Lactose-free Ginger Nut Biscuits
Ginger is a firm favourite and much used spice in our kitchen. Fresh root ginger is peeled and grated for use in stir fries, whilst stem ginger preserved in syrup, is perfect for a rich, moist ginger cake; slices of which have been known to make a very posh baked Alaska to finish off an otherwise humble midweek supper. Add a sparkler before taking it to the table and you have an alternative to traditional plum pudding served at Christmas lunch. I like to add ground ginger to winter vegetable soups or chicken casseroles, whilst the addition of ginger to a tumbler of honey and hot water will help to ease a snuffly cold or sore throat. Widely used in Indian cuisine from Masala chai to curries and pickles, ginger is also employed in Ayurvedic medicine and is recognised for its many health benefits from Jamaica to Kathmandu. As far as biscuits go, however, we think a good ginger nut ranks as high as it gets in the biscuit barrel.
The recipe that we use for these classic old-timers originated in the cookery book which arrived with our new Neff oven. Adapted over many bake-offs to be enjoyed for those on a lactose free diet, these biscuits are full of flavour, and have the hall marks of a good quality ginger nut biscuit: buttery taste, and a crunchy texture, and they're a perfect companion to a mug of lemon and ginger tea.
Lactose Free Ginger Nut Biscuits
285g plain flour
100g caster sugar
100g demerara sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsps ground ginger
1.5 tsps baking powder
170g sunflower spread*
1 generous tbsp golden syrup
1. Remove two racks from your oven before pre-heating it to 160 ºC Fan (180 ºC standard). Cut sheets of non-stick baking parchment to fit the size of your oven racks and set aside.
2. Place all the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
3. Melt the sunflower spread and syrup in a jug in the microwave for between 30-45 seconds on full - be sure to loosely cover the jug to prevent splashes. Take care not to over-heat or boil the mixture. Alternatively, heat gently in a small pan on the stove.The sunflower spread needs only to be soft enough to blend into the syrup. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Shape into about 30 small balls and place on the prepared oven racks, spaced well apart to allow for spreading.
5. Bake for 16-18 minutes in the middle of the oven until browned. Switch off the oven and leave for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the racks.
Store in an airtight biscuit jar or tin for up to two weeks - that’s if they last that long before being eaten!
‘Old Fashioned Ginger Nut Biscuits’ recipe adapted from Neff Appliance’s Recipes and Tips. Visit www.neff.co.uk
*Read the ingredients listed on the packaging of your chosen sunflower spread as some brands contain butter milk. We use Pure; a brand of sunflower spread devoid of preservatives, and any animal products or their derivatives. Our biscuits are lactose free and dairy free.