Monday 28 December 2009

Gingerbread two ways

It was this post by Johanna over at Green Gourmet Giraffe that inspired me to make gingerbread. Although looking at the date of her original post and the fact that I am only just writing them up now goes to show just how quickly the year has flown by (either that or I'm just very, very disorganised - I like to think that it's a combination of the two). Anyway, who could possibly resist those gorgeous bush buddies that Johanna made? Unfortunately I don't have such lovely cutters, but I did see this rather amazing cutter in Lakeland, and decided that even though I don't have any small children to admire it's amazing shape, I had to buy it anyway! Well, I think the dinosaurs it makes are cute anyway, and I'm sure that if you have little boys (or girls!) they'd love these biscuits.

The recipe I chose was Delia Smith's gingerbread recipe, because it seemed really straightforward and she notes that the dough is easy to work with and very forgiving, plus the recipe was already in weight rather than cup measures - sorry Johanna, I prefer to weigh my ingredients!

The first time round, for the dinosaurs, I made the recipe as stated, minus the orange peel, and using light muscovado sugar. The second time, for the mini Christmas tree you see at the top of the post, I used 2tbsp treacle and 1 tbsp golden syrup, and dark muscovado sugar for a darker, stronger more Christmassy flavour. I also went easier on the cloves the second time, it's a very strong flavour and I slightly overdid it the first time round!

One thing to note when decorating the dinosaurs is that mini Smarties (now with no artificial flavourings or colourings) are rubbish for baking with - all of the colours (which are much dimmer than they used to be when I was young and colourings weren't the work of the devil....) fade to a sort of monotonous green/brown after baking. The decorations you see above are using Silver Spoon baking beans. Clearly still using artificial (and therefore heat stable!!!) colourings. You see, spirulina extract isn't all it's made out to be, Nestle!!

I enjoyed these biscuits and smiled every time I looked at the dinosaur shapes. Colleagues enjoyed the gingerbread too, but weren't bowled over by the shapes. Well, we can't all be children at heart can we! I enjoyed the darker incarnation very much and the recipient of the Christmas tree looked pleased too!!!


natalia said...

I love your dinosaurus !! The tre is very sweet too !

Johanna GGG said...

those dinosaurs are cute - I have to make biscuits for myself right now as sylvia isn't old enough to appreciate them (though maybe one day) - your colleagues don't seem to have a child inside them if they don't appreciate them

I smiled at your preference for weighing ingredients - I love cup measures but have been doing a bit of weighing as I have better scales now and have not had energy to convert - I can see it can be a good way to cook - and I love the addition of orange zest in these - they sound delicious

Caroline said...

I was definitely indulging my inner child by making dinosaurs!!!

I think the weighing/using cups must just be what we're used to and comfortable with. I can see the benefit of using cups for flour and sugar but struggle with ingredients like butter or chopped fruit - surely it matters how big/small you chop it!!!


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