Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Sometimes I like to delve into my past culinary lives. I look at the books I bought at university. I cook the simple meals I made in other peoples kitchens while house hopping before moving to Torquay. I find a recipe that was part of my life then, and make it part of my life now.

This recipe for Rusks started life in Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. A book I adored when I first bought, I was 18 and still eating meat. It's still beautiful, but less useful now I don't. But the recipe has been got a little rough round the edges from constant use.

Probably the first change I made was to slash the ingredients to make a half batch, I was living on my own after all. It also got fudged a bit to make it more economical and I finally dusted it off last week to switch out the dairy.

The new changes received rave reviews in my kitchen.


125g marge
375g flour
230g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
200ml non-dairy milk (we use almond)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 190C and grease a large pan

Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk

Mix margarine into flour with your fingers. No need to be rally precise but when most of the margarine is mixed in you can start with the other ingredients.

Mix in the caster sugar, salt baking powder and the milk mixture.

The dough you are forming will be very wet. In the next step you will be shaping it. If it is hard to work with wet your hands. If you still find that impossible flour your hands but go sparingly. To get a good rise here wetter is better.

Divide your mixture into three. Roll them into logs about 8 cm thick. Place them on the backing tray so there is about five cm between each log.

Bake for 30 mins, your logs should be solid and starting to go gold on top.

Remove from the oven and turn your oven temperature down to 150C

Wait until they are just cold enough to work with and slice the logs apart with a knife. Slice the logs into rounds, about 3 cm thick.

Stand cut side up on the baking tray and return to the oven for 15 mins. Your outsides should be lightly browned and the insides just slightly soft to the touch.

Transfer to a cooling rack. I think this is one of those biscuits that taste better the next day but you're free to eat them as soon as you want. Just enjoy.

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