I know. I know. This is a completely ridiculous recipe to share because it’s basically all obscure ingredients. And do you want to know how it came about? It came about because we had a bake sale to fundraise for my Relay for Life team, and I’d made vegan cupcakes, and blueberry-lemon cupcakes with berry mousse (leftover from the Tentacle Cake), but I didn’t have anything gluten free in the mix. And I have a lot of people at work who need gluten-free goodies. So I decided to make one of my many trusty almond biscuit recipes, and thought, what do I have in my pantry?
And the answer was Davidson plum powder and Ruby chocolate. Among other things. So… this is technically a Pantry Special – but only if your pantry is full of *really* random things that you bought at farmers markets and specialty shops and then forgot to use.
On the other hand, if your pantry *is* full of such things, this is actually a pretty good recipe. It’s not too sweet, it’s nicely acidic, and it’s gluten-free (and the only dairy is in the ganache, so if you are someone who can handle a little bit of dairy but not much, you can probably cope with this). And it’s super fast to make!
Also, you get to feel like a super pretentious version of Arabella Weir and Richard E Grant on Posh Nosh when people ask you what flavour your biscuits are. ‘We took a gracious handful Ruby chocolate from the very first shipment to reach Australia, and gently seduced it into a menage-à-deux with the cream. Then we added some Davidson plum powder. It’s acidic and a little bit demanding, and but it condoles perfectly with the almonds in the biscuits…’
Apologies again for the lack of pictures. I was baking a lot of things in a hurry and forgot to pay attention to the photography side of things. To make up for it, if you scroll down, I’ll tell you how to make a ‘lava lamp’ from kitchen ingredients. Accompanied by a terrible photo, if I do say so myself.
Your shopping list
200g almond meal
50 g sugar
10 g Davidson plum powder
40 ml cream
120 g ruby chocolate
Now what will you do with it?
Preheat your oven to 170°C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine the almond meal, sugar and Davidson plum powder in a bowl, then mix in the egg until you have a nice dough.
Roll into small balls – walnut sized, or thereabouts – and place on the tray, then flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 minutes or so, or until just getting golden brown underneath.
Now chop the ruby chocolate (or if you have it in tiny pellets, it will be fine as is), and put into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil, and pour over the chocolate. Cover the bowl for 30 seconds to speed the meltiness, then stir until you have a smooth mixture.
Dollop the ganache onto each biscuit, and top with a few little purple edible glitter stars, if you have them. Because why not?
Well, freeze-dried raspberry powder would work in a pinch. You want something acidic but dry, so that the biscuit keeps the same texture. Passionfruit powder might also work, but I’m not quite sure how that would mix with the ruby ganache.
As for dietary requirements, this biscuit is gluten-free and low-fructose, but full of nuts and rather dependent on the egg. The dairy is only in the ganache – you could replace the cream with soy milk, but the only variety of Ruby chocolate currently available on the market contains milk powder, so if you are strictly non-dairy, you are going to be out of luck.
Random Science Experiment – Lava Lamp edition!
So, this made a lot of us happy at about 2 in the morning when we were trying to stay awake. It was me, and one of the animal techs, and her non-scientist friend, and then we started demonstrating this for the Cancer Council volunteers and the teams next door to us.
So what I’m saying is, the picture may be crappy, and the experiment may sound really basic, but it’s more spectacular than you might think. Especially at 2 am.
Your shopping list
Extremely Scientific Method
Put a little water in the bottom of a glass jar and mix it with the food colouring. Pour in vegetable oil to nearly the top.
Crumble an alka seltzer tablet into the jar.
It will start off just fizzing, but after 30 seconds or so, big, coloured bubbles will start floating down from the top. It’s pretty awesome.
Also, when it stops, you can add more alka seltzer to get it started again. After four or five times, it stops working so well, probably because the concentrations are off. But it was great while it lasted!