One of my favourite cooking programmes is ‘Sweet Genius’ with Chef Ron Ben-Israel. The programme features late on a Saturday afternoon here, at a time when I’m winding down and pouring myself a glass of wine as a reward for the day.
As I watched today, I remembered a basic dessert fashionable here in New Zealand in the 1970s during my early years of marriage. In those days couples got together at each others homes, the host providing the food and venue for a night of eating, drinking and friendship. With three, sometimes four courses having to be prepared, we looked for ways of simplifying the process.
One of the favourite desserts of the day involved taking a packet of gingernut biscuits – these are no doubt known by another name elsewhere – and dunking them in sherry until fully absorbed by the alcohol. The biscuits were placed on a plate, separated by and smothered all over with whipped cream, often containing a little more of the alcoholic sherry. The gingernut log was then covered with chocolate sprinkles. The sherry softened the crunchy gingernuts and blended well with the ginger flavour.
This dessert was popular with young couples entertaining their friends – economical and quick to make, it had a feel of decadence back in times when we had new mortgages, new families and little money. Now, I’m more likely to resort to supermarket desserts if I’m short of money and time.
Thinking of gingernut logs has definitely been a trip down memory lane. Do you have desserts from the past you no longer make, but ones that seemed economical, but impressive, at the time? Why not share them with us all.