Friday, October 18, 2013

Crunchy wholesome career biscuits

A satisfying career is like a good biscuit recipe! 
(An imperfect but potentially useful analogy)

There's something to get your teeth into.

It's nourishing.

There are occasional interesting bits, to provide variety.

You can adapt it to suit you better as your tastes change over time.

You'll occasionally botch it up, but you can always learn from experience.

Sometimes it's worth trying something completely different to see what happens.

What at first appears perfectly acceptable can, on closer inspection, contain faults.

A small tweak can have a huge impact.

A huge change may have no impact.

They can both go stale if they're not looked after well.

Most biscuits and many careers have a use-by date.

Sticking to the recipe rigidly can lead to problems when ingredients aren't available.

Being flexible and open to uncertainty can be empowering.

Sometimes you need the services of someone more experienced to see how to make improvements.

Overindulgence can lead to illness and possibly require the services of a doctor.

There is no perfect biscuit. Many varieties can be enjoyed at different times in your life.

Inspired by this article by Jim Bright, Professor of Career Education and Development ACU, and the following recipe from the Family Circle Biscuits and Slices recipe book.

Cocoa Sesame Biscuits aka Crunchy Wholesome Career Biscuits
3/4 c plain flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
3/4 c rolled oats
1 c sesame seeds
3/4 c caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons golden syrup
1 Tablespoon boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
185 g melted chocolate bits

Oven @ 160C

Flour, cocoa, oats, seeds and sugar go into a bowl.
Melt butter and golden syrup. Add soda to boiling water - dissolve. Add to the butter mix.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Stir.
Put teaspoons of mixture onto baking sheet. (The original recipe called for 3 Tablespoons of mixture per biscuit there was only space for one on the tray, and it became the side of a dinner plate - there was clearly something wrong.)
After 6 minutes spin the tray around or they burn. Leave another 6 mins. Ladle melted chocolate on top when they're cool!

Of course I didn't stick to the recipe the first time did I. The sesame seeds only came in mingy bags and I got the last one at the store so I added a few more oats and some chocolate buds. I cooked one giant sized one as per instructions which spread hugely and was unmanageable. Because it lacked pizzaz I chopped up some crystalized ginger and added that to the mixture and adjusted the size to 1 teaspoon per biscuit. As for the chocolate topping, it was ho hum ... so I added bit of chilli chocolate for interest!

As for the second time I made them, experience told me that further small changes could be made to improve the outcome! (A large change of different oats or flour really wouldn't change the taste a lot). A gentle shake of black pepper found its way into the batter along with more generous amounts of crystalized ginger. The topping oozed chilli this time, and the book has been duly marked with the additions.

Next time I might try some rum soaked raisins instead of the ginger!
Whoever would have thought that careers and cooking biscuits could have so much in common!



Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - interesting .. I'm a great believer in covering the basics and then doing my own thing.

The family have a bung it and bash it cake .. the best bit is the crunchy bottom with a partially uncooked layer just above .. it always tastes good!

Cooking biscuits and cakes for me is quite challenging .. as with no kids I don't often do it.

Cheers Hilary

Sue Travers said...

Hi Hilary I'd love to see that recipe, it sounds like just the thing for me! I made these for book group and they were very popular!