I grew up eating what I always thought was a “traditional” “white” Australian menu. Looking back, the food was a bit bland and the same stuff over and over again. Stews, corned meat, roasts, sausages, crock pot meals and nearly always with about 4 vegetables on the plate. The most used cookbook in the house (and the only one I can remember) was from Margaret Fulton. I remember only the baking being done from that book. We had a lot of cupcakes.
If it was a special occasion and we had some money that week, the exotic treat to have was Chinese. I must have been in my early teens the first time we had Chinese (well that I can remember anyway). The thrill of tasting something new is something I can still remember.
These days, my mother wonders how I can cook something different up every week and want to learn things. In a reverse relationship, she has started to take things she has learned from our household to hers and has started passing them on to my sisters. That’s kinda nice!
I think she still gets a little frustrated through this process at my inability to ever really follow a recipe. I often change things and she finds it a little hard to replicate!
I started thinking about that this week as I was pondering the post. I have made some really addictive orange, ginger and polenta biscotti. I am in love with them. I think I ate nearly the whole batch (and that’s a lot of biscotti!)
I made these first for a charity morning tea at work I was having for Youngcare. My colleagues are nearly all young Gen Y from various cultures, none of which have really ventured outside their own culture’s foodscape. They knew what biscotti was from the boxes in the shop and my home made polenta biscotti looked very different to those. These don’t have that “refined” look.
In short, they were not the most popular option at the morning tea. This made me doubt whether I should share it or not.
I then remembered my mum. She would never have made anything like this earlier but she now loves orange and ginger and would be prepared to give it a go. So here, in all their addictive glory are my Orange and Ginger biscotti made with polenta.
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup polenta
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bi-carb soda
¼ tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, polenta, ginger, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients – eggs, egg whites, orange zest and juice.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Roll the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10-15 times until the dough holds together. Divide the dough in half and form into two 35cm x 4cm logs and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes until for. Take out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the tray. Reduce your oven temperature to 150°C.
- After your biscotti has cooled for 10 minutes, cut each log into slices about 1 cm wide. Arrange these slices, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Place in the cooler oven and bake for 18 minutes, turning half way through.
8. If the biscotti are ready, let them cool on a wire rack.
As an optional extra, you can dip these in melted dark chocolate, allow to set and then eat! The dark chocolate goes extremely well with the orange and ginger!