This rather unlikely pairing of ginger nut biscuits and soft goats cheese comes from a Midnight Chicken (& Other Recipes Worth Living For) by Ella Risbridger. The Times called it “A big old massive heart exploding love story… This is the first recipe book that should be made into a film.”
The Hunter family from Ravenstonedale have a mixed farm with goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. They recently started making cheese from the goats milk and their young fresh round is perfect for whipping into a filling for this sweet and savoury pairing.
(Makes 12 ginger nut creams)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 250g soft goat’s cheese
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 24 ginger nuts (bought or home-made)
- Icing sugar, for dusting
If you’re making the ginger nuts yourself, start by pre-heating the oven to 180 0C.
Weigh the butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and set over a low heat to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Put your flour and both kinds of sugar into a large bowl then stir through the bicarbonate of soda and the ground ginger.
Crack the egg into a glass or small bowl and beat lightly. Add it to the bowl, along with the cooled butter and syrup mixture, then mix to a stiff-ish dough – you might need to get your hands involved and give it a decent knead, just to bring it together.
Wrap the dough in cling film, stick it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes, and dig out a baking sheet.
Divide the dough into quarters. Take one of the quarters and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper until it’s the thickness of a ten-pence piece. Peel off the top sheet of paper and stamp out circles with your smallest cutter (mine is about 4cm across). Cut the biscuits out with a bit of space between them, so that if they spread a little as they bake you’ll still be safe.
Lift away the excess dough, leaving behind the cut-out circles (just like peeling the white parts off a sheet of stickers). Carefully lift the bottom sheet of paper, laden with stamped-out biscuits, straight onto the baking sheet. Re-roll and repeat with the excess dough.
Bake your ginger nuts for 12 minutes: they should be golden, and syrup still tender to the touch, but they will harden up as they cool. Slide the finished biscuits onto a wire rack to cool.
While your first batch is in the oven, take a third sheet of baking paper and repeat the whole process: roll out, stamp out and then slide onto the baking sheet when the first batch come out. Do the same with the other two quarters of dough.
When you’re ready to make your goat’s cheese and ginger nut creams, crush the peppercorns pretty roughly — using either a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pin.
Trim any rind from your goat’s cheese, then put it into a large bowl and add the pepper, salt and olive oil. With electric beaters, whip the cheese for 2 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
Sandwich together pairs of ginger nuts with a teaspoonful of whipped cheese.
Arrange the ginger nut creams on a plate and cover loosely with cling film until you’re ready to serve. Dust lightly with icing sugar just before serving.