Golden Syrup…for Daphne

8 Dec

There are some foods that I rarely think about, but if I had to go without them, would absolutely miss. Golden Syrup is definitely one of those. In New Zealand, there is essentially one brand…Chelsea and that iconic red tin has always been a syrup.jpgpart of my life. A super special Sunday tea time treat was to have crumpets toasted on the open fire with butter and golden syrup on top (while we watched the Dog Show on tv but that’s a whole other post!)

Golden syrup is a byproduct of sugar, created during the refining process. All our sugar is cane sugar, and golden syrup is thick gooey and oh so hard to describe. Mmm…might just have to have a spoonful to help me! It’s almost a caramel flavour and is quite strong, although it’s technically sweeter than sugar, it’s not the sweetness that hits your tastebuds like a spoonful of sugar would, it’s that bold flavour. I definitely can only eat a small amount at a time. Chrissi asked if it was similar to molasses…I can’t stand molasses; I bought it once to make the gingerbread cookies from the Moosewood cookbook and suffice it to say, I didn’t finish a single cookie. So I’m not really a good judge on the flavour of molasses.

It’s very different to maple syrup, much thicker. You can see how it coats the spoon in the photo. I guess, if you boiled down maple syrup a bit so it was thicker and the flavour intensified, then it would be similar. It doesn’t crystallise – I keep mine in the fridge, only because I live by the beach and ants can sniff out syrup miles away! My mum stores hers in the cupboard. You can serve it in similar ways to maple syrup- on crumpets as I said above, and we used to have it on pancakes when I was little and maple syrup was an exotic luxury.

You can buy it from those stores for homesick Kiwis but yikes $US9.95 for a can – though having said that, I’d totally pay for it and a can will last you ages – I’ve had mine for two years probably! Click through to the store I saw it at here The easy pour one you’ll also see is not suitable for baking – it’s not viscuous or caramelly enough and won’t result in the right texture or flavour. You might also see it in the imported section of stores – I think the english brand is lyles, again if it’s labelled easy pour it’s not the right stuff. If you can find it, make sure it’s the type made from cane sugar and not beet sugar.

My absolute favourite biscuits in the world are made with golden syrup…the humble gingernut. Yep, that plainest of plaincookies.jpg creations is my biscuit of choice. Nothing better at the end of the day, than walking in the door, putting the jug on and making a cuppa with a gingernut or two to dunk on the side…translation from kiwi – a cup of hot tea, in my case english afternoon tea with a ‘spot’ of milk. You absolutely must have your tea hot as hot and dunk your gingernut quickly in and out of the tea so that it softens but doesn’t go soggy. It works best with bought gingernuts (griffins) which are hard as rocks. It sounds disgusting but it is seriously good – I wouldn’t dunk anything else but you have to dunk gingernuts it’s all part of the ritual! I’m guessing they’re not the same as American gingersnaps – our gingersnaps are softer and more buttery.

Here’s the recipe for gingernuts – I’m guessing it’s probably an Alison Holst recipe, but it could be Edmonds. Again they’re a melt in the pot mix and were probably the second type of biscuit I learned to make. They’re virtually foolproof.


  • 100g butter
  • 1 T golden syrup
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Melt butter, stir in a rounded household tablespoon of golden syrup . Soften then remove from heat. Add sugar and egg and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Measure dry engredients into pot through sieve. Stir to mix. While the mixture is still warm, use two teaspoons to form roundish shapes and drop spoonfuls greased baking trays, allowing room for spreading. If you are really patient – you can wait till the mixture is cool and roll perfect rounds and put on the tray. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on the tray – then store in an airtight container.


4 Responses to “Golden Syrup…for Daphne”

  1. Tammy December 8, 2007 at 3:39 pm #

    They sound delicious Melissa. I am assuming that the golden syrup is similar to what we call corn syrup here in Canada.

    I’ll have to test the recipe and see !!!

  2. grace December 9, 2007 at 5:56 am #

    hmm I never really realised that golden syrup was just an nz thing… we were making gingerbread xmas trees a few weeks ago and the recipe had golden syrup in it…twas yummy. I don’t like molasses either…

  3. Jenny March 14, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    Mmmmm thank you for posting this recipe! I was eating some store bought ginger nuts this morning and reminiscing about the ones I used to make that tasted oh so define. Google Search: gingernut holst and up came your site. So many of my cooking dilemmas would be sold if Alison Holst was as popular over in Oz and I could just buy her best of cookbook! Thanks again!

  4. Peter - Auckland, NZ May 29, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Yes it is the Alison Holst one. Used to make these for my kids some time ago and they have recently been harassing me for the recipe. I searched high and low for the cookbook but have been unable to locate it. So it was good old Google (and yourself) that came to the rescue. Once again Thank you so much.

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