Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ginger Overload

I love ginger. It is possibly one of the best flavours in the world and I love a good piece of ginger crunch - like the zingy one made by Loaf. I noticed that last month's Donna Hay magazine was packed full of recipes for slice (as well as that fabulous cauliflower soup) and the one that instantly caught my eye was the ginger crunch. Armed with the knowledge that a) I like my ginger crunch super gingery and b) a colleague had made Donna Hay's ginger crunch a while back with a disappointingly background ginger flavour, I set about my challenge.

Let it be known that ginger crunch will go straight to your hips. It is a scarily butter-laden delight, and I would hate to cause you undue grief by not giving fair warning. I made a double batch (to take to work in order to sabotage my colleagues 5kg weight loss challenge - well, not really but it may have that effect) and used 950g of butter. That's almost a full kilogram of fat right there! Yikes...

I did wish a little that I had a food processor for this - to make the slice you just blend all the ingredients, and if, like me, you don't have that luxury you will have to rub in the butter, which isn't the end of the world but definitely takes a lot longer. However, it was pretty straightforward and stress-free, and I'd say it took about half an hour to prepare, plus half an hour to cook and then an hour to set.

More butter, anyone? This stuff is seriously good, though, totally worth it! I also made a triple batch of icing for a double batch of slice - I prefer a nice thick layer of sicky sweet on top. So if you want to truly replicate mine you'll need to do some quick calculations to make 1.5 times the icing - depends on your sugar tolerance, though.

The recipe says an hour to set and it's definitely edible and delicious after that time, but I did find the icing still a little gooey - you can see it's a bit soft still by the way it's drooping over the sides of the slices:

If you want nice, clean cuts use a hot knife and wipe any crumbs or smeary bits off it between each cut; ginger crunch isn't too bad but I do like the sharp edges, and if you want your chocolate slice to come out looking like slice (as opposed to mush!) it's a pretty helpful tip. One of the things I love about Donna Hay magazine is that she gives tips alongside the recipes. Like to use a hot knife. And a serrated knife for custard square (custard square followers, I have a new recipe to try! Stay posted. Thanks Donna).

After modifications (i.e. amping up the ginger - quantities below are mine, not Donna's - and making extra icing) I was exceptionally pleased with this. It has a resounding crunch, a very prominent ginger flavour, and is sweet enough that one little piece is plenty without being able to feel your teeth rot as you eat it. Perfection!

Ginger Crunch (modified from Donna Hay magazine)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
250g cold butter, chopped

Preheat oven to 180 C. Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined - or mix in a bowl. Add the butter and process/rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Line a 20x30cm tin with baking paper and press the mixture in firmly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and firm to touch.

250g butter, chopped
1/4 cup/90g golden syrup
3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Combine butter, golden syrup and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and ingredients are combined. Sift in icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour over the slice and chill for an hour or until set. Makes about 20.


  1. I'm going to stop reading your blog. I love ginger crunch! But am having trouble maintaining my target weight at the moment...

  2. Did you SERIOUSLY use 950g of butter??!!! That's obscene! I had to do a double take! I'm sure mine would use maybe a quarter of that! You can sense the calories piling on just looking at it! But it does look very good...

    Hey I liked your wee carrot cakes, I must try them like that sometime. I feel quite proud to have been the one to introduce to cream cheese icing. And your world has never been the same since.

  3. Sarah - I'm battling the scales too, though I blame all the eating out more than this. I think the trick with baking is to take it all to work so you only get one bit.

    Anita; you should be proud, you life-changer, you! I know, 950g of butter seems criminal but it made lots - my arm almost fell off carrying it all to work - and there are tons of people in my office so I'm sure it will vanish in a jiffy. I think I'm actually prejudiced against slice for it's butter - I don't think the calorie cost/benefit analysis holds. I'd rather have cake or cookies! This is fantastic, though, and I cut it in tiny pieces... Don't the calories fall out when you do that?

  4. Funnily enough I bought a ginger crunch slice at the funky pumpkin today - can see that your topping is far superior, although I quite like toppings that have been boiled a bit too long and are really chewy.

  5. Haha, I totally agree about getting the colleagues in to share the fat :-)

    Rosa, your ginger crunch looks seriously amazing. The top layer looks like a carriage for heaven!

  6. Mum, might have to try the overcooking-a-little next time and see... Can imagine a bit of extra caramelisation might = more deliciousness.

    Mel, thanks - carriage for heaven is a pretty good description, and the amount of butter might even speed your journey to the afterlife if not cautious in consumption. ;-) Worth it, though...


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