Anzac Biscuits are a delicious treat any time of the year but never moreso than for Anzac Day coming up. The flavours of brown sugar, oats, coconut and golden syrup make for a delightful combination. And if you're looking to make something a bit more substantial with these flavours and then some then give this loaf a try. It's made moist with quartered pears and diced crystallised ginger!
If you're not from Australia or New Zealand and have not tried Anzac biscuits or cookies, I urge you to give them a try as they are utterly delicious. These cookies were sent to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops during World War I, hence the name. The original recipe was based on a Scottish recipes using nutritious ingredients that wouldn't spoil easily and were hardy (they were dubbed tooth breakers, they were so hard). They were also mostly used as a fundraising tool at fetes and parades to raise money for the war effort. Nowadays they can be hard, crisp or chewy, no doubt everyone has their own preference (mine is crispy). I love these flavours so much I've toyed around with them for something as simple and delicious as an Anzac granola or my persona favourite, an Anzac Caramel Slice and now this pear and ginger loaf.
This week I found myself with four cakes on the go. This is a typical situation for someone that loves baking cakes more than her husband will eat them. Mr NQN is an annoyingly healthy eater so I usually give them to friends or family but my parents are on a healthy kick too and I found two cakes in their freezer so I deal out my cakes to other people. And apart from now becoming a cake dealer, I've also recently become a cactus dealer. You see Ivy had gifted me a nopales cactus paddle (recipe ideas for that coming soon) and soon I had some friends on Instagram stories asking me about the cactus. One chef friend asked me where I bought it and Ivy gave me two paddles to give to her.
And the prickly paddles sat by our front door for a few days. Cactus does last for a while, especially when freshly picked so I knew I had a few days to give it to her. And then it was moved into the car and we couldn't coordinate a time and soon I found myself worried about the state of the cactus paddles and I was also a cake dealer too you remember.
One day my chef friend and I were in the same suburb and I left it for her to pick up from a salon I was at. They know me well and were very cool about me leaving cactus paddles in a beauty salon. Ivy had wrapped it up well in paper and in a bag to prevent surprise pricks but in my haste I forgot to tell my friend to take the whole bag. I assumed she would but she's very polite so the poor thing left the bag behind and took two prickly cactus paddles and walked down the main street of Newtown, pricking her fingers on the way. I don't know how my career as a cactus dealer will go with people getting injuries. Perhaps I'll stick to being a cake dealer...
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like Anzac biscuits? What is your preferred texture? Hard, chewy or crispy?
Anzac Pear & Ginger Loaf
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
- 140g/5ozs. self raising flour
- 90g/3ozs. shredded coconut plus 25g to decorate
- 185g/6.5ozs. rolled oats
- 100g/3.5ozs. brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 120g/4ozs. coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 100g/3.5ozs. crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 400g/14ozs. pears, peeled, cored and quartered
- 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and a line a loaf tin on the base and sides with parchment. In a large bowl whisk the flour, coconut, brown sugar and salt. In a jug whisk the coconut oil, eggs, golden syrup and milk. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones adding the ginger pieces. Then mix in the pears. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until you press down in the centre and it springs back.
Step 2 - Mix the icing sugar with the golden syrup and water and drizzle over the bread. Sprinkle with coconut.