My mind is going a million miles an hour today. I had an absolute ball in Adelaide at the Eat Drink Blog conference. If I had to choose the best thing about it I’d have to say meeting so many wonderful people who I’ve been so looking forward to finally meeting in the flesh.
Charlie from Hotly Spiced is just as hilarious and lovely as I thought and Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef is so sweet and (sorry Maureen but you are) so tiny and cute. Kirsten from Miss Foodie and I had never been ‘e-introduced’ until the night before the conference and then discovered we were on the same flight from Brisbane. Well, we got on so famously everyone thought we must have been friends from way back. I met so many wonderful bloggers!
Right now I’m powering through the mountain of washing (how I wore so many clothes in 3 days I have no idea), collecting my thoughts and thinking of a creative way to share it all with you so stay tuned.
In the mean time, tomorrow is a big day on the Aussie calendar. It’s the day we all down pens, phones, tools and the like and head to our screens to watch the race that stops the nation. I had grand plans of hosting a Melbourne Cup party tomorrow but somehow the day just appeared out of nowhere and so I am planless.
Of course I did manage to plan some food to celebrate the occasion (I’m nothing if not predictable). My first foray into anything more than smearing icing on a biscuit, I was a little bit proud of myself when I stood back and admired my creations. Jockey silk biscuits actually aren’t nearly as hard to make as they look.
Despite having at least 100 cookie cutters I don’t own one in the shape of jockey silks so I had to tediously cut around a template I downloaded (just Google if you want to do the same). The only thing you have to do is make sure you use a biscuit recipe that keeps its shape. It helps to flare the arms out a little bit on the trays so they don’t end up as one big fat armless jockey.
The hardest part was probably choosing how to decorate them. My method was to pipe around the outside then add the details in the same colour, wait for that to set and then fill in the rest of the biscuit with another colour. I’d like to say that I thought long and hard about the designs and sketched them all first but I totally winged it.
I have to admit, they took me a ridiculously long time to make but probably because I’m not that steady with my hands and it was my first ever attempt. I actually made a more than six biscuits but the rest got a smear of icing from the back of a spoon because I was decorated-out. I’m sure you’ll have more stamina. Enjoy and good luck if you’re having a little flutter on the races today.
If you’re after a good tip I’d recommend you pop over to my friend’s blog A Turf Fascination.
What about you? How are you celebrating the Melbourne Cup?
- 125g butter
- ½ cup golden syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk (keep the white for the icing)
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp bicarb-soda
- 2½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup icing sugar
- food colourings
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.
- Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar by stirring it all together in a small pan over low heat.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and leave it to cool. (I usually put it in an ice-water bath for a while because I’m impatient.)
- Once it’s cooled add the egg yolk and mix it through then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a flat disc then pop it into the fridge for an hour to firm up.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Flour the bench and then, working with half the dough at a time, roll it out to 7-10mm thickness.
- Trace around the template and cut out the dough then lay it out on the baking trays leaving a couple of centimetres between each one. Bake them for 7-10 minutes or until they start to firm. Leave them on the trays for a few minutes and then transfer them over to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile make the icing by beating the egg white until it starts to froth. Add the icing sugar and mix it in until smooth.
- Divide it up into however many colours you want and tint them with colour.
- Pipe an outline of colour around the edge of each biscuit and then pipe on a pattern. Leave it to set and then add the other colour. Use a bit of water if you need to thin out the icing.
- Leave them until the icing sets then gobble them up with celebratory champagne when your horse comes in first.