There is an outrageously satisfying buzz to a good cup of tea with a sweet biscuit. Morning or afternoon, winter or summer, it’s familiar and comforting. Tea and biscuits are done best by the British and the Garibaldi biscuit – a sweet pastry sandwich of sorts – is one of the greatest ‘tea dunkers‘ around.
Two thin layers of sweet pastry are filled with dried fruit, sandwiched and sliced into rectangular pieces. It’s a classic combination of butter, flour, sugar and macerated fruit that, for the English particularly, conjures up comforting memories of childhood.
UK-native Tez Kemp, owner of La Madre Bakery in Geelong, speaks fondly of his recollections of the sweet biscuit. “I grew up eating them,” he says. “They were a staple in my lunchbox and we started making them here about four years ago.”
The biscuit was named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general who made a popular visit to the UK in 1854 and were commercial manufactured from 1861.
La Madre’s Garibaldis couldn’t be further removed from their mass-produced counterparts and are made by hand, like all the products in their bakery. A tip that Kemp shares but doesn’t elaborate on too much is how they handle the fruit. “We soften sultanas and figs in Earl Grey tea,” before finishing by brushing “the biscuits with an egg wash and cinnamon sugar that adds to the finished flavour.”
With the rise in popularity of high teas in recent years, Kemp sees the demand for this style of biscuit becoming more commonplace at the bakery. “We have a lot of people seeking out these biscuits more and more,” he says. “They are the perfect thing to have with a cup of tea, and we English love our tea.”
So with lemon puffs, HobNobs and shortbread, the Garibaldi is gaining popularity among the morning tea set. Kemp won’t share his recipe completely (but flick through our gallery above to get an idea) and that only adds to the desire to try it. “I guess it’s just our process,” he says. “We have a point of difference with how we make them.”
Someone put the kettle on.
La Madre Bakery
18 Milton Street, Geelong
(03) 5272 1727
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm