Gingerbread

The first festive recipe of the year! Very exciting. I was just sitting in my santa pyjamas this morning and had the urge to make gingerbread, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for the Mary Berry recipe I was using, so I ended up coming up with my own recipe which worked surprisingly well! In fact, I think I’m going to use it from now on, because the spices really came through whereas most of the recipes I’ve used in the past tend to play it safe and produce quite a mild taste. I like to really be able to taste the spices, so for me this was a good recipe.

Manchester-20121204-00457

Ingredients:

(makes about 30 biscuits)
200g plain flour

100g finely milled oats

50g cocoa powder

3 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

115g unsalted butter

175 light muscovado sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

1 egg, beaten

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C, and grease and line two baking trays.

2) Mix together the flour, oats, cocoa, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.

3) Add the butter and mix it in with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

4) Add the sugar and mix it into the breadcrumb mixture.

5) Add the golden syrup – a good tip is to heat up a metal tablespoon on the hob and whilst it’s hot, use it to add the golden syrup – it comes off the spoon much easier this way! Once you’ve added the golden syrup, add the beaten egg and mix it all up. Eventually you should be able to gather it all up with your hands to form a soft dough.

6) Sprinkle the work surface with flour, dust the rolling pin with flour too, and roll it out to whathever thickness you want – about the thickness of a pound coin gives a fairly standard size biscuit. Cut the biscuits into whatever shaped you like and transfer them onto the baking tray. Space them well apart because they do spread out in the oven. You’ll probably need to re-use the trays a few times anyway as this recipe does create a lot of biscuits!

7) Put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then take them out, leave them to cool on the tray for 2 minutes then transfer onto a cooling rack.

8) You can decorate them however you fancy – gingerbread people with smartie buttons, sprinkle them with icing sugar, whatever! I made some sugarpaste from powder and water, and cut out little snowflakes then stuck them down with icing sugar. Sometimes the simplest things can be really pretty though – a quick smear with icing sugar, and a sprinkle with powdered icing sugar makes them look really rustic and delicious!

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So, that’s the first Christmas recipe up and running! I made some mince pies last week, and I’m cooking two seasonal desserts for an early Christmas dinner this week, so watch this space for more festive recipes over the next few weeks!

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