Australians have a small window in which to relish the very specific, soft-but-crunchy deliciousness that is a well-made ANZAC biscuit. When May rolls around, Tupperware containers nationwide empty of that golden syrup scent and we're made to wait another year until sinking our teeth again into the biscuit's iconic, toasted glory.
This year, we've got just the event to help you make the most of your window of opportunity: a historically-focussed ANZAC biscuit bake-off to help you commemorate the diggers at home. Bake Together: Anzac Biscuits Live is a virtual cooking class hosted by 'culinary detective', historian and author Allison Reynolds, and facilitated by lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Lindsay Kelley.
If you need any reassurance you're in knowledgeable hands, Kelley's research project is literally called "Tasting History: Biscuits, Culture and National Identity" – and this cooking lesson is a part of her research. Deliciousness aside, ANZAC biscuits have their own complex past, and digging into popular recipes for them sheds light on Australian culinary history and how those on the home-front experienced wartime.
Most holy grail ANZAC biscuit ingredients – oats, coconut, butter, flour, bicarb soda and, of course, golden syrup – will be in many of your pantries, but if not, Kelley will also introduce you to the great British flapjack: a biscuit alternative which uses rolled oats instead. Just make sure you have your ingredients ready to go before the session starts.
Given that ANZAC biscuits also emerged out of food shortages in the middle of another global event – World War I – there couldn't be a more appropriate treat for modern times. Tune in at 2pm on Thursday, April 23 to bake along with Allison's recipe – or your grandma's, as long as you're baking. Make sure to register here beforehand.