Thursday, 11 July 2013

Anzac biscuits

25th of April 1915, troops from New Zealand and Australia known as the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) arrived on the Gallipoli peninsula with the aim of capturing the Dardenelles. New Zealand, a small country was initially belittled. But our soldiers fought brave and hard and our number 8 wire D.I.Y. attitude and strong mentality proved that even a small country can accomplish big things and this changed the gaze of others upon us into a positive one. 

I, like many, have always thought that ANZAC biscuits were served to the soldiers and packed as a healthy and filling snack. But a little digging revealed that this was only a myth! The only biscuits that were eaten by the soldiers were rock hard 'ship's biscuits'. Rather, these rolled oat goodies were sold at home at galas, parades and public events to raise funds for the war. These popular biscuits were named ANZAC biscuits only after the war and the biscuits were apparently first mentioned in a cookbook in 1921. 

Regardless of what the true story behind these oaty biscuits was, the fact is, these biscuits remain popular even now. These crunchy babies are permeated with the sweet flavour of golden syrup which complements so well the wholesome yet subtle oaty aroma. And sprinkle in some desiccated coconut and bam there you have it - a biscuit that is truly packed full of flavours and nutrients. With all these superfoods like coconut and oats, you really are getting loads of good oils, fibre and vitamins. 

And if you aren't like me, who takes photos every two seconds while making food, you can get the biscuits done in no time at all. They really are so simple to make. But remember to keep an eye out on them while they're baking as you don't want them to go too black as that will not only add an undesirable bitter taste, more importantly, the burnt bits can be carcinogenic! And also, hold back your temptations to eat them straight out of the oven as they can be 'heaty'. In Chinese, we call this re qi (yit hey in Cantonese) as food straight out of the oven or grill or deep fryer contains a lot of 'heat' which can increase 'heatiness' of your body and cause sickness such as sore throat, coughs, headaches and so on. 

Anyway, here's the recipe. Enjoy baking! :)

Anzac Biscuits
165g rolled oats
220g all purpose flour (or you can sub it with other flour such as wholemeal)
100g desiccated coconut
100g raw sugar (ground to finer particles)
pinch of salt
180g unsalted butter (or any vegetable oil)
60g golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60ml water 

1. Preheat oven to 170C. 
2. Put oats, flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well to combine. 
3. Put butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat and stir until butter has melted. Remove from heat. 
4. Combine bicarbonate of soda and water and stir into pan. Take care as the mixture will start to foam up vigorously. 
5. Immediately pour the golden syrup mixture into the dry ingredients while it is still foaming. Mix together with a large spatula. You can use your hands to gently mix it into a doughy mass if that is easier.  
6. Roll into even sized balls. The original recipe called for balls approximately 2 tablespoon big, but you can make them of any size but just remember that smaller cookies will cook faster. 
7. Place the balls on lined baking trays and flatten slightly. 
8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes (depending on your oven) or until slightly golden. 
9. Cool before serving. 

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