While jotting down some tips recently, for friends heading over to New Zealand in the summer time, I found myself reminiscing about all the wonderful places we visited when we lived there. Wellington of course, is where my memories are the happiest and the strongest. Our little family perched itself on the hillside there for two glorious years, only feeling grumpy through the winter when the sun’s rays didn’t touch the house or deck. Note to self… buy a North-facing property should we ever move back! Wellington (and New Zealand) is a magical place that I’d urge you all to experience at least once in your lifetime.
The following morning/afternoon tea treat brings back such fond memories as well. Almost weekly a dear friend and I would pick up a variety of slices and scones (often of the cheese and chive variety) from a cafe in Khandallah to share with our little ones who were too young for school. We’d make cups of China Rose Tea and nibble on these little pieces of deliciousness, chatting away while the children played happily with toy cars and lego. It truly was a special time and place.
Ginger Crunch is an iconic New Zealand slice… one that you will find recipes for, in the ‘Edmond’s Cookbook’ and many other kiwi cookbooks and websites. It’s base is crisp and crunchy like a biscuit and then topped with the most wonderful gingery fudge-like topping. If you’re a fan of ginger, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this slice, just like I did. When I baked this the other day, I was running rather low on ground ginger, so decided to add mixed spice to the base instead – for me, this improved upon the slice, giving it a more balanced flavour and almost a hint of Christmas.
Ginger Crunch Slice | Gather and Graze
For the base:
- 115g/1 Stick Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 80g/⅓ Cup (Raw) Caster Sugar
- 190g/1¼ Cups Plain Four
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice (or Ground Ginger if you want an extra kick of ginger)
For the topping:
- 80g/⅓ Cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
- 120g/1 Cup Icing (Powdered) Sugar
- 3 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm slice tin with baking paper.
In an electric mixer, cream the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the remaining dry and ingredients and add them in 2 lots to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix together until just combined. Press this mixture evenly into the prepared slice tin and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until golden.
While the base is cooking in the oven, prepare the topping by placing all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir over gentle heat until melted, combined and smooth.
As soon as you remove the base from the oven, while it’s still hot, pour the topping over and spread it out evenly. Allow the slice to cool completely, before cutting into squares or fingers. A small tip is to use a hot knife (heated under a hot tap, then dried) when cutting this slice, to give nice smooth edges.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week (if it lasts that long!)