12 Dec 2017 | Hardie Grant Books
Need to whip up a last minute Christmas gift? Why not try making these delicious and simple gingerbread shapes from the Tivoli Road Baker. This gingerbread has enough warm spice to make a sophisticated treat for the grown-ups, but not enough to turn the kids off. The kids can get involved in making them, too; cutting out the shapes and icing is a lot of fun. The gingerbread will last up to five days in an airtight container, so it makes an excellent gift in the lead-up to Christmas. You could also poke a hole through the top, tie a ribbon loop through and hang them on the tree!
585 g (1 lb 5 oz) plain (all-purpose)flour
pinch ground clove
⅓ nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ teaspoon salt
215 g (7½ oz) unsalted butter, softened
225 g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
185 g (6½ oz) golden syrup (use honey] or maple syrup if unavailable)
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 egg white
250 g (9 oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon lemon juice
To make the gingerbread, sift together the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup until pale but not too aerated.
With the mixer still running, add the egg yolks one a time, beating between each addition until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently on a low speed, until just combined.
Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out into a disc roughly 2 cm (¾ in) thick. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, to rest.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll each disc out between two sheets of baking paper into a sheet 5 mm (¼ in) thick. Leave them between the sheets of baking paper and return them to the fridge for an hour, to set firm.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge and lay the sheets out on the bench. Line three trays with baking paper, and cut your shapes out of the dough with cookie cutters, laying them out evenly on the trays and leaving 2 cm (¾ in) between each biscuit to ensure an even bake. Bake for 6 minutes, then turn the trays around and bake for another 4–6 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Set aside to cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, place the egg white in a medium sized bowl and add the icing sugar one spoonful at a time, whisking lightly to fully incorporate the sugar between each addition. Whisk through the lemon juice, then transfer the icing to a piping (icing) bag fitted with a fine nozzle and decorate your biscuits as you like. The gingerbread is ready to eat once the icing has set.
Recipe taken from The Tivoli Road Baker by Michael and Pippa James, photography by Bonnie Savage.