A mere moon ago, when the world was an entirely different place, I tasted my first Biscoff biscuit on a long haul flight from the US. A flight which extended our personal lockdown to 7 weeks. Thank God I don’t mind not peopling (to put my social aversion mildly…). Biscoff biscuits are similar to Dutch speculoos biscuits, but not quite as in your face spicy and better in all the ways that Americans make food great again – more sugar and loads of butter. Or maybe that’s just Paula Dean…? Anyway, one of my very favourite small moments is that cup of tea and a biscuit at 4am (biological clock time) when everyone else on the plane is sleeping, and this one was a revelation! Because my very favourite small moment – probably in life – is my first cup of tea and rusk every morning. So I figured, hey! Speculoos style rusks should totally be a thing! The original rusk recipe is one that my Ouma Visser passed on to us and has been a staple in our house for decades. With a few tweaks and additions you are left with a tea time treat with less of the fat and sugar of Biscoff biscuits and all of the spice and warmth you require in these dark days. They are also super easy to make, requiring no rolling into balls, and are also egg free, so perfect for those poor souls with egg allergies! Which I hope all you egg challenge takers now have, cause siff. These rusks will fill your home with the most delicious, comforting aromas of butter, vanilla and spice as you gently let them dry in a low oven. So if your government won’t let you buy slippers and blankets to warm your tootsies, at least these rusks will warm your soul before you’ve even taken the first bite.
5 hours 20 mins
Serves: 100 pieces**
- 4 cups flour
- 4 cups Nutty Wheat*
- 2 cups caramel sugar
- 8 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 750ml buttermilk
- 375g butter
- 8 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 180˚C.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- In a separate jug or bowl, melt the butter and stir in the buttermilk.
- Add your buttermilk mixture to your flour mixture and stir till combined.
- Pour the mixture into a large, greased baking tray. There are no hard and fast rules here. The smaller your dish, the taller your rusks will be, which is really no bad thing.
- Bake for one hour or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, turn out on a bread board and slice into your preferred size.
- Dry in a 100˚C oven (preferably with a fan) until bone dry. About four hours.
* You can substitute the Nutty Wheat with four parts flour and one part wheat bran, or just use flour.
** Yield depends on the size of your rusks.