April 23, 2013
Anzac Cake For Anzac Day
This week brings the 25th of April, ANZAC Day
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and Anzac day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War when they landed on the shores of Gallipoli at dawn.
Today we use this day as a day of remembrance, not only of the brave men who fought at that particular time, but for all members of our Armed Forces who have served their country over the years as well.
ANZAC biscuits are one of our Aussie culinary icons. They were included in comfort packages sent to the Boys Over There during the First World War, and have been a legend ever since. So beloved are these biscuits, that despite the name Anzac being protected in both Australia and New Zealand there's a general exemption for Anzac Biscuits as long as they are kept basically true to the traditional recipe and are never named Cookies.
As they're made with hardy ingredients, no eggs, and last well, they were perfect for posting overseas and bringing a bit of love to the troops. My Dad served in Vietnam and Mum would send these across to him, I asked him how this made him feel and he said they made him feel Lonely. There was plenty of company, but these Anzac biscuits made him feel Alone. Homesick is apparently a different feeling, and these biscuits made him feel loved, but also served as a reminder of how far away he was from his family.They bought him real taste of Home.
I realise I'm flying in the face of tradition by naming this cake an Anzac Cake, but Anzac Biscuits are dense and chewy and just not too suitable for dentures and older Veterans teeth. I feel that I've stuck true to the original recipe ingredients, and really the only difference is the addition of a couple of eggs, some milk and the ratio of the other ingredients. The spirit of the original is the same, and I hope all is forgiven. My Dad said it was alright, so I guess it is after all :)
For all of my overseas Readers who might be unfamiliar with Golden Syrup, one of the main ingredients in these biscuits, according to the Essential Ingredient: Golden Syrup is refinery syrup made from raw sugar filtered through charcoal to give it a clear appearance and delicate flavour. We grew up with it slathered on pancakes, toast, and dripping through the holes in crumpets and off our fingers
Anzac Cake for Anzac Day
150gm Butter or lactose free alternative
2/3 cup Golden Syrup
2 cups gluten free Self Raising Flour
1 1/4 cups lactose free Milk or dairy free alternative
1/2 cup gluten free Oats (you can get the Freedom Foods brand at supermarkets)
1/2 cup shredded Coconut
1/4 cup raw Sugar
Pop the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan on low heat and melt until it's lovely and combined well together
It smells so yummy indeed! This doesn't need to boil away or anything, just melt through
Put in all the rest of the ingredients- yep, all of them. Just be careful with the eggs as the syrup mix will be hot and you don't want to cook out the eggs just yet
Mix, mix, mix until it's all a smooth and lovely batter
Pour the batter into a greased cake tin, then bake at about 170* for an hour or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly and a skewer comes out clean
Cool the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes to let it firm up and settle a bit
Then place it on a rack to cool completely
Todays baking efforts- allies side by side!
The cake was just lovely. I had been worried that it would be a bit dense and heavy with the oats, but it was really quite light and surprisingly fluffy given there was no sifting or beating involved. The flavour was certainly true to the traditional Anzac Biscuit, just a bit more delicate, and the cake was certainly more denture and false teeth friendly than the chewy, hardy biscuits!
It isn't a show stopper, but it's not meant to be. It probably wouldn't survive posting overseas either, but it's perfect with a cuppa at smoko, or to warm you up after a cold dawn vigil while you wrap your hands around a thermos and watch the sun rise
Lest We Forget
So Dear Readers, will you be attending the Dawn Service this Anzac Day or going to the march, and do you think this cake deserves it's name or should we stick with the pure Anzac Biscuit?