This has been a trying week for so many people living near rivers. The college archivist has hardly lived in her house in Oxford since Christmas as the rising water makes the drains unusable. She and her cat are fortunate to have found a home in a friend’s house; her neighbours have portaloos in the street outside. Ugh. In comparison my complaint that bus journeys take longer than usual pales into an insignificance that makes me ashamed to write it. More inconvenient, but once again not very in comparison to having your house flooded, the vicarage telephone line and all internet access was down for 5 days, returning shortly before BT was due to come. Fortunately, the BT man was something of genius who tracked down the problem at a time when it wasn’t actually being a problem and promptly repaired it (mouse-eaten cable which shorted out when it rained). Hoorah, I am once again able to communicate.
These biscuits were made for last Sunday’s confirmation service in North Stoke church, an event which the Bishop of Dorchester, the Right Reverend Colin Fletcher, kindly shoe horned into his already full schedule for the convenience of those being confirmed. It seemed a good idea to make biscuits (gingerbread) decorated with a bishop’s mitre (marzipan) to mark the occasion and as I only made 60 these were offered to those confirmed and their families first after the service. (Hot drinks and more biscuits were on tap in the village hall as in the toss up between a bubbling tea urn or half a dozen clergy, robing and disrobing, the latter won.)
(This is the recipe I blogged about at Christmas)
I employ Delia’s flapjack principle here, adding more Golden Syrup and cutting down on the sugar to produce a much softer gingerbread. I also replace part of the flour with wholemeal flour.
200g plain flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 teasp ground cinnamon
175g unsalted butter
100g light muscovado sugar
6 tbsp Golden Syrup
Sift four, ginger, bicarb and cinnamon into a bowl.
Put butter, sugar and golden syrup into a pan over a low heat and melt gently. Take the pan off the heat and add the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon – you may need to borrow someone to do this as it can get very stiff – until the mixture starts to adhere together into a ball. When cool enough to handle make it into a nice round ball, cover in cling film and leave in the fridge for about 20 mins.
When cool, cut mitre shapes out of marzipan and stick them to the gingerbread with the chocolate icing used to add decorative crosses, etc. (Most supermarkets have little packs of 4 different flavoured chocolate tubes of icing for writing and these are perfect for this.)