Here in the United States, autumn is universally acclaimed as the season of all things pumpkin -- and over in the United Kingdom, it seems this squash may also be a fall favorite. In October of 2022, Paul Hollywood celebrated the season by sharing a recipe for mini pumpkin cheesecakes on his YouTube channel. Not just any pumpkin cheesecakes, though. Hollywood's get an extra kick from a triple dose of ginger. This spice is used to flavor the batter, and garnish the tops of the finished cakes, and it features prominently in the crust in the form of something called ginger nut biscuits.
What is a ginger nut biscuit? The U.S. and England have long since gotten over the dumping tea in Boston Harbor incident, but we've still never learned to agree on food terminology. While we Yanks may have figured out by now that "biscuit" is the British word for cookie, the "ginger nut" part could still throw us off. As it turns out, there are no nuts whatsoever in this product. Instead, a ginger nut by any other name would be your basic gingersnap cookie, so that's one mystery solved.
Non-UK Cooks May Need To Do Some Ingredient Swaps
While Hollywood does not reveal his preferred brand of ginger nuts (or whether he bakes his own), one popular British type, McVitie's, appears to be somewhat thicker than American gingersnap cookies. Arnott's, an Australian brand, may vary in flavor as well as thickness depending on where they were produced. There's nothing in the flavor or ingredients that mark ginger nuts as significantly different from gingersnaps, though, and once the cookies are crushed, the thickness ceases to be a factor.
As with any British recipe, American cooks may need to do some additional interpreting before baking Hollywood's cheesecakes. For one thing, he calls for stem ginger, which is ginger root cooked in simple syrup. It's more readily available in the U.K., but if you don't want to pay a premium to buy it online, you can make a DIY version. Likewise, given the small amount of caster sugar in Hollywood's recipe, you can substitute granulated sugar.
Double cream isn't another ingredient not easily found in the U.S., but it can be swapped out for an equal amount of whipping cream. The "pudding rings" at first appear to be a bit of a puzzler, too, especially as they're listed as an ingredient and a Google search seems to indicate that these are a type of sausage. We were relieved to see that in the case of Hollywood's recipe, though, he merely means small metal rings used to mold the cheesecakes.
Read the original article on Mashed.