Two failed concepts. What started me off was one of my regular trips to The Source. I needed dried fruit for the First Fruitcake of the season (since made, please someone come and eat some before I finish it off singlemouthedly), more of their dark maple syrup for the large amounts of caramel icecream my children are getting through and some five grain mix because I’ve run out of muesli. Well, dear reader, they had arrowroot flour. Apparently it’s ground up tapioca, but whatever. Arrowroot biscuits!
Considering what a staple of Australian childhood the Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuit is, replica recipes are very thin on the inter webz. They’re possibly flooded out by the huge number of recipes for arrowroot biscuit toppings, because who would want to eat them plain, hey? In fact I couldn’t find any, and no, I didn’t look very hard. I did find an American arrowroot biscuit recipe, it looked a lot like a plain sugar cookie only with some arrowroot flour substituted for wheat flour. I had some vague idea that the Australian version has condensed milk in it, so I substituted a quarter of a cup of condensed milk for the egg that was the only liquid in the recipe. Here’s what I did.
Cream 60 grams of butter (Pepe Saya, of course, I’ve still got about a kilo left) with a quarter of a cup of white sugar. Beat in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a quarter of a cup of condensed milk. Beat in a cup of plain flour, half a cup of arrowroot flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder and a couple of grinds of the salt grinder. It makes a really white dough. You roll it out on a sheet of baking paper quite thin, and I’m pleased because I’m amassing quite a collection of cookie cutters and I love a chance to use them. And cut biscuits look very neat. Bake in a moderate oven for not very long at all, maybe ten minutes?
I wanted to zap them up a bit, and I had rolled them quite thin, so it was time for my second failed concept. Salted caramel ganache. It’s everywhere, probably because it’s delicious. Back to the webz for ideas. Did you know that it isn’t a ganache if it doesn’t have chocolate in it? So this isn’t ganache, for a start. I only wanted a little bit, because I know what I’d do, and did actually do, with left over stuff of this nature. Eat it with a spoon. Spread some on toast. Then eat the rest with a spoon. At least I’m using cutlery.
Keeping it simple, I put into the Thermomix thirty grams of Pepe Saya creme fraiche and thirty grams of caster sugar. I put it on Varoma temperature for fifteen minutes at speed two. The idea is to caramelise the sugar, it should turn brown. I had a peek after the time was up, and it was a sunny yellow. Put it on for another five minutes and convinced myself it was light brown. I didn’t want to burn it! I probably would have paradoxically been bolder (or more careless) with a saucepan and wooden spoon. I added thirty grams of Pepe Saya butter and a couple of grinds of salt, and zapped it until it was combined, only about five seconds. I poured it into a small metal bowl and bunged it in the fridge, trying to forget about it.
It did solidify into something satisfyingly spreadable after a few hours, so I spread it on some of the biscuits.
Wow that stuff was delicious. Very smooth, I’d go so far as to say unctuous. Slight tang taking the edge off the sweet from the creme fraiche. Just enough salt. I couldn’t kid myself, it wasn’t caramel, but it definitely was butterscotch. That’s why I’m going with “butterscotch cream”. Can I make up my own name? I’ll work on it. It did demonstrate that the caramel I’m using in the icecream is a faux caramel, getting its colour from brown sugar and maple syrup. I don’t want to mess with that, it’s perfect. But I will really have to have another crack at this not ganache. After I’ve worked the first lot off at the gym.