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350g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
175g dark-brown muscovado sugar
4 tablespoons malt extract
Icing to decorate
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Place the spices, sugar, butter and malt extract into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted and the sugar fully dissolved. Add the bicarbonate of soda and quickly stir in. Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile weigh out flour into a bowl and add the egg. Pour the contents of the saucepan onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Then, on a floured work surface, tip out the dough and flatten slightly. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C (fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Then roll the dough to about 4mm thick and using a pastry/dough cutter create your desired shapes. Place onto the lined tray and bake for approx. 10-12 minutes until biscuits are golden. Remove from oven and place on a wire racking to allow to cool. Decorate with an icing pen.
We have used malt extract in this recipe as a replacement for golden syrup. Malt extract not only firms the biscuit giving it a little extra crunch and introduces a warm, golden colour. Interestingly it also enhances the warmth and fieriness of the ginger – often lost when made using simple sugar.
For this recipe you will need to have a jar of malt extract to hand. Malt is made from barley, a cereal grown extensively in our region; it is made by sprouting the barley just enough to allow natural enzymes to be developed in the barley that can convert starch into sugar. At Muntons our malt extract is made by adding just water and heat – nothing else. We crush our malt and soak this in hot water to encourage the natural enzymes to convert the barley starch into sugars and then boil this to drive off most of the water leaving the sticky glossy syrup that you spoon from the jar. Jars of malt are available from health food shops and pharmacists.
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Cedars Maltings, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 2AG UK