Freelance writer – creative – media-maker
The waitress looked up at me with a quizzical expression and asked that I repeat myself. Thinking she hadn’t heard me, I happily obliged. This time she chuckled loudly, shook her head and replied:
“Don’t you mean a trum cep (translation: trim cappuccino)? I’ve niver heard enyone call’em ‘skunny ceps’ before!”*
Well I’ll be. A trim cappuccino. Who would have thought a simple cappuccino order in Auckland could get so lost in translation? Vigorously nodding, I explained to the waitress that, as I had just returned from Melbourne where the term ‘skinny’ reigns supreme, I was not yet acquainted with this alternative lingo.
Settling down with my ‘trim’ cappuccino and regular serving of ginger crunch, also known as ginger slice, I thought I might well have discovered the first legitimate difference between Aussie and Kiwi culture since “feeesh and cheeeps versus fush and chups.” Tip of the iceberg, my friend. Tip of the iceberg.
Turns out my precious ginger crunch, in all its creamy, buttery glory, is nowhere to be found in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. Why, oh why, did no-one warn me of this before I made my move to the Land of Oz? More importantly, how is it, given the Aussie tendency to steal all things nice from New Zealand, that they could have missed this little gem?
Then it dawned on me. The Aussies do not possess our beloved Edmonds Cookbook! The trusty reference on every Kiwi Mum’s kitchen shelf lovingly passed down from generation to generation. Surely this is where the most famous recipe for ginger crunch comes from? For those of you who haven’t heard of this delectable dessert, it has a ginger-flavoured, biscuit-like base covered over by smooth ginger icing, and is often found in tea-rooms, Kiwi-Mum’s kitchen, and cafés. Intrigued? Here is the original Edmond’s version, which my mother and I cherish.
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger (though my mum recommends adding a bit more if you prefer!)
1 teaspoon Edmonds baking powder
Cream the butter and sugar, then add the sifted, dry ingredients.
Knead the mixture well and press into a greased shallow tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 190 degrees celsius in a regular oven.
Place into a saucepan 4 tablespoons of butter, 8 tablespoons of icing sugar, 4 teaspoons of golden syrup, and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger. Heat and stir the mixture until melted.
Pour the saucepan mixture over base in the tin whilst it is still hot, and cut the whole into squares before it gets cold. Leave the crunch in a well-aired room and wait for it to set. Enjoy.
*Sorry my fellow Kiwis, you know I love you best, but I couldn’t resist that cheap shot. They say the teased eventually become the taunters and I am no different. For years, my faint kiwi accent has outed me to some of the most ruthless Aussies you’ll ever meet and as a result, I am currently struggling with Stockholm Syndrome. Please forgive me.
Published in Trespass Magazine