven. Plus taste wise, I was happy. Very happy. My main concern was that I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself from eating all the gougeres until Ma and Pa and Thea returned. For this attempt I made the gougeres with Parmesan through the choux mix and Cheddar grated over the top. Next time I think I’ll try with a gorgeous artisan French cheese from Le Petit Marche with a few poppy seeds sprinkled on top. And perhaps I’ll double the recipe. And choose my favourite wine glass. And a beautiful bottle of red. And my favourite movie… Now Im just dreaming. But sometimes that’s what one little recipe can do.

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Adapted from a recipe by Fanny Zanotti

  • 125g whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g grated hard cheese, like Cheddar, Parmesan of Gruyere
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 250c.

Add the milk, butter and spices to a pot and set over a low heat until the butter melts, then increase the heat until the milk comes to a rolling boil.

Add the flour in one go and stir until completely combined. Keep stirring the mixture over heat until a crust forms on the bottom of the pan, which indicates that the mix is now dry enough for the next step.

Remove pot from the heat and transfer contents to a bowl. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition so that they are well incorporated. While the mix is still warm, fold in half of the grated cheese (30g) and then transfer the mix to a piping bag.

Pipe 3cm wide mounds of cheesy choux pastry onto a paper lined baking tray and then brush each mound with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining cheese.

Pop the tray in the oven and turn it OFF. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven back on and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the gougeres are golden.

Remove from the oven and enjoy.

NOTE. These get better and better as they cool down, so the more restraint you show will work in your favour. Promise.

Enjoy this recipe? You may also like chicken and cheese empanadas

Gluten free granola in 10 minutes.

gluten free granola

I have a confession to make. Some recipes scare me. A few because I have tried them and failed. Others simply intimidate me with their seemingly complex steps. These types of recipes, I avoid. Jam actually falls under the category of scary recipe, which now seems a funny thing to admit, seeing as the apricot jam I made in my previous post was a great success. Even Grandma Elma, veteran jam maker, who I gave a jar to agreed. Delicious. So with my new found confidence I embarked on a gluten free granola recipe that I had stumbled across a while back. Granola comes under the scary heading. Even though I love eating it, I avoid making it. So many times my efforts have resulted in charred, inedible birdseed, instead of lovely, chunky, toasted clusters of nuts and seeds. Not this recipe. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s delicious.

gluten free granola

The original recipe is very straightforward, and I managed to make it even simpler by chopping the nuts in the food processor, after I’d made the pineapple paste that all the dry ingredients are mixed with. I swear. From picking up my knife to chop the pineapple, to putting the trays of gluten free granola in the oven took 10 minutes. And an hour later, as my oven is as hot as the inside of a volcano, which is great for cooking meat, but not for baking delicate morsels, the gluten free granola was done. A lovely golden toasted colour, with clusters of crunchy goodness. It was a success! So much so that Thea, who was in my arms when I checked it for the final time, spied it and demanded some then and there. She has recently become very good at demanding and is so persistent that she almost always gains what it is that she wants. This is not something that I was prepared for as a parent, little people being so insistent upon what they want. Still, it’s nice to know that I have one fan of my latest scary recipe conquest.DSC_0312

Another thing that scares me that I’ve been doing more of recently is surfing. I’ve been meeting up with a wonderful group of surfing mums. Being a complete novice, I panic when I’m in the water among experienced and competent surfers. And when I catch a wave I balk. Wide eyed I freeze on my knees as I’m propelled forwards. Thoughts like, should I try to stand. Surely I’m too late to stand. Am I really on this wave. Am I going to hit someone, go through my head. So I bail. Don’t get me wrong. This whole process just described is so much fun. To be out in salt water, fresh air, free, is the best. The feeling of exhilaration when it all comes together is such a rush, the smile on my face hurts it’s so wide. And I guess thats what this post is about. Overcoming fears. Doing the things that you are scared of. Because you never know. You might just succeed. And that feels great.

gluten free granola

Pineapple gluten free granola.

From a recipe by Nom Nom paleo

  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 5 pitted Medjool dates
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbs vanilla powder
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 cups raw whole almonds
  • 1 cup raw whole cashews
  • 1 cup flaked almonds
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Place the pineapple, dates, orange juice and zest, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut oil in a food processor and whizz to a paste.

Add the whole almonds and cashews to the processor and pulse three of four times until the nuts are coarsely chopped.

In a separate large bowl, place the flaked almonds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds and salt and then add the contents of the food processor and mix well.

Spread the pineapple coated nuts and seeds out over two baking paper lined trays and put the trays into an oven pre heated to 100 degrees C.

Bake the gluten free granola for one to two hours, but make sure that every 20 minutes during this time that you toss the granola to make sure that it cooks evenly.

