Monday, January 20, 2014

Time To Get This Blog Rolling!

A bit about me to begin with:
I'm an amateur baker with a goal of becoming professional.I'm self taught (by which I mean I haven't taken any classes) and I love to experiment and learn new skills.

So with my first blog post under way, I'd like to share this years (or last years) Christmas cake.
This would be a good cake for those family members who don't like Christmas cake as they still have something to eat!
Unfortunately I don't have the recipe for the cake as that's my mum's speciality!
However I do have the recipe for the house.
I'm not a fan of gingerbread that's too gingery (sounds odd I know) but I found this great recipe which, when baked is strong enough to build a house from yet remains nice and soft on the inside so there's no risk of breaking teeth!

Gingerbread Biscuits 

·        175g (6 oz) butter
·        200g (7 oz) light brown soft sugar
·        150g (5 oz) black treacle
·        2 eggs
·        375g (13 oz) plain flour
·        2 teaspoons baking powder
·        1 tablespoon ground ginger
·        1 tablespoon ground allspice
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then stir in the treacle.
  2. Gradually beat in the eggs. 
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the mixture and make sure it's all combined. 
  4. You should now have a dough. If not add more flour a little at a time until the mix comes together. 
  5. Wrap in cling film and leave in fridge for one hour. I tend to leave my dough overnight (having made the dough in the evening the night before) as the longer you leave it the less it will spread when baking. 
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. If making a house you want it to be fairly thick so it stays standing when assembled. 
  7. Cut out whatever shapes you are using and place on a greased baking tray, ensuring you leave a gap in between each shape so they don't merge together if the spread. 
  8. Pre-heat oven to 190 C or Gas Mark 5 and bake for 8-10 minuets until golden brown and crisp. Note- they might be still soft when they come out of the oven but will harden when cooled. 
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Leave over night to harden if making a house.

If making a house, assemble using icing and decorate to your hearts content. If making gingerbread men decorate when cooled. There are many templates available over the internet for gingerbread houses. There are also videos on how to assemble house.

I'm a bit of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas but I do love the baking. This time I decided to bake more gifts.
These mini gingerbread men were made from the leftovers of the gingerbread house.
This recipe I found online here:   They're very tasty, come out perfect every time and don't take long to make.

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