Monday, 16 May 2011

Cornish Fairings

 Recipe Number Thirty Seven:  Page 204.

As we had headed over the border into Cornwall to visit the Eden Project, I thought it would be fitting to make these little Cornish Fairings! It was fairly late in the evening but, through the kitchen window, I could see some large white ducks waddling about quacking happily to each other! Even though I was rather distracted by this lovely evening spectacle, I concentrated as best I could and got on with the biscuits.

I measured all the ingredients into the bowl of my scales. The spices which are added smelt delicious. Even though we are a fair way off the festive season, I came over all Christmassy! I rubbed the now very soft butter into the spiced flour; it took no time at all before it resembled breadcrumbs.

The next job I had not been looking forward to at all. I am developing something of a loathing for golden syrup! Most recipes which require this ridiculously sticky substance seem only to need a fairly small amount. I get smothered in syrup glue for almost no reason; that is how it feels to me anyway! I heated up the rather small dollop of golden syrup and poured it into my ‘breadcrumb’ mixture. I mixed the combined ingredients together with my hands. I felt my feelings mellow towards the syrup as it made the dough warm and soft, a pleasure to work with as I had such cold hands!

Mary Berry says to roll the dough into balls the size of cherries. I rolled twelve plump 'cherries' and placed them on my baking tray. I had to make the biscuits in two batches as I had only brought along one tray. Mary advises that, after ten minutes, I am to take the biscuits out of the oven and bash the tray on a hard surface. This makes the biscuits crack and spread. I would have provided a strange sight to any passer-by, bashing my baking tray on the oven hob! After my biscuits had received a good old bash, I put them back in the oven for a further five minutes. Apparently these Cornish Fairings can become hard and too crisp if overcooked. I stayed close to the oven so that I could whip them out quickly if they started to burn! Once out of the oven, the biscuits cooled in next to no time and Neil and I were soon tucking in. They were crisp, but not overdone; they had a very slight chew in the middle. The taste is fairly similar to a ginger biscuit but I could make out the other spices too. They would go very well with a cup of tea and a sit down! We didn’t really know what to do with all the cake and biscuits as it was only the two of us able to eat them. We came close to asking the ducks to help us out!
Lovely with a nice cup of tea!

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