Monday, October 26, 2009

In case of an emergency, bake these!

An earthquake struck Darwin town around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. And what a shock that was! I was lying in bed reading when all of a sudden the bed started rocking. And the mirrors of our built-in robes were visibly moving, and the walls were making noises. My screams of the fella's name were futile. "He must have fallen asleep in front of the telly" was my conclusion. Nope, rather he was standing very still in the middle of the lounge experiencing the quake with all limbs extended in order to feel the full force of the earth's movements.

My worries were that I may need to evacuate the building if it got worse. How would we get downstairs? Were lifts safe to use in case of an earthquake? Would I need to get some clothes on or was it okay to be nudie while escaping a collapsing building? What would we eat for breakfast if the fridge fell through the floor to the apartment below?

Thankfully I had a roll of these orange and poppy seed biscuits stored in the freezer, perfect food to enduring an earthquake. Baking them only takes 11 minutes, and the quaking lasted almost this long. So in case of an emergency, I recommend having some of these delicious biscuits ready to go. They may not erase the embarrassment of a nudie run down five flights of stairs in the middle of a little earthquake, but they will win friend and influence people. Once your face has returned to its normal colour and the earth has opened up and swallowed you whole.

This recipe is from one of my favourite baking blog queens, Joy the Baker. She bakes, with attitude and sass. Oh how I love her recipes, and her dedication to her craft. This was one of the first recipes I tried of hers, and it is the one I come back to most often.

Orange and Poppy Seed Biscuits
Makes around 48...

2 c. plain flour
½ tsp. bicarb soda
½. tsp salt
2 tbs. poppy seeds
1 c. sugar
Zest of 1 orange
150 g. butter, softened
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 ½ c. chocolate bits

In a bowl, sift together flour and bicarb soda. Add the salt and poppy seeds. Stir well to combine.

In another bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Smash it around a little to get the sugar well into the zesty bits.

In your mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes until soft and smooth. Stir in the sugar and zest. Mix for two minutes. Add the egg and yolk, mix until just combined. Add the vanilla and mix for a further two minutes. Reduce the mixer’s speed to low, add the flour mix until just combined.

Divide the mixture in half, shape into two logs of around 5 cm in diameter. Roll up each log in baking paper. Place in the freezer for at least thirty minutes to firm up. They can be frozen for up to four weeks, and then you are only fifteen minutes away from biscuits! Such a great idea.

When ready to cook the biscuits, pre-heat the oven to 180 ⁰C. Line two trays with baking paper. Unwrap one log, slice into 5 mm thick slices. Place onto the trays a few centimetres apart. Cook in oven for 11 minutes, rotating the trays half way through cooking. Cool slightly on the tray before cooking on a rack. Repeat the baking process as needed.

When the biscuits are cool, melt your chocolate. Using a knife, spread the bottoms of the biscuits with melted chocolate. Allow to set, maybe in the fridge if needed.

From Joy the Baker.

With tea perhaps..., originally uploaded by the_bashful_owl.

In times of trial and urgency, I also recommend a good cup of tea. Such as this Melbourne Breakfast from T2.

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