Day 4 of my 12 Days of Christmas continues with another firm favourite in our house – Gingerbread!
I can't think of many other things that fill the house with the smell of Christmas quite like Gingerbread. I have Nigella to thank for this recipe, well actually I think we all have her to thank as I'm pretty sure you will want to try this one out! I always make 2 batches of this – one to pop in the freezer for when I have people coming round, and one to devour myself as it is impossible to make this and not enjoy a piece while it is still warm. My only word of advice for eating this is to make sure you sit down with a cup of tea, put your feet up and don't attempt to do anything else as it is so deliciously sticky you will only make a mess!
150g unsalted butter
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle or molasses (I use molasses)
125g dark muscovado sugar
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
2 eggs, beaten
300g plain or all-purpose flour
Icing sugar to decorate (optional)
Edible glitter in white or silver (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325F/ 170C and line an ovenproof baking dish with baking parchment (approx. 30cm x 20cm x 5cm – however I used my square one which is 26cm x 26cm).
Put the butter in a medium sized pan along with the syrup, molasses or treacle, sugar, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves and gently heat until the butter has melted.
Remove from the heat then add the bicarbonate of soda and water mixture, milk and the beaten eggs and stir well.
Put the flour into another bowl (If you have a stand mixer put it into that bowl) and then add the liquid ingredients and beat well until it is well mixed. Pour the mixture into the lined baking dish – it will be very runny, but don't be alarmed, it should be like this – and bake for 45-60 minutes (50 minutes works well for me). Once ready it should be nicely risen and firm on top. As Nigella says, try not to overcook it as it will continue to cook a little as it cools.
Transfer onto a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool in the tin. If you like you can freeze it at this point but I can never resist a slice (which is why I always make 2 cakes!) so I sprinkle it with a snowy and powdery dusting of icing sugar and of course a touch of edible glitter before cutting into nice squares and enjoying with a hot cup of tea.