When you feel that it is sufficiently coloured and dry, turn the oven off and leave the gluten free granola to cool inside. When cool, transfer to storage containers with a good seal. Consume within about two weeks.

Love granola. Then you might like to try this savoury granola recipe

Lavender shortbread biscuits.


I made the rookie error of making some lavender shortbread biscuits for Thea. It’s not the biscuits that were the mistake. They were a great success. Thin, crisp, perfectly golden and delicately flavoured. The error was in the fact that she likes them a bit too much and being a first time mama, I failed to foresee the consequenses.


You see, we were out for a run as I’m training for the Sydney marathon again this year, and passing a neighbours garden I spotted some lavender. Knowing how much Thea loves biscuits and most crunchy things for that matter, I decided to pick a few leaves and with them make her some lavender shortbread biscuits. The problem is though, that she likes them so much, she hasn’t eaten anything else for the past two days. She keeps pointing at the top shelf in the pantry, where she knows that crunchy things are kept, and in her own one and a bit language, tell us in no uncertain terms that she wants one.

shortbread recipe

Little impromptu successes, like baking a well received biscuit, the idea born spontaneously from the sighting of the simplest thing, are one of life’s joys. In fact, when I’m out running, which at the moment is three times a week, there is alway plenty to fuel the imagination and stir the senses. Perfume from jasmine flowers filling the air, purple jacaranda confetti colouring the roads, sprinklers hissing as they water plants, dogs inquisitively barking as I go by, Thea giggling when I push her over bumps and smoke wafting over fences from sausages cooking on barbecues. I also have time to think, undistracted by other tasks except to make the round trip back home at a steady pace. About the things in my fridge and what they will make for dinner and ideas for short stories that I will one day tell to Thea. I even rehearsed my wedding speech whilst out running, imagining all my friends and family that I was going to speak in front of, not wanting to stutter or shy away from their collective gaze.

shortbread recipeshortbread recipe

Another success this week, a little more pre planned, is that I started swimming. As in swimming in a squad with a programme to follow and a teacher who constantly told me to keep my head down. I went for the first time this Monday. I left Thea at the creche with copious amounts of popcorn, something that she is enjoying at the moment (in addition to lavender shortbread biscuits that is). Popcorn is so simple and fun to make. I just heat some coconut oil, because of its high smoke point, in a heavy based pot until it’s really hot, add a handful of corn and hold a lid over the top whilst agitating the pan and wait for the kernels to explode. Speaking of popcorn, doesn’t the idea of caramel bacon popcorn sound good! A recipe I have bookmarked to make. So while I knew she was happy, independently holding her little bowl of pop as I call it when talking to her, off I went to do some lengths. Secretly I was very nervous. I haven’t swum seriously up and down in a pool since university, over a decade ago. None the less, I loved it and was proud for having pushed myself to go. To little successes. And rookie errors.


Lavender shortbread biscuits

Makes 20-30

  • 114g COLD butter, cubed
  • 56g caster sugar
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh lavender

Pulse the butter and sugar in a food processor until the ingredients resemble bread crumbs. Add the flour and chopped lavender and mix until combined.
Tip out onto a sheet of cling wrap and using the wrap, bring the mixture together. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To roll the biscuits, do so between two sheets of greaseproof paper. This way you will be able to get the dough really thin. Use a cutter to cut out the biscuits and transfer them to a try lines with another piece of baking paper. If you can’t do this immediately because the dough has become too hot and sticky, just put the sheet of rolled out dough with the shapes already cut into it in the fridge. When it has cooled, you will be able to life the shapes you have cut from the paper.

You could also use rosemary or thyme.

Bake at 160 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until the biscuits are golden.

Enjoy x

Flapjacks, the best and most simple bar around.

A year ago today I was 28 + 6 weeks pregnant and camping out at Royal North Shore hospital waiting for Thea’s imminent arrival. A dodgy placenta meant that Thea wasn’t getting the nutrients she needed to grow and was very small for her gestational age. The consequence of this was that somewhere between 28 to 30 weeks of my pregnancy, when it was  seen on my bi daily ultrasounds that the blood flow in the umbilical cord had gone into reverse and was flowing away from Thea, she would be delivered.

