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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anzac Day! (Tomorrow)

Here's the butter and golden syrup, in two identical bowls.  No-one would know that they would have such exciting adventures in the next hour.

It's Anzac Day tomorrow, Sunday 25th, so Anzac biscuits are in order.  If it wasn't our special commemoration of the day when the Anzac troops landed at Gallipoli, it would be just the right time to make something in the kitchen anyway.  It pretty much always is, from my point of view, if not from my mum's.

These biscuits are full of rolled oats, butter, sugar, golden syrup and coconut - pretty much the recipe for happiness-in-a-biscuit. Texture: crispy edges, slightly chewy centre, with the oats and coconut making for a gutsy mouthful.  Aesthetic appeal:  actually golden-brown, like all the recipes prophecy then don't deliver on - the butter, sugar and golden syrup meld together in the baking stage, caramelising, binding the various ingredients together, and making the cookie spread into perfect circles.  The surface of this comparatively thin cookie is flecked with the pale-coloured oats.

I decided to make glutenous and gluten-free cookies.

Water and baking soda added, and the resulting foamy, buttery mixture.  Looks awful, doesn't it.

Another picture of the baking soda playing with the butter and golden syrup.

The pouring of the coconut and my thumb.  Note the rolled oats in the picture, along with their packet to the left..

Meet Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.  When making glutenous and non-glutenous food at the same time, it pays to use different measuring cups and utensils.

Also meet one of my favourite things: Fake Vanilla Essence.  Of course I like the real stuff better, with the vanilla seeds and all, but this isn't bad for $2 something.  The Pams' variety has a cute picture of a cupcake on it..

Don't be bored at this point.  Let me introduce you, if you haven't met each other already, to Xantham/Xanthan Gum.

According to Wiki, "Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide used as a food additive and rheology modifier. It is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium."

Yep, I don't understand that explanation much either.  Sounds like a kind of yeast though - basically sugar fermented by a special kind of bacterium.  Lovely. It's brilliant - works like the Gluten Monster does, just not quite as well. Anyway, I added some of this to the g-free mixture, to give the cookies the right texture.

The unbaked cookies.  Again, the tray to the left is free of Gluten, the one to the right is full of it.

The gluten-freebz were looking so delicious - everything that an Anzac biscuit should look.  Then, disaster struck, a not irregular occurence when I am let loose in the kitchen.

I took the cookies out of the oven, and tried to put them on the bench, on a wire rack. Then Tragedy! Somehow the tray managed to slide off and fall Splat onto the ground, face down, smushing all my adorable, golden-brown cookies into our cork floor.  After emitting a piercing shriek, I knelt on the floor and wept inwardly.

As I sat, I debated whether or not to take a picture: in fact, whether to puncture my pride and show a picture of them all crumbled, on this blog or pretend it didn't happen.  The above picture demonstrates the result of the debate and of the fall.

Here are the finished products.  Please do make some for Anzac day, whatever your gender, dear Reader.

Make them for your family, they'll love you to bits.  Also follow the New Zealand tradition, eat them drowned in a steaming cup of Earl Gray tea, or if you are not so uncivil, seperately, with fine China tea cups.

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