We're getting ready for Harvey's 75th birthday - we're having a small family group to lunch on Saturday. I decided I'd better have something on offer to go with tea and coffee, so I embarked on a rare bit of baking. It's not that I don't like baking (though I certainly don't enjoy it as much as cooking proper meals); but I'm not very good at it, and also, if it's there I'll eat it (because Harvey hardly ever touches cakes and biscuits, he just doesn't want them).
However, as it's his birthday I thought I might as well make something he might have a tiny bit of, and something nearly everyone likes, so I opted for ginger crunch. Simple enough, you might think. But I don't have a very good history with ginger crunch.
Every time I've made it in the past, using the Edmonds Cookbook recipe, it hasn't worked very well. The base has been too hard and the icing has been too runny and too thin over the base. (Shop-bought ones are no good either - they're enormous, have a base that's too thick and stodgy, are too sweet and don't use enough ginger.)
So this time I consulted the internet first. Most of the recipes were the Edmonds one, but I did manage to find a slightly different one. It used the food processor, thank goodness.
It's turned out much better than usual, and I think I know why. I used the processor very carefully to cream the butter and sugar and mix the dry stuff in, and I heeded the useful warning to be very gentle pressing the base into the tin, so it wouldn't set like concrete.
The icing recipe had much more icing sugar in it than the Edmonds one (which has only half a cup - maybe this is a mistake?), so it was the right consistency. Even so, I didn't think it was enough to cover the base properly, so I mixed up another half-batch to finish the job.
Inevitably I got some crumbs from the base in the icing, so it isn't the beautiful smooth top I was after, but too bad. Lastly, I had a sharp enough knife (one of those little plastic-handled carbon steel ones) to cut it firmly into squares without making too much of a mess. You have to do this while it's still warm or it doesn't work.
I still couldn't manage straight, even lines of cutting, so some pieces ended up bigger than others (my mother, who had a wonderful "eye" and could cut everything perfectly straight, despaired of me). But it tastes great, and that's really all that matters. Now I just have to leave it alone (except for the tiniest piece in the corner, which of course I had to try to make sure it was okay) until everyone arrives.
PS: I never had any reply from Mr Key to my email (see below). Maybe he never got it?