As I experiment with rusk recipes I find that there are some adaptations that can be made that don’t impact the overall “rusk experience.” Let me know if you have tips to share.
Substitutes and alternatives
Buttermilk: Lately I’ve been able to find 2% buttermilk. But you can also make your own buttermilk three different ways:
- With yogurt: Mix either 50:50 or 3/4 cup plain yogurt (must have bacterial culture
high in the ingredients list) with 1/4 cup of milk. Stir together.
- With lemon or vinegar: Fill a 1-cup measuring cup (250ml) with 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or vinegar and allow to stand
juice and milk. Stir and leave for 2 minutes.
- With Cream of Tartar: Mix 1 cup (250 ml) of milk with 1.75 teaspoon cream of
tartar. First dissolve the cream of tartar in 2 Tablespoons of the milk. Then
add the remaining milk.
Self-raising flour: Most of the recipes on this site call for 1 kg flour. In some countries it’s hard to find self-raising flour. You can substitute with:
- For every cup of flour add 1.5 tsp baking powder and a small pinch of salt.
- For all the recipes on this site add to the 1kg of flour, 40ml baking powder and 30ml baking soda and your rusks will rise nicely.
Eggs: Some people have sensitivities to eggs or are vegan. I’ve not tried these but here are some egg substitutes I’ve heard about:
- Use flax seeds as egg replacer in baking. To replace one egg use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds plus 3 tablespoons water (or other liquid). Stir together until thick and gelatinous. Or you can add 1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds with 4 tablespoons water (or other liquid) and process seeds in a blender to a fine meal, add liquid and blend well.
- Reduce sugar: The original rusk recipes all seem to call for 2 cups (500 ml) of sugar. I use 250 – 300ml. That’s about half and the rusk still tastes good. I find the recipes that include dried fruit or sweetened cereal (e.g. muesli, sweetened cornflakes, etc.) work well with just 250 ml (one cup) of sugar.
- Reduce fat: You can reduce the fat from the usual 500g to 300g without affecting the final product.
Dantier, prettier, easier to eat
- The “finger cut” style of cutting rusks is way easier to eat and a better option for serving guests so they don’t have to open their mouths like hippos to get around the traditional cut!
- The thinnest I’ve cut rusks is about7mm (3/8″)
- Chopping nuts: Chopping roasted nuts is easier because they’re brittle.
- Chopping dried fruit is a messy business. Chopping creates a sticky lump. Sprinkle a little flour on the fruit. It separates the little pieces of fruit and makes it easier to handle.
- Using the crumbs: Cutting the rusks leaves lots of delicious crumbs that would be a shame to waste. You can use them in different ways:
- Try using them as topping for apple or any other fruit crumble.
- They’re a great sprinkle on yoghurt or icecream.
- Jean, one of our reader’s says they make a great biscuit crust for fridge tarts.
- Eat them by the handful as a snack.