These easy Ginger Biscuits are a bit different from a traditional ginger cookie or ginger biscuit recipe. I think of them as a cross between a flapjack and a brandy-snap. They are very quick to bake, only 10 minutes in the oven, and have a base of oats with sugar and butter, a small amount of flour and an egg. The ginger flavour comes from finely chopped pieces of stem ginger that are added to the mixture. Flaked almonds also give a bit of extra crunch and nuttiness.
This recipe is based on one that my mother used to make. She used candied peel, rather than stem ginger, in her recipe. I am not a huge fan of candied peel and I had a half-used jar of stem ginger left over from Christmas so I decided to try make a ginger-flavoured version. I was also looking for a baking recipe that did not use a lot of flour as I am finding it hard to get hold of this at the moment.
These Ginger Biscuits have a subtle ginger flavour which even those who are not big ginger fans seem to like. The biscuits themselves are chewy with a bit of crunch around the edges and are sweet and buttery.
Things you need to know about these Ginger Biscuits (Ginger Cookies)
They are very quick and easy to make. Just mix all the ingredients together and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.
The only slightly tricky stage is getting the cooked biscuits off the baking tray. The key is to make sure that the baking tray is very well greased and that you do not try and take the biscuits off immediately they come out of the oven (they will be too soft) or leave it too long (they will be welded to the baking tray!). If you leave it for about 5 minutes, that is just about right and it should be quite straightforward to get them off.
Don’t leave out the pinch of salt. It makes a big difference to the taste of the biscuits as it balances out the sweetness.
They are very versatile. Have them with a cup of morning coffee or afternoon tea. Add them to lunch boxes. Or they are also a very nice addition to a bowl of ice cream.
I used stem ginger for this recipe. This is candied ginger in its own syrup which you can buy in most supermarkets. It is one of my favourite ingredients as a little goes a long way and, in addition to the globes of sweet ginger, you can also use the syrup as a flavouring. However, if you do not have stem ginger to hand, you could use pieces of crystallised ginger which can be found in the baking aisle in most supermarkets.
If ginger is not your thing, you could substitute the stem ginger for the same amount of mixed peel. Or you could just leave out the ginger and you would still have a delicious, oaty, buttery biscuit.
This easy Smoked Salmon Pate recipe tastes so much nicer than the ready-made, shop-bought equivalent. It combines the delicious flavour of smoked salmon with one of its traditional partners, cream cheese (think bagels and lox). The addition of lemon juice is crucial as this cuts through the richness of the salmon and the cheese.
If you buy slices of smoked salmon, it can get expensive. However, smoked salmon trimmings, which are available in many supermarkets, are perfect for this recipe. They have all the flavour of sliced smoked salmon but are much cheaper and, as an added benefit for this recipe, already in small pieces!
Smoked Salmon Pate is very quick and easy to make – you just process the ingredients in a blender and it is done! You can blend it as much as you like but I prefer not to make it absolutely smooth as I like to find a few pieces of smoked salmon when I spread out my pate.
In my opinion, anything involving smoked salmon smacks of luxury. And this pate also looks pretty with its pale pink colour. This makes it perfect for a celebration or romantic meal. Who’s to know it is so easy to make?
This home-made Smoked Salmon Pate takes a matter of minutes to make and tastes so good that you will never want to use the ready-made variety again!
180 g cream cheese (such as Philadelphia, either full-fat or reduced fat)
100 g smoked salmon trimmings
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of double cream (optional)
Pepper to taste
Fresh herbs, such as dill or chives, to decorate (optional)
Put the cream cheese, smoked salmon trimmings, lemon juice and double cream (if using) into a blender and process until smooth.
Add pepper to taste. You don’t need any salt as the smoked salmon is salty.
Put the pate in a bowl and decorate with fresh herbs if you wish. Dill or chives will go very well with the flavour of the pate.
You can choose to make a higher fat version of this pate by adding double cream and using full-fat cream cheese or make a lower fat version by omitting the double cream and using reduced fat cream cheese.
Keywords: smoked salmon, pate
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This Thai Cucumber Salad is exactly what I want to eat in January. Following the culinary excesses of Christmas and the New Year, I am looking for fresh and healthy, flavour-packed dishes which are quick and easy to prepare. This salad takes only five minutes to make and has a fantastic chilli-spiced, sweet and salty dressing to enhance the crunchy cucumber.
Although this Thai Cucumber Salad is Asian-inspired, I quite often use it as an accompaniment to simple grilled fish, such as salmon steaks, but it would also go well with grilled chicken or meat. It is also great as a snack as it has that hit of taste and chilli heat which means that you feel satisfied without taking in lots of calories.
This fresh-tasting Thai Cucumber Salad can be made in five minutes. The cool crunchy cucumber is enhanced by chilli heat and the sweet-salty dressing.
I like to eat this kind of salad in January, after the culinary excesses of Christmas and New Year, when its freshness and strong, zesty flavours are especially welcome – as is the fact that it can be thrown together in five minutes! However, it is just as good on a hot summer day.
Half a fresh red chilli, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
Juice of half a lime
Peel the cucumber to remove the dark green outer skin. Chop into the cucumber into chunks. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then slice each half into 1 cm chunks.
In a glass or ceramic bowl combine the finely chopped red chilli (or dried chilli flakes), crushed garlic clove, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and lime juice. Do not use a metal bowl as this may react with the ingredients.
Add the cucumber chunks to the ingredients in the bowl and mix well.
This salad can be eaten immediately. However, I think the flavours improve if it is left in the fridge for several hours. It also keeps well in the fridge for several days.
You can make a vegan version of this recipe by replacing the fish sauce with extra soy sauce.