Earlier this year, after being bought a gingerbread house kit by my Grandma, I made a few batches of gingerbread, which proved to be quite successful (and reportedly quite spicy!). On Christmas Eve, whilst finishing my Christmas hampers for a few family members to open on Christmas Day, I decided to make one final batch to add to the boxes of goodies.
Happily humming Christmas tunes, I gathered my utensils, weighed out my ingredients, melted the butter, and reached for the golden syrup... only to find that rather than the required 300g, I had... 25g! It was 5pm on Christmas Eve, there was no way I was going to the supermarket, and I had a gingerbread-man shaped hole in my hampers. I tipped the cupboard out, feeling into the back of dark corners in the vain hope of finding a long-forgotten bottle, but to no avail, so I had to improvise.
I re-read my recipe, which calls for 300g golden syrup or treacle. I had black treacle. 100g of treacle in and I looked at the mixture forming with dismay, if I was to use 300g of black treacle, I had a feeling I was going to end up with tar biscuits. Then I spied a bottle of Orange Blossom honey in the cupboard. This is already ruined, I thought, what harm could it do?
In truth - both Gary and I agreed that they were the best batch yet! Just goes to show - don't be afraid of adding and substituting in recipes, they are after all just guidelines! I have posted the official recipe below... happy experimenting! xx
125g Brown Sugar
300g Golden Syrup or Treacle
500g Plain Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Bicarb of Soda
Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the sugar, syrup and treacle. Remove from the heat and stir.
Combine the dry ingredients, then add to the syrup mixture, stirring until it forms a thick dough.
Transfer the dough onto a sheet of baking paper, and roll out to approx 1/2 cm thick. Cut out the shapes and remove the excess. Transfer the baking paper onto a baking sheet, and bake for 10 - 15 mins at 170 degrees. Remove from oven when shapes are firm to touch, they will continue to cook and firm up when out of the oven, so do not leave in for too long as they will be too hard and lose some of their chewiness.