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Am a little bit surprised to see there is no ginger bread recipe, so here we
go with the basic recipe.

Ginger bread
(In The Netherlands known as 'Ontbijtkoek')

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sour milk (I use blend cream myself)
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions:
Cream butter and add sugar. Add egg and molasses and beat together for some
minutes. Sift together the dry ingredients and add alternatively wiith sour
milk. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 360 degrees F for 40 minutes.



Source: my mom-in-law

Note: the amounts used here make for about 100 gingerbread figurines, depending on the thickness of the dough there can be more, or less.

- 1000 g all purpose flour

- 100 g granulated sugar

- 750 g honey ( I use a large jar of honey that is aproximately 750g-800g)

- 500 g of minced walnuts/almonds/macadamia nuts ( this year I used almonds, but walnuts are my fave)

- 5 whole eggs

- 15 g baking ammonia

-20 g baking soda

- 250-300 ml melted butter (at room temperature)/heavy cream/sunflower oil

- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

- 1 tablespoon nutmeg

- 1 tablespoon ginger powder

- 1 tablespoon clove powder

Everything is mixed together in a large bowl until it becomes a gooey looking semi-solid paste.(* If you think it is too thin, you can add extra flour, but trust me, after you leave it in the fridge, it will become solid). Then the bowl is covered with plastic foil and put in the frigde at least 12 hours before the baking show.

The next day, you will:

  • pre-heat oven (I have an old oven, so I just light it 30 minutes before starting);
  • take 2 baking trays and put baking paper on their bottoms;
  • pull out 2 large sheets of baking paper and just take how much dough you want from the bowl with a spoon, or you cand even use your 2 hands, if you want to get all dirty and naughty.

Using just sprinkles of flour so that dough doesn't stick onto the paper, and a rolling pin, just roll it over the dough to get it even and at the desired thickness ( I make it medium - thick, so I can get aproximately 100 figurines which I shall later bring to my work-place or give them to my firends, neighbours, etc.);

Then, with biscuit cutters or just a round glass, cut the dough into round shapes (if you have other forms and shapes of biscuit cutters - go wild and use them - stars, butterflies, hearts and so on);

Put the shapes in the trays, leaving just a bit of space around them so they don't stick together while they bake and grow inside the oven.

Put the trays in the oven and bake until they turn golden-copperish (be careful not to burn them, because this happens in no time if you don't supervise the whole "operation" ~ mine take about 5 to 10 minutes).

When they are ready, just put them somewhere to cool down (on a large table is the best, because you will later need to brush them with glazing).

Repeat all until you run out of dough.

When the last tray is done, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax for 20 minutes, and then:

  • take just the egg white from an egg and put it in a medium bowl
  • 150-200 g confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
  • the juice from 1/2 lemon

mix it at medium speed until it becomes foamy-hard;

Using a pastry brush, just take from the white foam and brush on the gingerbread (ALL of them). It doesn't matter how much foam you brush on them, you can have it thick or thin, depending on your taste. I know this may seem a lot of work, but if you call a friend, or just put some inspiring music, then it will all seem a piece of...gingerbread :)

Also, I would recommend to cover the table with non-stick paper, or baking paper, so it will be easier to clean-up afterwards.

You can let them as they are or just sprinkle on them almonds, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, whatever your imagination is telling you to put on them , you can't go wrong!

When you are done, leave them to dry until the next morning, kill the lights and ignore the mess - you will clean it tomorrow :)

 


 

P.S.: if you ever make this recipe, please let me know your opinion/the reaction of the people you feed :)

These days when you say gingerbread most of us think of little biscuity people, decorated with royal icing, and quite possibly running away while singing a happy little song.

Once upon a time the 'bread' part of gingerbread meant more of a cakey-slicey kinda thing, and that's what this recipe is for. This gluten, dairy and egg free recipe creates something partway between a cake and a biscuit, on the heavy side, very strongly spiced, with a surprisingly coarse crumb. The lemon icing on top is absolutely essential to cut through the heaviness of the cake - you could probably try orange, or honey and rum flavouring if you wanted, but it won't be as good.

You'll need to use gluten free flour that's pre-mixed with all those lovely things like xanthan gum to give it the right texture and stretch, and you can of course use regular gluten-containing flour if you are able to. This recipe is high in the FODMAP category fructose thanks to the golden syrup: individual sensitivities vary so talk to your health professional.

Please note that this recipe, as all my recipes, uses Australian cookery terms and measures.

