I had never heard of Anzac biscuits until an Australian colleague bought them into work along with a batch of Lamingtons she’d made for ANZAC Day. That was about 10 years ago and since then the sunshine and warm temperatures of Melbourne have lured her back.
Although she and her family have gone, I still have the original recipe she gave me and I’ve continued to make them time and again. As ANZAC Day is nearly upon us, I decided to bake a batch of these again.
The Anzac biscuit gets its name from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps with which it is associated. The story goes that these biscuits were made by the army wives and sent to their husbands whilst fighting in the First World War.
It is true that these biscuits do have a substantial shelf-life and they travel well due to their ingredients, however it is actually thought that these biscuits were baked to raise money for the troops. They were sold at fetes and galas, the recipe featured in a number of cookery books around the time of the First World War, referring to them as soldier’s biscuits.
Whatever their origin, these biscuits are quintessentially antipodean and are still baked today to mark ANZAC Day which is a public holiday in both Australia and New Zealand. The 25th April is marked to commemorate the war dead with veteran marches and poppies used as a symbol, much like Remembrance Sunday in the UK.
Whilst the original recipe for these biscuits is delicious, I decided I wanted to make it a bit more indulgent. Coconut and lime are the perfect pairing, so I have created a lime ganache that is used to sandwich two of the biscuits together.
The ganache helps to soften the biscuits as the oats absorb the filling, making them more of a chewy oatmeal cookie than the traditional crunchy snack.
I have made the biscuits a little smaller than usual because two of them sandwiched together means you can go back for more than one.
If you don’t want to have these with the ganache, use a dessert spoon to divide the mixture and make around 20 biscuits instead, the cooking time may need to be increased until 12 minutes, bake until they start to turn golden around the edge.
85g Desiccated Coconut
100g Plain Flour
100g Granulated Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Tbsp Boiling Water
Amedei White Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
1 Lime, zested and juiced
- First make the ganache, place the chocolate chips in a bowl that is big enough to fit the cream as well.
- Heat the cream on the hob until it comes to a boil. Boil for a few seconds and then pour the cream onto the chocolate, stir until melted and combined.
- Add the zest and juice of the lime to the ganache and stir until mixed in fully. Leave to cool at room temperature for a couple of hours. You can place it in the fridge if time is tight, but don’t leave it in there too long or it will set too hard.
- Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 place the oats, coconut, flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the golden syrup. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water and stir until the fizzing has calmed down. Then pour this into the butter and syrup mixture.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the butter mixture. Stir to combine the ingredients, the mixture will be quite dense, make sure all of the dry ingredients are mixed in.
- Take heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into a ball, place them on the prepared baking tray and flatten them down with your fingers. Continue until you have 14 biscuits and cook them for 10 minutes until golden.
- Allow the biscuits to cool for a couple of minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. Fill the baking trays with the remaining biscuits ( you should be able to use the same greaseproof paper) and bake again for 10 minutes, you’ll have 28 biscuits in total.
10. When cooked allow the biscuits to cool for a few minutes and move them to a rack and allow them all to cool completely.
11. If your ganache is still a little soft, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
12. Using a spoon or palette knife sandwich together the biscuits with the ganache and leave to set for a couple of hours. The oats in the biscuit will become moist from the ganache and you’ll be left with a nice chewy lime and coconut treat.