May Blog 2019

Wednesday 8th May 2019

May Blog 2019

After a boiling hot Easter with temperatures far above average for late April, the first May Bank holiday is proving to be the exact opposite.  We have all put our T shirts back in the drawer and retrieved our winter woollies from the back of the cupboard, as temperatures have plummeted and rain is promised and maybe night frosts!!  My poor little lemon tree.  I hope she survives as she is too heavy for me to carry back indoors.  Perhaps I will try to drape a blanket over her tonight.

I have been busy planning my new French group which starts here next Tuesday morning, May 6th.  I learned most of my French in the sixth form of a Swiss school above Montreux, when I was 16 and have tried to keep it up ever since.  My local Ashford, Wye and District branch of the U3A which is, for those who don’t know, the University of the Third Age, a wonderful club for the over 55’s.  We all pool our skills and run courses on various topics in our own homes, or sometimes in village halls.  I teach cookery in my kitchen, on a fairly regular basis but there was no-one in our club doing French, so I have stepped in, rather nervously I may add, and decided to start a group.

Today I have made some Chocolate and Ginger Shortbreads for the group to enjoy during a well-earned coffee break! I have used a French recipe, sent to me by my French friend Marie-Hélène.  The recipe includes freshly grated root ginger and white chocolate chips but I must admit, I much prefer dark chocolate so used some dark chocolate, fairly finely chopped, instead.  I must say the shortbreads were particularly easy to make and taste delicious.  I leave you with the recipe and will let you know how my new venture goes next month.

Chocolate and Ginger Shortbread

Makes approx. 13 biscuits

240g plain flour

90g soft light brown sugar

160g softened butter

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

50g white or dark chocolate chips

2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated.

To Serve: a little sifted icing sugar

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C, Gas 5. 
  • In a mixing bowl, work the butter and sugar into a paste, using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Add the ginger with the chocolate chips, then gradually mix in the flour and cocoa, until well combined.
  • Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, then roll out to a thickness of about 1cm.
  • Using a small round biscuit cutter, stamp out 13 shortbreads.  Arrange on a non-stick baking tray.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and leave on the tray to cool completely.  The biscuits will firm up as they cool.
  • Serve the biscuits topped with a little sifted icing sugar.



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