Chocolate & orange Anzac biscuits

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    20-24

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Anzac biscuits are a firm favourite amongst New Zealanders and Australians alike. They are named to honour the soldiers in the First World War who were part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It’s hard to imagine the hardship that families endured in New Zealand and Australia during the First World War and the years following, and so, although these don’t have eggs in them (they would have been dried and sent off to aid the war effort and feed our citizens far away), they do have luxurious, imported, foreign coconut in them which I find really interesting. In many ways they’re like a sweet oatcake with a twist. I’ve made them even more twisted by adding orange zest and sesame seeds and then piping chocolate on top - which gives a luxurious touch, if not completely inauthentic. I have to say that I hope you notice my piping designs. I drew New Zealand and Australia (with a cake sugar bauble representing Stewart Island and Tasmania) and the crescent and star from the Turkish flag (with a bauble representing the star). All three countries have had a huge impact on my own life and they also became inextricably linked at the battle of Gallipoli (Gelibolu in Turkish) during the First World War. To this day Anzac Day involves a pilgrimage for many young Antipodeans who are keen to see where their ancestors fought, many losing their lives.

Ingredients

  • 75 g flour
  • 70 g unrefined caster sugar
  • 70 g desiccated coconut
  • 70 g rolled oats
  • 15 g toasted sesame seeds
  • 50 g butter
  • 40 g golden syrup
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • chocolate for decoration - around 150 g

Method

Preheat oven to 175°C.

Sieve the flour, sugar and a pinch of fine salt into a bowl and stir in the coconut, rolled oats and sesame seeds. Place the butter, golden syrup and orange zest into a small pot and slowly heat it until the butter has melted. Mix the baking soda with 2 Tablespoons of very hot water then mix it into the butter and stir this into the dry ingredients. Mix the dough with your hands, then shape it into a log shape about 20 cm long (I made mine rectangular), and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then leave it to cool down. After an hour or so, unwrap the dough and slice it into 20-24 biscuits. Lay these on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for 12-14 minutes, turning the tray around halfway through. The biscuits will turn golden quite quickly after about 10 minutes, so keep an eye on them. Leave them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cake rack and leave them to cool completely.

You can either melt the chocolate and dip them into it, or pipe patterns on them as I did (and now you know why I’m not a graphic artist).