So lets talk Gingerbread. Not something I've ever really craved before, but at the weekend my goodness I suddenly craved it sooooooo badly I felt like my world might cave in if I didn't have it. If I didn't know better, I would've thought I was pregnant as the craving was so strong. Just like the time I HAD to eat a whole packet of Fruit Sherbets when I was in my first trimester carrying Little B. But no no no, definitely not preggers and no more Little People in the Attic thank you, three's quite enough.
These pages I'm showing you are from last months Country Homes and Interiors (December Issue), so you can see quite clearly how I've been subliminally brainwashed inspired into desiring the whole gingerbread thing.
Doesn't it all look completely beautiful? Festive and homely, gently spiced and delicious. So on Saturday morning, full of gingerbread excitement, I scribbled down a list of ingredients and practically ran to the shops to purchase them.
Saturday jigged along and the ingredients sat in a sweet pile in my kitchen. Golden syrup and black treacle, eggs, flour, sugar and spices. But there was no time! I could not manage to shimmy the gingerbread-making into Saturday no matter how much I wanted to.
Sunday morning though, and nothing was going to stop me. I love love love to bake on a Sunday morning, I put my apron on over my pyjamas and it makes me feel incredibly homely and content. I had Little Lady helping me do gingerbread on Sunday, she even put on her sweet little apron that I made her out of an old tea towel when she was three years old.
I settled for making the Iced Gingerbread recipe, described as a "festive tray bake". It involved putting all the runny ingredients in a pan and bubbling it up a bit, stirring in the dry ingredients, pouring the resulting gloopy mixture into a tray and baking it. The resulting tray bake then had to cool, be sliced in half horizontally (a harder-than-it-looks procedure), then sandwiched back together with a butter cream/orange filling and smothered in a melted chocolate/sugar/butter concoction.
Oh boy. The smell of all this happening in my kitchen was incredible. I could not stop sniffing it all in. Ginger and orange zest and chocolate, sniff-sniff-sniff....mmmmmm-mmmmm.
I loved every bit of the mixing, whisking, bubbling, pouring, baking, beating, sandwiching, melting, smothering and decorating. It was such fun! A bit lengthy, but definitely heaps of satisfying, beautifully scented fun.
And here is the finished article, well a little part of it. I chose to add some little milk and white chocolate shapes to the top of my ginger tray bake, just to provide a final flurry of pretty sweetness.
So how did this gingerbread actually turn out?? It certainly looks great, and oh it smells divine. Taste wise, yes, it hit the spot beautifully. Just enough spice, not too sweet. Truthfully, I think I over baked it slightly as the texture is a wee bit dry. I forget that my oven is a hot one, and that I maybe should've reduced the suggested baking time a little.
But overall, this makes for a yummy, scrummy, seasonal bit of Sweet Stuff to accompany morning coffee or afternoon tea. Definitely one to try again, next time the Gingerbread Craving hits.
ps sorry I'm not able to provide the actual recipe as it was published in the magazine and I have to respect their copyright.