Thursday, 19 April 2012

Miss A's Triple Ginger Gingerbread

Baking gingerbread has now become a weekly ritual in our house.  It's the only kind of biscuit Miss A will eat.  We've tried shop-bought organic and ones full of E-numbers (I'm kidding - but see sconegate anyway) and I've tried a variety of home made offerings - triple chocolate cookies, peanut butter cookies, Banana Fudge Cookies, Easter Biscuits, Christmas Biscuits and Cheese and Black Pepper Buttons - all of which she's had a hand in making, none of which she's liked.  So we always come back to Gingerbread.

I've been using a recipe from my Marks and Spencers Food 4 Kids book.  Every time I make them, I always forget that the recipe seems to need far more flour than it states as the mixture is extremely sticky.  This frustrates me.  You'd think I'd remember. But every time, I slavishly adhere to the recipe, go to roll it and then get flustered because I forgot the extra flour.

So today, I figured 'how hard can it be to make up a biscuit recipe that works?'  And decided to have a go at making the recipe myself.  Of course, having made the other recipe so many times, I had an ingredient list in my head, but I wanted to see if I could improve on it.

First off, I started with the butter and syrup.  I wanted to make a large-ish quantity of dough because I believe that someone other than Abigail eats all the 'big bu-fwys'.  I often get complaints that nobody likes 'li'l bu-fwys'.  Hmmm....

I heart my bunny biscuit jar
We started off by melting butter with some golden syrup and then for good measure, I decided to use some stem ginger in the biscuits so I added two tablespoons of the ginger syrup too.  My brown sugar had gone rock hard so I lobbed that into the pan to melt as well.  There were a few tiny bits that wouldn't dissolve (see the picture) but all in all this worked well.

While the butter and syrup mixture was cooling, we sifted some of flour into a bowl.  Added some bicarb to keep it soft and plenty of ginger and cinnamon for flavour.  I also chopped up three balls of stem ginger for some contrast in the texture.

Not every gingerbread recipe uses an egg, but with my egg-cracking assistant at the helm, I had no choice but to add one in.  After adding the cooled butter mixture and mixing to combine, the dough cracked a lot on rolling so with a bit of faffing around trying to work out if it needed more syrup or flour we got ourselves a dough that was good enough to roll and cut.

We managed to get fourteen butterflies from this and I think it would make about eight decent sized gingerbread men.  Some of the dough was lost through 'rolleee cuttee' but the dogs enjoyed it.

The result was a thick, soft gingerbread, nicely spiked with bits of ginger.  And surprisingly, Miss A loves bits of chopped stem ginger straight from the jar, despite its subtle spicy heat.  That girl is going to have a good palate one day.


  • 300g plain flour
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 140g butter
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 balls of stem ginger, chopped plus 2 tbsp of syrup from the jar
  • 100g soft, dark brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan.  Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter, sugar and syrups in a small saucepan, taking care not to let it boil. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Crack the egg into the flour mixture, add the chopped ginger and loosely combine.
  5. Add the cooled butter mixture to the flour and mix quickly to a firm dough.
  6. On a floured work surface roll out the dough to about 4mm thick.  Cut shapes as desired, gathering and re-rolling the cuttings until all the dough is used up.
  7. Place the shapes on the baking tray and backe for 8-10 minutes until slightly risen and golden at the edges.  
  8. Leave to set on the tray for five minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
PS: The triple ginger comes from the ginger powder, the chopped ginger and the ginger syrup :)

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