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A Bevy of Biscuits from The In & Out

The origins of most modern biscuits can be found in the ship’s biscuit or "hardtack”. You can find evidence of early biscuit making and consumption as far back as Ancient Egypt and Roman times. Inexpensive, long-lasting and taking up little space, early biscuits and hardtack were a very useful item for sailors, providing sustenance when perishable food was not an option. The perfect thing for long sea voyages and military campaigns.

However, it was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the railway that really created the British love affair with the biscuit as we think of it today. Before this, sweet biscuits tended to be enjoyed only as a very occasional treat, or something that might be found at a fete. Baker Joseph Huntley took advantage of the captive audience that the railways provided and arranged for every first class passenger travelling from London to be given a Huntley’s biscuit. It wasn’t long before biscuits became the treat de rigeur, and biscuit factories began to spring up across the British Isles. From Scotland came the McVities digestive, which remains the UK’s most popular biscuit, and, of course, the delicious buttery shortbread that is so hard to resist.


Despite their long tradition of association with travel, most of us now enjoy our biscuits with a nice cup of tea, safely on dry land. They’re beautifully simple to make, so why not treat yourself to a freshly baked plate?


For these recipes we have turned to pastry chef Angi, at The In & Out. With its combination of the kind of dining spaces that afternoon tea enthusiasts dream of and a proud history as the Naval and Military Club, it’s hard to think of a more suitable place to enjoy a very British biscuit!

Here are some of Angi’s favourite biscuit recipes:


Vanilla Shortbread


  • 500g plain flour
  • 300g softened butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • The seeds of a vanilla pod

Method


In a large mixing bowl place the butter and sugar, mix with a paddle and add flour and vanilla, combine on speed 1.


Remove from bowl and roll in cling film, refrigerate overnight.


Cut into 1.5cm slices and cook at 160°C for 12 minutes.



Ginger Biscuits


  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 110g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp golden syrup
  • 1 egg

Method


Melt the butter, golden syrup in a pan. In a large mixing bowl place together all the dry ingredients, combine on speed 1. Add the melted liquid and add eggs.


Remove from bowl and roll in cling film, refrigerate overnight.


Cut into 1.5cm slices and cook at 160°C for 8 minutes.


Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Biscuits


  • 200g soft unsalted butter
  • 250g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 80g chocolate chips
  • 80g roasted hazelnuts

Method


Cream together butter and sugar, add the eggs.


Sieve together flour and bicarbonate soda, add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.


Combine the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and add to the mix. Mix on machine for 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are combined.


Divide into rounds, set on a large tray and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.


Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180°C





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