Moving countries has really made me think about what things are my absolute favourites, that I can’t possibly live without. I didn’t want to move completely fresh, I have so much art and objects that I love to have around me. So...
We are selling our lives on Trade Me in preparation for the big move later this month, and it always surprises me what ends up having all the attention. I have had these two wrought iron gates stored under the house for so long. They used...
You know I love baking so I love Maisy & Grace’s vintage kitchen line Tala. This retro cooks’ measure would be a great addition for any baker’s kitchen. It has great retro looks, your normal cups and pint measures, and...
Well I’ve been trying to write a post for a month, but this damn house, this damn move and (mutter mutter) my child is weaning off his day sleeps – everything has been thwarting me! But onto more interesting things – my favourite finds in the holidays (Happy New Year by the way!) were two gem irons. Yes, I can now make ginger gems, and they were every bit as delicious as I remembered. And why are they so delicious, you may ask. I can answer that: because the recipe includes a half cup of golden syrup for 16 gems! That’s a lot of golden syrup, no wonder they are so yummy.
I got my irons on trade me – I had a sudden realisation that I would not be able to buy them in the US, so I needed them now. And I whipped up my first batch immediately, sizzling away in the cast iron. Irons do come up on Trade Me quite often, but make sure you get the cast iron ones, not the aluminium ones as they don’t do as good a job. I found some aluminium gem irons at an op shop but they didn’t make great gems. If you want new, you can also get new gem irons for $70 (yikes!) at the Home Store here.
This ginger gem recipe is from the recipe book Ladies, a Plate: The Collection - my sister gave it to me for Christmas and it is a wonderful reference for traditional New Zealand baking (I’ll do a full review later on). I recommend it for any keen New Zealand baker.
Anyway here goes the recipe (just writing about it makes we want some, so I think I’ll make them again tomorrow):
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
60 ml milk
150g golden syrup (about 6 level tablespoons)
1 tbsp butter
And about 55 g extra butter for greasing the irons
Preheat the oven 230 degrees C. Put the ungreased irons in the oven to heat just before mixing.
Sift the flour, sugar, spices and salt into a large bowl.
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk.
Whisk the egg until light and fluffy – about half a minute with a rotary hand beater (which I don’t have so I used my electric beater).
Heat the golden syrup gently in a small saucepan, then add the butter and stir to melt.
Now work quickly. Tip the golden syrup into the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon – it will be quite dry. Don’t try to combine it all, just tip in the egg, mix again briefly, then lastly add the milk. Stir for a few seconds. It will now be soft dropping consistency. Set aside.
Take the gem irons out the oven and put on heatproof board. Drop about 1/2 tsp of butter into each space. You don’t need to spread the butter, it will move up the sides when the mixture goes in.
Now take an ordinary tablespoon and spoon the mixture into each space. If you let it drop from the side of the tablespoon it will fall neatly into place (makes 16 gems)
Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and brown.
Take out of the oven, leave for a few minutes, then tip out onto a rack.
Yum yum yum!
Sometimes you walk into an op shop and you just know you are going to find something. I popped in to a Hospice store on the way to Scandretts Bay, North of Auckland. It was an op shop like we used to have in Auckland – not overpriced, full of interesting and odd things, and with lovely helpful staff. I had the Kid with me so sadly couldn’t lose myself for hours as I would have liked to, but did manage to have a bit of a rummage.
And the first thing that I found was the only thing I ended up walking out with – this gorgeous vintage Peggy Wood Hawaiian dress. And the best bit is that I can squeeze into it right now! I hope with another slow 6 months of baby weight loss, it’ll look amazing. It looks made for a short person like me. The other best bit was the price – $8!
It is made from cotton, with what I think is a floral batik pattern printed on it. It has an elastic side gusset and a fab sarong skirt. Just lovely.