Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Grand Day Out at Fudges Biscuit Bakery; Almond and Ginger Biscuits; Hazelnut, Pistachio and Vanilla Biscuits





Dorset. Land of Hardy. Origins of the Trade Union movement. Location of Cerne Abbas (aka the giant naked chalk man).

And home of Fudges Bakery.






If you owned a bakery that produced approximately two million biscuits a day, what proportion of those would end up being eaten by you?

If it were me, I'd reckon at least half would end up not leaving the Bakery floor.

When I asked this question to Steve and Sue Fudge of Fudges Biscuits, they reckon they sample a far more modest number.


On a visit to the Bakery last week, I was extremely refrained. Battling sometimes overwhelming greed, you'll be pleased to hear I did not my position myself at the end of each production line, mouth agog awaiting the Marmite Biscuits, Cheese Straws and Florentines to fall gently into my opened trapdoor.



The bakery itself was an absolutely gigantic version of a home kitchen. 


Honest. 

See this is just a humongous mixer:




After a glorious Dorset themed dinner and a night in a Downton Abbey style Four Poster Bed at the Acorn Inn, the following day found us at Sue Fudges' home and a kitchen straight out of Home Beautiful meets Country Living meets Interior magazine.  A short, but straight to the point letter to Father Christmas was written there and then*


Sue and Steve provided a batch of their sweet biscuit dough and savoury cheese dough and approximately one hundred thousand different flavourings and ingredients. All in the name of new recipe development.




It was like letting loose a small hyperactive child in a sweet shop.

And this is what I baked




Ginger and Almond Biscuits

175g plain flour

50g self-raising flour
75g golden caster sugar
75g unsalted butter
75g golden syrup
2 tsp almond extract
1  egg yolk
150g crystallised ginger
50g flaked almond

Makes approximately 12 biscuits

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper
2. Place the flours and sugar into a bowl and mix together. Dice the butter and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, add the egg yolk, almond extract and syrup. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a ball
4. Add the ginger and using your hands, distribute evenly within the dough
5. Roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour and cut out biscuit shapes of your choosing 
6. Space well apart on the prepared baking sheets, decorate with the flaked almonds and brushing a little water over each biscuit to help the flaked almonds remain put 
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in colour 



Hazelnut, Pistachio and Vanilla Biscuits


175g plain flour
50g self-raising flour
75g golden caster sugar
75g unsalted butter
75g golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g roughly chopped hazelnuts
75g finely chopped shelled pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper
2. Place the flours and sugar into a  bowl and mix to combine. Dice the butter and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and syrup. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a ball
4. Add the hazelnuts and using your hands, distribute evenly within the dough
5. Roll out the dough on a surface dusted with flour and cut out biscuit shapes of your choosing 
6. Space well apart on the prepared baking sheets, decorate with a line of pistachios, brushing a little water over each biscuit to help the pistachios remain put 
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in colour 

Baker's notes...


  • The Fudge's sweet biscuit dough recipe is a closely guarded secret. The dough in both recipes here is the standard dough I usually use for biscuits
  • With many thanks to Fudges Biscuits who had invited me to spend two days with them in Dorset.

*('Dear FC, Can I have Sue Fudges' kitchen for Christmas please thank you')



Hard at work. Honest.

6 comments:

  1. What an excellent post! You really make it sound like a day out at a magical place. I'm most green with envy I couldn't come. Love your biscuits too. You clearly were inspired!

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  2. Oh what fun Kate! I do love being let loose in a development kitchen and letting my imagination take over and not worry about what might happen!

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  3. This sounds like literally the best day (or two days) out. Ever. I would LOVE to visit a biscuit factory, although I'm not sure if they'd want to let me loose... :-)

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  4. Wow...how amazing...a biscuit factory would be my dream destination! I probably wouldn't have been able to resist standing at the end of the conveyor with my mouth open...you did very well! A really interesting post! :-)

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  5. Fudge's biscuit factory looks like a pretty good place to be. Could it even beat a visit to a chocolate factory........too close to call. I would love a chance to get creative in someone else's kitchen. You are a very good biscuit maker indeed!

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  6. What a great day out. How could you resist all those temptations?

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