Nouns

for the wet mix

  • 250mL golden syrup (you can use treacle, it will make the gingerbread even stronger and heavier in flavour and texture)
  • 200mL brown sugar, firmly packed; as a rule I use the darkest sugar I can buy
  • 250g your preferred butter or butter substitute - if you are intending this to be dairy free please check the ingredients, as most table spreads do contain some dairy
  • 250mL water
  • 5mL freshly ground ginger (optional - this will give a bitier, hotter edge to the finished gingerbread)
for the dry mix
  • 875mL gluten free plain flour - I was using Orgran
  • 5mL bicarbonate of soda
  • 40-50mL ground ginger (how gingery do you like it?)
  • 5mL ground nutmeg
  • 5mL ground cinnamon
for the icing
  • 250-400mL pure icing sugar
  • 40g your preferred butter or butter substitute
  • 10-40mL lemon juice
  • a few drops of either white (titanium dioxide) or yellow food colouring (optional)
equipment
  • a 23cm deep square cake pan (for a more 'cake like' option) or a minimum of 160cm2 of shallow cake pans or slice trays (for a flatter slice option). Do not use a springform cake tin, as the batter is runny enough to drip through the join. Yes, I did spend last night scraping charred cake stalactites off the bottom of my oven, thank you for asking.
  • a sifter

Verbs

  1. Measure the golden syrup, brown sugar, butter substitute and water into a large microwave safe bowl or jug, and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, giving it a good stir each time, until the butter has melted. Stir in the fresh ginger if you are using it. Pour the melty stuff into the large bowl of your cake mixer. Set aside until it cools down a little (this is fuzzy - cool enough to touch, but not so cool the butter sets).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160oC.
  3. Grease your cake tins and dust with a small amount of flour - or line them with baking paper if you don't trust your cake tins.
  4. Sift the flour, bicarb, ground ginger and nutmeg together into a separate bowl. If you don't, you will get a nasty lumpy flat strange mess instead of gingerbread. SIFT IT. NO EXCUSES.
  5. When the butter mix has cooled enough, or you grow sufficiently impatient, tip about half the sifted flour into the butter mix and put it on the very slowest setting on your mixer. The mix will start to fizz very slightly - that's the bicarb hitting the acidity of the golden syrup and doing its thing. As soon as the flour is mostly wet, add the rest of the flour and mix on the slowest setting until most of the lumps are gone, but try to stop the mixer as soon as that happens. I find it helpful to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula two or three times, just to check. You could mix all this by hand, folding it in, but it gets so lumpy and cooking is meant to be fun, not a horrible torture.
  6. The resulting batter will be fairly liquid. That's fine. Pour it into your cake pan(s), remembering that the gingerbread will not rise as much as a sponge cake, but you don't want to risk a cake volcano either. Don't go more than 2/3 full in your slice tin and you should be safe.
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven for about one hour, depending on the size of your cake pans. To test the gingerbread, either press gently on the top of the cake - it will spring back when cooked through - or poke it right through the middle with a skewer. If you overcook, the gingerbread will turn a little more biscuity and a touch dry, so it's fairly forgiving. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes or maybe an hour then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  8. Once the gingerbread is cool, make the icing. The quantities are variable because a 23cm square cake pan will make a very different surface area than a 30cm slice tray - and you may like your frosting thicker or thinner than me. Well, thinner. Nobody wants thicker frosting than me.
  9. In a clean mixer bowl, put the butter substitute, a good spoonful of the icing sugar, and 10mL lemon juice, and put the mixer on a slow speed, just until the icing sugar is incorporated. Then turn it up to fairly high and give it a good minute to beat the butter into submission. Turn the mixer back down to the slowest speed and slowly, one spoonful at a time, add the icing sugar. Depending on how much icing you require, add a little more lemon juice - 5mL at a time - once the mix is too dry. You're aiming to end up with something spreadable, like peanut butter, not like honey. Once you have enough frosting, add either a very tiny drop of yellow or several good drops of white colouring, if you want to.
  10. Pile the frosting on the top of the gingerbread, and spread it to the sides. Don't try to make it too smooth: this is a rough-and-rustic style buttercream, that looks best with a few knife swirls, or you can even do some rough crosshatching with a fork to make the most of the rustic vibe.

Serve as either a slice or a cake. Ideal for morning tea served with a cup of coffee and a fork - or on a cake buffet, in 2cm squares, as a flavour contrast to all the scones and sponges. It also made an ideal dessert/birthday cake at a combined birthday-and-Christmas lunch, after a turkey feast.

The original recipe (somewhat modified) came from The Australian Women's Weekly Sweet Old Fashioned Favourites, by Maryanne Blacker

Gin"ger*bread` (?), n.

A kind of plain sweet cake seasoned with ginger, and sometimes made in fanciful shapes. Gingerbread that was full fine."

Chaucer.

Gingerbread tree Bot., the doom palm; -- so called from the resemblance of its fruit to gingerbread. See Doom Palm. -- Gingerbread work, ornamentation, in architecture or decoration, of a fantastic, trivial, or tawdry character.

 

© Webster 1913.

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