Ginger Slice

Ginger has widely been used for its healing properties for thousands of years. Originating in Southern Asia it eventually spread through the rest of Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean. In the middle ages ginger made its way to Europe via the spice trade where it was commonly used to make sweets.

Ginger is now grown in many places all over the world including Australia. I came across some interesting “Did you know” facts while looking at the Buderim Ginger, Australian website.

For example, did you know:

  • Henry VIII praised ginger’s goodness as a cure for the plague.

and

  • During the Middle Ages, ginger was valued on par with black pepper. A pound of either was worth the price of one sheep.

and

  • Ginger was the first crop planted in the Americas after Columbus.

I can’t honestly say this ginger slice contains all the health benefits attributed to ginger, but it sure is tasty!

Ginger Slice

By Donna Hay Magazine.

Ingredients

  • 375gm plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 220gm caster sugar
  • 250gm cold butter, chopped.

Ginger Icing

  • 150gm butter, chopped
  • 90gm golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 240gm icing sugar, sifted.

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 20cm x 30cm tin with oil and line with baking paper.

Place the flour, baking powder, ginger, sugar into a bowl and stir to combine. Pour into food processer.

Add butter and process until mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and press mixture into tin until compact.

Bake for 35-40 mins or until golden brown and firm to touch.

Remove from heat and set aside while you make icing.

Place butter, golden syrup and ginger into a saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until butter has melted.

Add the icing sugar and whisk to combine.

Pour icing over the base and refrigerate for at least an hour or until set.

Remove from tin and cut into slices.

Nutella Ice Cream

Nuttela Ice Cream

Imagine if you will, a time where there is a chocolate shortage. Ok well that could possibly be too awful to contemplate, but during World War II there was indeed such a time. Luckily for us at that time there was an ingenious Italian pastry chef, by the name of Pietro Ferrero, who mixed hazelnuts with chocolate to extend his chocolate supply thereby making a sweetened chocolate spread which would eventually become the Nutella we know and love today.

Now this wasn’t the first time hazelnuts and chocolate had been mixed together in the middle of a chocolate shortage. During Napoleon’s reign there was a chocolate shortage due to the British blockades of the Mediterranean. During this time a chocolatier in Turin named Michele Prochet mixed hazelnuts and chocolate together and created a product called Gianduja.

Getting back to Nutella; in it’s original form it was called Pasta Gianduja which was a hard block, but Ferrero adjusted the recipe to create a creamy version called Supacrema Gianduja. A few years later his son changed and modified the recipe and renamed the product Nutella with the intention of selling it throughout Europe.

Here is one more interesting fact about Nutella: the 5th of February is World Nutella day. Now that’s a holiday that I can get into, perhaps we can celebrate with a little Nutella ice cream…..

 

Recipe

Ingredients

  • One batch of vanilla ice cream – recipe here
  • 100gm Nutella
  • hazelnuts for decoration
  • 50gm dark chocolate.

Method:

Make vanilla ice cream following this recipe.

Churn vanilla ice cream in ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

While ice cream is churning, place the Nutella in a heat proof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water, stir until melted. Remove from heat and set aside until ice cream is ready.

Once ice cream is ready scoop out into a plastic container.

Pour dollops of Nutella randomly over the ice cream.

Use a knife to create a swirl through the ice cream.

Freeze to firm up ice cream.

Dry roast the hazelnuts in a small frypan. Remove the skins.

Melt chocolate over bain marie. Dip hazel nuts in chocolate. Place on a plate and put in the fridge to harden.

Decorate Nutella ice cream with chocolate coated hazelnuts and serve.