Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fruit and nut rusks


Rusks are South African biscuits. I first had rusks at my South African friend's house. Her mum's made a box full of them. I'd never seen anything like it before. It looks like a cake but is crunchy and hard. We had our rusks with tea, dunking those little bikkies in to soften so you could bite into them. It is indeed delicious rustic treat and can be addictive too! I could even snack on these as they are, crunching them rock hard goodies. 

I had always wanted to ask for the recipe but never got around to it and as things go, I'd forgotten about it completely. Until I came across several rusks recipes in a book that my dad borrowed from the library. 




These are different from the plain, unadorned ones I had. The fruits add an extra dimension of sweetness. Especially the grated apple! What a surprise. You wouldn't know there was apple in the rusks if you weren't told. It gives such a fruity, slightly tart essence to the rusks. The nuts also give an additional facet of texture which is really nice. 

These are really great for breakfast or tea. You could even break them up into crumbs to sprinkle over your fruit and yoghurt and it's sort of an instant crumble top. Yum!   





[Fruit and nut rusks]
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup rolled oats 
1/2 cup raisins or any dried fruits
1 cup raw sugar, finely ground 
1 small apple, grated
160g butter, melted (or oil)
160ml buttermilk 
1 egg 

1. Preheat over to 180C. Line a 18cm x 18cm square pan.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. 
3. Add the grated apple and mix. 
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter and buttermilk. 
5. Pour into dry ingredients. 
6. Mix well to form a dough.
7. Press dough gently into the line pan. 
8. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden. 
9. Take out from oven, cool slightly and turn onto a cooling rack to cool. Cut into fingers. 
10. Arrange rusks on a baking sheet and place in 80C oven for approximately 4 hours, until rusks dry out and hardens. Test to see if rusks are dried by breaking a piece in half to check the middle. 
11. Store in airtight container. 




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