Daily Archives: 5 May 2014

Bank holiday bake – the best gingerbread you’ll ever taste

Gingerbread animals recipe


Bank holiday bake – the best gingerbread you’ll ever taste

Wow, I’m glad it’s a bank holiday! It’s been super-busy during the last couple of weeks, kicking off the books that will go on sale next year.

Each book requires meticulous planning to ensure that everyone shares the same vision and plays their part at the right time to fit in with the rest of the team. I need to ensure that recipes are ready for the editor and the testers and then I need to ensure that recipes are tested and edited before photography commences.

Food photography is a very expensive business as there are high studio costs as well as the cost of the photographer, food stylist, props stylist and prop hire, and so you don’t want to be shooting a recipe that doesn’t work properly!

I begin the whole process with a synopsis of the book, and then I create a schedule for the year, which shows everyone’s responsibilities, this is followed by written a brief for each member of the team.

It’s like a huge jigsaw puzzle,
which is why I am relishing
the extra day off this weekend!

I plan to relax and bake some gingerbread with the children.

This is my favourite gingerbread recipe. We like to use quirky cookie cutters, such as pigs and sheep and decorate with icing and other bits and bobs from the baking basket.

They taste really treacly, quite different from a shop-bought gingerbread man, but that’s one of the reasons they’re a family favourite.



Gingerbread Animals recipeGingerbread Animals

Makes 26
Preparation 25 mins
Cooking 15 mins Per portion 268 kcals, 11g fat (6.6g saturated)
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

110g (4oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
50g (2oz) butter
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp black treacle
Currants to decorate

1 Place flour, sugar and ginger in a bowl and mix together. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients.

2 Put butter, milk and treacle into a small saucepan and heat gently until butter has melted. Remove from heat and cool for 2–3 minutes.

3 Pour butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to a soft ball.

4 Leave mixture to cool until firm to touch.

5 Roll out on a floured work surface until 0.5cm (¼in) thick. Cut out with a gingerbread man cutter. We use any animals cutters that the children choose and then decorate with icing (made with icing sugar and a couple of drops of water) and cake decorations.

6 Transfer to a greased baking sheet using a palette knife or fish slice. Allow room for them to spread.

7 Decorate with currants for eyes, nose and buttons.

8 Bake at 180°C (350°F) Mark 4 for 10–15 minutes.

9 Leave to cool for 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.


Dairy Book of Home CookeryCan you guess where this recipe is from?

Yes, of course, it’s one of those family classics from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

Our family could not survive without this book!

Buy Dairy Book of Home Cookery












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