Lucy’s ginger crunch

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Could there be a better way to express that you miss someone than by creating a slice in their honour?

My friend Lucy is possibly my food soulmate – sharing not just the ability to eat past the point of what is both socially acceptable and physically possible, but massive enthuse for the edible. Unfortunately, our friendship is currently confined to the realms of long distance Whatsapp conversations. Through living vicariously through her Instagram as she frolicks about in Mallorca and attending the supermarket post night shift (is there a situation where one feels more jaded? I don’t want to find out), I was inspired by our favourite pick and mix treat, dark chocolate covered crystallised ginger.

Her number one complaint with food is that it is neither dense nor rich enough – therefore the slice comes with 25% extra gingerΒ icing, crunchy toasted pistachios and chunks of Whittaker’s chocolate. Ginger crunch is one of those things I consider to not really require upgrading with superfluous deliciousness, however I feel the extra treats on top and marbled chocolate ganache through the ginger icing take it to an entirely separate territory.

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Adapted from Al Brown’s ginger crunch:

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 170g sugar
  • 170g flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger

Ginger icing:

  • 125g butter
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 5 tsp ground ginger

Chocolate ganache:

  • 50ml cream
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate

Plus toppings: ~70g each of dark chocolate, chopped, pistachio nuts, and crystallised ginger plus silver cachous for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/175C bake setting. Grease and line a 20x25cm slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Make the shortbread base by beating the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients by hand.
  3. Press into the slice tin, ensuring it is covered evenly by using the bottom of a mug or glass to push it down firmly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is starting to turn golden and crisp at the edges.
  4. While the base is baking, prep the toppings. Make the ginger icing by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan and mixing together by hand over low heat. Stir frequently so the sugar does not crystallise and catch. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the ganache by bringing the cream to boil (this takes seconds) in another saucepan. Immediately add the chocolate, broken into pieces, stirring until combined and melted.
  6. Allow the slice to cool for half an hour before pouring the ginger icing on top of the base and spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Drop small dollops of the ganache on top all over the ginger topping. Marble through with a bamboo skewer.
  7. Leave to cool for a further half an hour before sprinkling with the extra toppings. Cut into pieces when completely cool with a warm, sharp knife.
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