Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ginger people have feelings too....

This has been a really busy week so far... I started off by baking a Gateau St Honore inspired dessert for the Irish Bake Off challenge set by Wholesome Ireland and I'm thrilled to have won this task :) Thanks to Caitriona  for organising the weekly challenges.

This week is the final challenge, so the pressure is on to recreate a chiffon cake as made by the finalists of The Great British Bake Off. For most of the regular entrants, it seems like it will be the first time to try out a chiffon cake, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Now...what's this post's title all about? Blossoming gingerbread friendships that's what!! I was in the mood to bake this afternoon (nothing new there), and what could be better than gingerbread people...

I followed the above recipe from the BBC website, but being somewhat of a traditionalist, I tend not to use a food processor in baking. I much prefer getting my hands dirty..

This is a pretty simple recipe, perfect for throwing together in a hurry..

Start by sieving the flour, cinnamon and ginger into a mixing bowl, and rubbing in the butter until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency with no lumps of butter remaining.

Stir in the brown sugar. Add beaten egg and golden syrup, and mix with your hands until the mixture comes together into a firm round. It will seem quite dry at first, but don't be tempted to add more liquid to the mixture, it will come together...just keep pressing the mixture together with your hands.

Chill the dough for 15 minutes. Try to resist  the temptation to roll it out immediately; as chilling makes the dough easier to work with, and room temperature dough has a tendency to spread once it hits the heat of the oven.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 1/2cm thickness. I used my new gingerbread family cutters (a present which made me smile for ages!)

Place the gingerbread people on a baking tray (there's no need to grease the tray), and pop in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until firm and golden in colour.

Transfer biscuits to a wire rack, and leave to cool.

Decorating gingerbread people is always the best part! I made up a small quantity (about 4oz) of thick glace icing. You need to be patient making this, and just add the water slowly to avoid ending up with a thin icing that will be difficult to work with. If you do add too much, it's not the end of the world, just beat in some more icing sugar.

I coloured about 1/4 of the icing with red food colouring. I use paste, as it provides a more vibrant colour than liquid colouring, and doesn't affect the consistency of the icing... though liquid will work fine if it's all you have, just add less water. I used a small plain nozzle for piping the designs onto the biscuits, and used a mixture of pink sugar sparkles , white chocolate chips, and jelly tots to decorate.

The finished product! 
These are really easy to make, and it's definitely worth taking the time to decorate them to make them extra special.

I'm already looking forward to making a chiffon cake for the final challenge... I better make it a good one!


  1. I really like your skeleton gingerbread man. I think those would make great treats for Halloween!

    1. Thanks! I'm planning to make skeletons and gingerbread zombies with severed bleeding limbs next week to go with a gingerbread haunted house.... Watch this space!