It’s amazing writing this now, so matter of factly, because at one point getting to 28 weeks had seemed like an insurmountable feat. Thea’s dad and I first learned about her restricted growth somewhere around 24 weeks. I can remember so vividly the hairs standing up on the back of my neck, the blood rushing to my cheeks, my heart thundering in my chest, as the news was explained to us. Our baby may not survive and there was nothing that we could do about it. All the love and hope and possibility that we felt for our unborn child as prospective parents was fully realised, as we learned that the blood flow in the umbilical cord was so bad that it could reverse at any point, cutting off Thea’s lifeline. We were made aware that it was not a good course of action for our tiny baby, who was estimated to weigh 360g, some three weeks behind in growth, to be delivered, as a baby that young and that small does not have a good chance of survival or at best, survive with out long term damage. We were advised that the best thing to do would be to wait and hope that the blood flow sustained until 28 weeks or a weight of 500g was reached, at which point the outlook would be slightly more positive. But it was up to us. We decided to take a leap of faith and wait.

For 5 weeks I patiently rested on my left side. I drank beetroot juice (thought to promote good blood circulation) for breakfast followed by eggs and bacon. I ate liver, kidneys, meat, butter and cream. Nutrient dense food to help my body and my baby. I had acupuncture. And I googled the hell out of IUGR (in uterine growth restriction) for two weeks whilst at home. Then I was admitted to hospital where I stayed for another three. In hospital, I had breakfast delivered to me in bed every day. I read books cover to cover. Dozed. Meditated. Had visitors. Received flowers. Food parcels. Felt loved. I listened to my baby’s heartbeat for nearly an hour everyday and saw her on a screen every other. She reassuringly kicked me late at night and early in the morning. “Mum, I’m still here. I’m ok”flapjacks


During my stay in hospital, I asked my mum to make me some flapjacks. A comforting and familiar childhood snack to munch on with my morning tea. And that’s the recipe for this post. Reminiscing about my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter, I was inspired to make a batch of these oaty, wickedly moorish biscuits. The act of baking them acknowledges how far Thea has come, how beautiful and alert and simply perfect she is and how wonderful it is to be a family of three. On Saturday we will celebrate her first birthday. But that’s another story.


  • 150g brown sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 1tbs golden syrup
  • 350g oats

Simply melt butter, sugar and syrup together in a pot over a low heat. Add the oats and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a lined baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes at 150 degrees. Slice into squares when cool.




Thea three days after being born at her lowest weight of 525g. I love this 
picture. It's the first time I saw her with her eyes open and the pen speaks 
volumes about her tenacious personality.

Chocolate fork biscuits

chocolate fork biscuits

At the Beaches Farmers’ market last week I spotted this wonderful Falcon baking tray at the Lost and Found department. It immediately sparked in me a desire to bake, particularly some chocolate fork biscuits. I have a fondness for kitchen equipment of a bygone era. It seems to speak of the values of cooking in which I believe. Quality ingredients made by skilled, passionate producers, food grown in accordance with nature and things done in a time honoured, patient manner. So I bought the blue rimmed tray and went home to make a batch of chocolate biscuits.

chocolate fork biscuits

I’m not the biggest baker. I prefer to roast and stew. That said, I do have a tried and tested collection of baking recipes which I return to again and again. Chocolate fork biscuits is among that collection. They are very easy to prepare with just four ingredients and a batch of these crumbly little morsels can be whipped up with very little notice. Romantically, I imagine in the not too distant future, making them with Thea, her getting as much mixture around her little mouth as she makes into balls for biscuits. Taking a fork and pressing it into the chocolate dough to squash it onto the baking tray. Chomping on them straight from the oven, crumbs dropping everywhere, her fist wrapped round a glass of ice cold milk.

Falcon mixing bowl

The recipe is from Constance Spry’s cookery book, a tome published in the sixtes and now widely regarded as somewhat of a kitchen bible. The name Constance, or rather the diminutive Connie, is the name I affectionately gave Thea when she was still a tiny image on the sonographer’s screen. Knowing that she was going to make a very early appearance, I wanted to give her a name that would foretell of the qualities that I hoped she would possess as a premature baby.  It seems some nine months later that she does indeed boast the characteristic of steadfastness, Constance’s meaning. I think it’s rather nice that the inspiration for her now middle name came from an esteemed cook. One whose recipe for Chocolate fork biscuits is a firm favourite of mine and hopefully will be one of hers.

chocolate fork biscuits

chocolate fork biscuits

Chocolate fork biscuits 

Adapted from a recipe by Constance Spry.

  • 120g soft butter
  • 60g sugar
  • 120g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa

Cream together butter and sugar using an electric whisk. Sift in flour and cocoa and whisk again to combine all ingredients.

Take small pieces of the mixture and form into rough balls. Place the balls on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper allowing enough room for them to spread during cooking. Take a fork and a bowl of water. Dip the fork in the water and then press in into the biscuit mixture to slightly flatten the balls and make fork indentation in the dough.

Bake at 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Cool on a wire baking tray.

kangaroo cuddles with Thea

Having kangaroo cuddles with Thea Connie, September 2013, 1117g.