Monday, April 7, 2008
Girls' weekend in the Hawkes Bay
In the weekend I went on a Girls’ Weekend with my Mum and three sisters. We went to Napier, where two of my sisters live – Mum and my other sister flew up from Christchurch and I flew down. We had a great weekend and, as I usually do I did some baking to take with me – this is how I show my love to people!!!
One of the things I made was this macadamia nut ginger crunch. A few years ago my Mum told me about this delicious slice that she had in a café that was ginger crunch but had macadamia nuts in the icing. I set forth to re-create it for her and came up with this slice which she thinks is better than the original. It is pretty good and is now one of Mum’s favourites. One of the main problems I find with ginger crunch usually is that the icing is a bit mean – a thin scraping on the top, or the base is too crunchy. Even though it is called ginger crunch, I think a little bit of cakiness is essential.
To me, this recipe is perfect. The other thing I add to the base to give extra texture is some slivered almonds. When I made the slice on Thursday night I didn’t have enough slivered almonds, so I used some flaked which worked just as well. The almonds give the base a nice chewiness. I make the icing thicker than usual and I find and the addition of the macadamia nuts is inspired!
The weekend in Napier was gorgeous. Other foodie highlights included lunch at Te Awa Farm vineyard on Saturday, Hastings Farmers market on Sunday morning (I couldn’t get too much as I was flying home, but managed to buy quince, mini pumpkins, gorgeous fresh rosemary and some miniature heirloom tomatoes) and I met Stephanie Till, a gorgeous fellow foodlover who with her partner, creates the condimentum mustard range. I have “known” Stephanie through foodlovers and the occasional e-mail for a long time, but it was so wonderful to actually meet her!! She is a delightful lady and I look forward to meeting with her again next time I am in the bay – or when she is up in Auckland.
Mum’s Macadamia Ginger Crunch
1 c brown sugar
2/3 c sliced or flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
· Cream together butter and sugar
· Stir in rest of ingredients, press into a lined 23cm tin and bake at 180c for about 20 minutes.
· While still hot, spread over following icing
180g golden syrup
3 tsp ground ginger
2 ½ c icing sugar
1 c chopped macadamia nuts
· Melt together butter and golden syrup
Stir in rest of ingredients. The icing will be quite thick