So this week was celebrating all things Tudor in the tent and when I first saw what the categories were, which, by the way, are:
Showstopper: Marzipan Centrepiece
I thought I would make a pie. However, then with some extra thought, I realised that as my children do not like pastry it seemed a daft idea! Plus pastry, as much as I love it, is not very Slimming World friendly (not that cakes or biscuits are, but they are easier to give away!). I did not fancy having to make my own marzipan, possibly colour it and then create some amazing animal or bird and call it a centre piece. Therefore, my only choice left was to attempt the technical challenge and have a go at making Knot biscuits. Upon googling said biscuits, it turns out that they are also referred to as Jumbles which is a name some of you reading this might be more familiar with. To be perfectly honest, I had not heard of either before. To be perfectly honest again, I hate making biscuits because they never work out well!!
Apparently, back in Tudor times the biscuits were placed into boiling water until they floated to the surface, and then baked in a hot oven until they turned golden brown. Also caraway seeds or mixed spice as used to flavour them. I decided to use ginger instead and some lemon zest and juice, as I thought this would make a nice biscuit. The biscuits are easy enough to make – you just bung all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to make a dough.
However, I did find the dough quite sticky – maybe this is wrong? I might have added too much liquid. Still I carried on and despite two attempts I was unable to make attractive knots, so I decided to make pinwheel shaped biscuits instead! **Having watched the show tonight I know now that my dough was too wet and i would never have thought to make knots that the contestants were asked to make!! I also did not know you were meant to egg wash them before baking!!** Third time lucky and all that! I also chose to cover mine with a little icing – again something that would not have been done in Tudor times, but I wanted them to look a little bit pretty !!!
Here is my recipe and my version of Tudor Knot Biscuits or Jumbles:
- *For the Biscuits*
- 200g self raising flour
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tsp ground ginger depending how spicy you like your ginger (I used 2!)
- icing sugar for dusting
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- Pre heat the oven to 200oC / 180oC
- Place all of the ingredients apart from the water into a large bowl and mix
- Add enough water to make a firm dough, and bring together with your hands
- Dust a work surface with icing sugar and taking small pieces of the dough, which I found to be a little sticky so dust your hands with some icing sugar each time, roll into a sausage and then she into a pinwheel (or a Knot if you can do so successfully!)
- Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper
- Repeat until all the mixture has gone - you should make approx 12 biscuits
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
- Remove and cool before making some icing using he icing sugar and water, and decorate as you like and add some extra lemon zest
- Keep in a tin - but be warned these biscuits do not stay fresh long - maybe 2 days.
They did taste nice, kind of like a macaroon but also a little cake like. I have to say that this is my worst bake on my history of the Great Bloggers Bake Off EVER!!!!! However, having seen tonights programme I was pleased to see that many of the Jumbles lost their definition too, not just mine.
PS. They do not keep well either, best eaten on the day that they are baked I think.
PPS. I prefer making cake to be honest!
On your marks, get set and baaaaaake!!!!!
If you would like to bake along with me for the new series of the Great British Bake Off, then the rules are here and you can grab my badge on my homepage and on the rules page. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and remember that at the end of the bake off, I will be holding my prize draw which has been kindly sponsored by Tesco (thank you!) who are also sponsoring some of the bloggers who link up with some vouchers to purchase ingredients. In the finals an independent judge will choose his or hers 3 favourite bakes from the final bake along (week 10)