The dictionary definition of “fairing” is a present bought or given at a fair. Fairing biscuits are popular in the West Country and a traditional bake for their fairs and fetes. Rumour has it they are served up at Widecombe Fair and are a favourite of Wi' Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawk, old uncle Tom Cobbley and all. A cousin of the “ginger nut”, a Fairing is an ideal dunking biscuit.

Ingredients - make 16 large biscuits

4oz (100g) butter 4oz (100g) caster sugar
8oz (225g) plain flour 4 tablespoons golden syrup
½ teaspoon salt 2oz (50g) Emmental cheese, grated
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda 2 teaspoons mixed spice
3 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Sieve together the flour, salt, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Rub in the butter until the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the sugar.
  4. Spoon the golden syrup into a heatproof bowl and stand in shallow water in a saucepan.
  5. Heat gently until the syrup thins.
  6. Pour the liquid syrup on the other ingredients and work in thoroughly.
  7. Flour your hands and roll the mixture into small balls (the mixture should make around 16 biscuits).
  8. Place on a baking tray covered in baking parchment, making sure they are well spaced out.
  9. Bake in the top of the oven at 200°C/400F°/Gas Mark 6, for approx 10 mins moving the biscuits to the bottom shelf of the oven the moment they begin to brown. (Note: I set my oven to “convection” rather then “fan” and the biscuits took 6 mins to start to brown.)
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool and harden before removing from baking parchment.


Emmental Cheese