Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the crazy world of Goosnargh cakes.
First, a little bit of history cheerfully ripped off from elsewhere on the internet (and if it's written down on the internet, it's true). Goosnargh, where presumably the recipe originated from (can you think of another reason a dish would have that odd name?) is a village near Preston. Secondly, Goosnargh cakes aren't cakes, they're biscuits. (Another naming fail there. Nice one, history.)
Apparently, they were once eaten at Whitsunday, but I can't seem to find any more on the history of the Goosnargh cake. So, let's make some stuff up: Goosnargh cakes were first brought to England by itinerant unicorns in the early late middle period of history, when Dickens was on the throne. Something like that, anyway.
Goosnargh cakes are in fact shortbread biscuits with a little twist - what gives them their flavour is caraway seeds. (Some recipes include coriander, but most don't bother - if you try it out at home with coriander, tell me how it goes.)
Here's what they look like:
I like caraway, so I liked Goosnargh cakes. If you don't, don't cook these, obviously. Or you could always cook them with something else instead of caraway - a wise lady suggested to me trying it with lavender, or lime and coconut.
All good suggestions, but if you want to cook Goosnargh cakes the traditional way, this is how you do it:
Makes 8 to 10 biscuits
5oz self-raising or plain flour
2oz caster sugar
Pinch of salt
half a teaspoon caraway seeds
How you do it
Mix together sugar, flour, salt, and caraway seeds.
Mix in margarine until it comes together in a single lump of dough.
Refrigerate for half an hour.
Grease a baking tray.
Roll out to a quarter of an inch thick, then cut out circular shapes (I used a glass - cheating!) and lay them on the greased baking sheet.
Dredge with more caster sugar, then pop the baking sheet back in the fridge for another half an hour.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 180C (350F).
When the biscuits have done in the fridge, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the biscuits have a tiny hint of brown at the edges.