Recipe: The Mountain Cafe’s ginger crunch

Ginger Crunch

Recipe: Kirsten Gilmour, The Mountain Cafe

Walk Japan

I started making Ginger Crunch at the café for purely sentimental reasons. On a visit home, I was having a barbecue with my good school friend Karen and her parents. After a few glasses of Sauv Blanc, stories of our teenage years started to flow and Karen’s dad, Paddy, would jump in and say, ‘Ginger Crunch anyone?’ every time he felt uncomfortable – which was a lot. It was hilarious. As soon as I returned to the café it went on the cake counter and it always makes me smile.

• The base will puff up really high when you bake it, then collapse and look a bit cracked and ugly. Don’t worry, this always happens! While it’s still warm, push the sides down to make an even layer and leave it to cool.

• This keeps for five days in an airtight container at room temperature. It goes stale in the fridge.


Makes 12 generous slices


For the base:
270g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
300g plain flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the icing:
200g golden syrup
100g butter
375g icing sugar
6 teaspoons ground ginger
a handful of unsalted pistachios,roughly chopped (optional)

25 x 20cm brownie tin



Preheat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan). Grease and line your tin with greaseproof paper. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer or a whisk until pale, light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to help with even mixing.

Add the four, ginger and baking powder and mix through to make a wet shortbread dough. Scrape the dough into your tray, smooth out with a spatula and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is puffy and lightly golden brown. Leave to cool and firm up, pressing down the sides to make an even base while it’s still warm.

Once the base is cool, place your golden syrup and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add the icing sugar and ginger. Melt on the lowest heat possible, stirring, until everything is combined and you have a smooth, runny icing. Take it of the heat and whisk until the icing starts to thicken.

Pour it evenly over the base – make sure your tin is siting on a fat surface. Sprinkle a few pistachio nuts on top if you want, then leave to set. When the icing is firm enough to cut, peel away the greaseproof paper and slice into 12 pieces

This recipe first appeared in The Mountain Cafe Cookbook, RRP $49.99 from Nationwide books

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