|The commercial Furniss Cornish fairing.|
Quite why this is a Cornish recipe is something of a mystery to me. I may be wrong, but I think it may simply have been a spot of marketing genius by someone at Furniss bakery. The recipe has been going for years, and this simple, easily packaged recipe has been sold in Gift shops County wide ever since. According to their website -
Fairings biscuits were originally bought as gifts for sweetheartsI am left chuckling after looking at their website. Loving Furniss Fact no 3 - You should dunk your biscuit horizontally so that it soaks up the liquid evenly. Come on now - how on earth do you dunk a biscuit horizontally? Serve up a brew in a cereal bowl?
at the Cornish Whitsuntide & Corpus Christi Fairs. In 2007, Furniss preserved the recipe for future generations.
I've never found them anything to get excited by, but hey-ho, I've never attempted the home-made version, and they're Cornish, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.
Ingredients (recipe source from Linda Collisters Baking Bible )100g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
40g golden caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 tablespoon of mixed peel, very finely chopped
3 tablespoons of golden syrup (in cold weather, warm the syrup before adding to mix)
Method1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Prepare a couple of baking sheets.
2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spice into a larger bowl.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Add the diced butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
5. Stir in the mixed peel, and then the syrup.
6. Using your hands, roll the dough into about 20 marble-sized balls. Space them well apart on the baking sheets.
7. Bake in oven for about 7 minutes or until golden.
NotesQuick to throw together from standard store-cupboard ingredients. I'm thinking this would be a good recipe for the kids to have a go at. Supervise the golden syrup (mind you - would be hard to be in a claggier mess than me), and rename them Icky-Stickies - you could be onto a winner.
The first batch have gone in the oven, and we shall await developments.
Uh-oh. That means I've got to get my hands all yukky again in a few minutes.
The finished result ought to be flat biscuits with a cracked top, similar to ginger nuts. We'll see.
VerdictThis may be a disaster. The first batch out look nothing like they're supposed to look, which is odd as I've followed the recipe exactly.
Ha ha ha. Mine resemble doughy lumps, and there's not a crack in sight. I tried banging the tray down hard on the worktop, in the hope it would frighten them into cracking. I don't recommend this.... it achieved nothing other than hurt my wrists. If I pop a postulating glob into my mouth with my eyes closed though, the flavour is rather lovely.
Let's try a second batch with the oven turned down to 160C and leave them in for longer. They can't turn out any worse.
Not worse - but certainly not any better. Good grief. These are a sorry excuse for biscuits, and I'm ashamed of them. I wonder if anyone has baked this recipe with success? They are so far removed from where they should be, they taste and feel exactly like ginger-snaps that have been left at the back of the cupboard for months and gone soggy. Suppose they'll be alright dunked in a cuppa, but I certainly won't be handing them round to visitors.
Right ho....... Are you ready for a laugh?
A baking boo-hoo if ever there was one
Will I be making these again?
Not on your life.