I often sit when I’m truly bored and flick through food channels. In between envying the easy money tv chefs make and shaking my head at some of the half-truths shown I often find myself giggling at the sneaky chef words used to sell plain food. Examples like “heavenly spinach and rice casserole” and “Decadent cream cheese pasties”, when all the dishes are simple old school and often boring concoctions. The reason I start this recipe like this is because I almost fell into the trap a few seconds ago myself. I almost titles this post as “My amazing ginger bread” but luckily I pulled myself towards myself.
As the title says, this is a gingerbread recipe. One of the old school snacks, often associated with Christmas and grandmothers. I used to buy huge gingerbread cakes sold on the corner in our neighbourhood as a kid. I’ll always associate ginger, ginger beer and gingerbread with my childhood.
This recipe is pretty straight forward and stress free. I made gingerbread men with it and painted them with sweets and various colours made from royal icing (the recipe for that is below too) but you can just cut it into squares, fingers or round biscuits and do with it what you please, as long as you enjoy! Oh by the way, if you like your gingerbread a bit hotter than most, just add ore ginger. The recipe is robust enough to handle being adjusted.
– 125g softened butter
– 100g brown sugar
– 125ml golden or maple syrup
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 egg white
– 375g cake flour (sifted)
– 1 tbs dried, ground ginger
– 1/2 tsp ground cloves
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the Royal Icing:
– 150g icing sugary o
– Food colouring
– Smarties/ Astros/ jelly babies, to decorate
– Preheat oven to 180°C.
– Spray baking tray with non-stick cooking spray
– Use a whisk, hand blender or wooden spoon to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
– Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined.
– Stir in the flour, ginger, all the spices and bicarbonate of soda.
– Place the dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap or in a closed dish and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
TO MAKE THE ROYAL ICING
Place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric whisk to whisk until soft peaks form.
– Add icing sugar slowly and beat until stiff peaks form. The royal cling now done. Now you need to colour it.
– Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring (for example, you can use any colour you like) to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
– Place the gingerbread dough between 2 sheets of baking paper or wax paper and roll out as thin as you can. The thinner you roll the dough out, the crunchier the biscuit will be.
– Cut out the desired shape you’d like.
Step 5 – Bake in oven for about 10 – 15 minutes or until brown
– Use a piping back or syringe to pipe the royal icing on to the cooled gingerbread men. Use the sweets fo buttons, to get them to stick use the royal icing as glue.