Rusks. No really.

First little boy never had a rusk.  I remember too well eating Liga and Farley’s Rusks as an older child myself, snuck into the supermarket trolley as a comforting treat and I recall it was the sugary sweetness of the latter I loved so much.  I just kept things like rice cakes to hand.  I had a wee google of them there, and now they splash all sorts of ‘Wholemeal!’ and ‘Reduced Sugar’ claims, but to that I say a big fat hmmmmmm.  I think I’ll be sticking to my Organix snacks for treats when that time comes.

Then a few weeks ago at lunch in our friend Jennifer’s house, she brought out home-made rusks.  Well, duh!  Why didn’t I think of that!  She originally found the recipe on a forum, but adjusted it a little.

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Semolina is an ingredient that I associate with 80’s kids TV  & magazines – school lunches in Grange Hill and my weekly Bunty – but I searched it out in the baking section.  I actually wasn’t even sure what it is.  Since then I’ve found the most tasty of uses for it – Roasted Spuds ala Nigella (hold the goose fat!)

You could leave out the maple syrup in this altogether, or use agave.  I had maple syrup in the fridge though, and figure maybe .5ml went into each rusk, so I’m gonna get over that!  It’s not exactly a slippery slope to Wham! bars from there.

I made them a bit smaller, maybe my thumb-sized, so I got about 25 from the recipe.  I would ask that my thumb be inducted into an official measurement book of some sort now.   Because of this, they also cooked in about 18 minutes, though my oven tends toward hot, so keep a close eye.

Banana and Cinnamon Rusks: 
50g wholemeal flour 
100g plain white flour
75g semolina 
1/4 tsp of cinnamon. 
1/4 tsp of ground ginger 
75g butter
1 medium ripe banana 
1 tbsp maple syrup

1/ put the flours , semolina , spices into mixing bowl and rub in the butter

2/ mash the banana well and stir in the maple syrup . Add to the mixing bowl to make a smooth , pliable dough

3/ roll out onto lightly floured surface and cut into shapes with biscuit cutter. Roll each one up to make a cigar shape . 

4/ Brush with an egg and place on lightly greased baking tray in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes until golden and firm 

These keep well in an airtight container for up to 5 days or can be frozen .

Given their small size, they defrost really quickly.  I took out 3 one afternoon and an hour later Dominic requested something to eat.  I chanced my arm and offered him a ‘biccie’.  He ate all 3, and I took more out.  I can defrost them at a really low wattage in the microwave in about a minute either.

So, a rusk that babies love, preschoolers think are biscuits and have next to no sugar?  Winner!  Now, if anyone could point me towards a recipe to make recreate Liga…

Jill

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