Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat! I am so, so excited! It is my absolutely favourite time of the year.
The cool crisp air, the frost on the bushes and trees, wrapping up all warm and snug in your scarves and hats... the shops playing all your favourite Christmas songs, what’s not to love? It’s also my birthday and my son’s birthday in December (as well as some of my close friends) so it’s party month! We all get together to celebrate. Everyone seems happier at Christmas time, don’t you think?
One of the things I love about Christmas is baking!
I enjoy baking little festive treats of joy (and sugar). My absolute favourite recipe is gingerbread, in any shape or form - usually gingerbread men and Rudolphs. The good thing about this recipe is that you can use gluten free flour, but make sure you have xanthan gum as this is what holds it together and keeps it formed. You can also buy dairy free butter, which works well too.
Easy to make gingerbread men and Rudolphs:
- 350g plain flour (if using gluten free add 1-2 tsp of xanthan gum)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2-3 tsp ginger (add to your own taste, we love them really gingery)
- 100g butter (dairy free will work)
- 175g light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 medium egg
- Decorations as you wish
- Line a few flat baking trays with grease proof paper and turn oven on to 180.
- Sieve flour and bicarb into a bowl, add ginger then stir thoroughly
- Rub butter and sugar till they look like breadcrumbs
- Warm the syrup in a pan, not too hot, then add egg and whisk until they combine
- Pour syrup and egg mix into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed
- Sprinkle flour on side and roll dough out to cut shapes
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, wait for them to cool and then decorate.
The smell is just divine... enjoy!
My Nana’s special ginger cake:
- 225g self-raising flour (if using gluten free add xantham gum to avoid crumbling)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1-2 tsp mixed spice
- 1-2tsp cinnamon
- 110g butter
- 100g stem ginger chopped up
- 110g dark brown sugar
- 110g black treacle
- 110g golden syrup
- 250ml milk (Can use lactose free)
- 1 large egg
- 50g icing sugar for decoration
- Pre heat the oven to 160
- Grease and line baking tin (any shape I use a large loaf tin)
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and spices
- Add the butter and rub into dry breadcrumbs
- Add the stem ginger and stir
- Meanwhile put the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk into a pan on a low heat and melt together till sugar dissolved
- Let it cool a little and then add it to the flour mix, stirring whilst pouring
- Add the egg and stir gently till all combined
- Pour into tin and cook for 50-60 minutes
- Let the cake cool and decorate however you want to.