Salted Caramel TWIX Cake…for the busy baker.

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“Salted Caramel TWIX Cake” ……..this is for the busy baker!

Equipment you will need 1 x Loaf tin approximately 26cm x 8cm x 6cm.
Cooling rack
Baking tray
Plastic food wrap
Hair Dryer

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Ingredients

1 x Vanilla / Butter Cake

Pre heat the oven to 180 Degrees.

Prepare your tin by greasing with cooking oil spray. Line the tin with baking paper.

Prepare the cake mix as directed and bake as recommended or till golden and baked through.

Chocolate Shortbread

For the Chocolate Short bread (This will be the biscuit base of the cake)

300g 00 Flour
30g Cacao Powder
130g Icing Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter
3 Egg Yolks

Place the Flour, Cacao, Icing Sugar, and cold unsalted butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse till all the ingredients have combined. Add the egg yolks and pulse again till it all comes together, push the dough together (careful not to over work the dough). Make a ball flatten it slightly and wrap the dough with plastic wrap, rest in the fridge for 15- 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 5 millimetre thickness cut a rectangle the size of the widest part of your loaf tin pierce holes over the dough with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking tray.

Caramel
1 x 300g Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce ( the brand I used is Safeway Gold Salted Caramel Dessert Sauce)
50g Milk Chocolate Melts

Place the salted caramel dessert sauce in a saucepan and heat through while constantly stirring.

Remove form heat as soon as it comes to the boil. Add the milk chocolate stir all till well combined till you have a smooth glossy caramel. Set aside to cool slightly.

To prepare the mould / channel (to form the dome shape which will be the top of the cake) for the caramel use the same loaf tin. Place cling wrap over the top of the loaf tin and allow it to evenly sink down creating a channel. Secure all four sides of the plastic to the loaf tin and pour the semi cooled caramel into the channel then set aside.

Chocolate Ganache

450g Milk Chocolate Melts
220g Cream

14g Glucose
60g Unsalted Butter

Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.

Bring the cream, butter and glucose to the boil and pour it over the milk chocolate pieces.

After 5 minutes use a whisk to stir the chocolate and cream together till it is smooth and glossy.

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Assemble the cake

Smear a layer of caramel on to the biscuit base.

Trim your cooled butter cake so that the top of the cake will now sit flat on the rectangle biscuit base.

Place the narrow side of the butter cake on to the caramel. Cover with plastic. Place the cake into the freezer for about 30 – 45 minutes.

Remove the cake from the freezer and carefully flip it over on to a cooling rack, the caramel will set frozen, peal the plastic off leaving the cake with a caramel dome on top.

Place a baking tray under the cooling rack and pour over the chocolate ganache. The cooling rack will allow the excess ganache to drip through leaving a smooth coating.
Technical Trick

To get the cake looking like a TWIX Bar use your hair dryer on a cool setting to blow air over the top of the ganache this will create the rippled effect.

Chop some TWIX bars and use them for decoration on top.

 

Aromatic Braised Beef Pie

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Aromatic Braised Beef Pie
Ingredients
For the filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg gravy beef, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
300g speck, rind removed and cut into thick strips
1 brown onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
125ml sherry
125ml port
250ml liquid beef stock
1 cup broad beans, peeled (use frozen if fresh unavailable)
1 herb bouquet consisting of 8 parsley sprigs, 1 large bay leaf, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2 whole cloves or allspice berries, 1 strip orange peel, wrapped and tied in cheesecloth
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
250g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

For the pastry
2½ cups plain flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
300g butter, chilled and diced
200ml sour cream
1 free-range egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk, beaten, for the egg wash

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To serve

2–3 teaspoons sesame seeds
Utensils
25cm pie dish
Serves 8–10

Preparation Method

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker pan. Season the chopped beef with salt and pepper, then add to the pan with the speck, onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the sherry, port, beef stock, broad beans and herb bouquet. Cook in the pressure cooker for approximately 25 minutes. Remove the herb bouquet and discard.

Place the butter in a separate pan, add the flour and cook it through (approximately 3 minutes). Begin adding some of the beef sauce from the pressure cooker, a little at a time, to form a rich, thick sauce. Add the beef and vegetable mixture and the mushrooms.

Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely in the fridge.

Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and butter into a food processor bowl and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream through the feed tube and process until combined, adding a little water if necessary. Place the dough onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Cut off one-third of the pastry and roll into a ball. Shape the remaining pastry into another ball. Wrap both balls then flatter out slightly wrap in cling wrap and rest the pastry for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Roll out the larger pastry ball. Line the pie tin with the pastry and place back in the fridge to rest. (A hint for rolling out pastry: spray your worktop with oil. Place a large piece of cling wrap on top and roll the pastry out onto it. This will make it easier to pick up.) Roll out the smaller piece of pastry onto baking paper, making it just a little wider to fit the top of the pie and allowing for enough pastry to be crimped around the edge. Place on a tray, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge until the filling is cold.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Fill the pie case with the completely cold beef mixture. Top with the prepared lid. Crimp the edges. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes from any remaining pieces of pastry and decorate the lid. Make a few slits with a knife for the steam to escape. Brush the top of the pie with egg wash. Sprinkle the crimped edges with a generous amount of sesame seeds. Bake for 40—45 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the dish and serving.

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Zucchini, Feta and Spinach Muffins

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There are a few recipes that can remind me of a time and a place and these Zucchini Muffins do exactly that!

Many of my childhood memories are also tied to the smell of fresh herbs, stories from grand parents and memories of traveling, music and family both near and far. When I look at the cuisine that I have grown up with I cant help but think how fortunate I have been.

Versions of this recipe mostly appear in Middle Eastern recipe books as fritters and although my grandmother made them that way as well, I think she would have been happy with my muffin version too. Its less time consuming without losing any of the taste.

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INGREDIENTS
Zucchini, Feta, and Spinach Muffins:

2 medium zucchini, grated

200g Frozen Spinach, thawed

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 Tablespoon fresh dill (chopped)

2 Tablespoon fresh Mint (chopped)

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 Spring onions sliced fine

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

½ cup Self Raising Flour

Salt and black pepper, to taste

3 Tablespoons Olive oil (plus a little extra for the cupcake Pan)

Method:

Preheat the oven 180 Degrees

Place the grated zucchini and spinach in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, wring all of the liquid and discard. Place the grated zucchini and spinach in a large bowl.

Combine the zucchini, spinach, feta, herbs, eggs, spring onions, garlic and oil. Stir to mix well.

Sprinkle in the flour and fold through until it all is incorporated and holding together.

Using a nonstick cupcake pan, add ½ teaspoon of olive oil to the base of each cupcake section and divide the batter between the 12 spots on the cupcake pan.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Note: For a Gluten Free option use Gluten Free SR Flour 🙂

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Walnut and Almond Semolina Halva – Karma-Free Dessert

Semolina halva is one of the most popular desserts found in Greece, India and the Middle-Eastern.

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The secret to good halva is to roast the semolina and the almond meal very slowly with the oil constantly stirring so as not to scorch the grains. Steam the finished halva by covering the plastic wrap and allow it to sit covered till it cools. This will ensure that every grain will be fluffy and plump.

My mother and grand mother both enjoyed making and eating halva. They had their own secret recipe which I found to be either too oily or too sweet or the grains were well crunchy would be the best descriptive word to use…..ok call me fussy!  Thankfully, after I did a little experimenting and made my version of the dessert neither of them would make it their way again preferring to use my recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe too and it becomes your favourite.

The beauty of this dessert is that you can make small variations like adding 1/4 of soaked sultanas or use cashew nuts even adding coconut milk and vanilla extract. You have a base recipe to start with. 🙂

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:
Group A
3 cups Water
1 cup Sugar (I like to use Raw Caster Sugar)

Group B
1 1/4 cup Semolina
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/3 cup Rice-Bran Oil

Group C
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
1/3 cup Walnut pieces

Method:
Combine the Group A ingredients, place over moderate heat, stirring only till sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then remove from heat.

Combine Group B in a 2 -3 litre sized saucepan and stir fry the grains over low heat till the grains are light golden and aromatic. (Take care not to scorch the grains it takes about 10 minutes).

Add Group C stir till all combined stir for a further 2-3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan of semolina from the heat, slowly pour the hot syrup into the semolina, stirring constantly. The grains will splutter at first (take care) it will quickly stop as the liquid is absorbed.

Pour the mix into a nonstick Bunt Cake pan (sprayed with oil) or as I have used individual moulds. Cover the halva with plastic wrap very tightly and set aside till it has cooled and ready to remove from the mould.

Serve cold with an extra sprinkle of semolina and crushed walnuts. I do also like making a vanilla custard to serve with the halva hot. I know it sounds strange but don’t knock it till you try it. 🙂

Enjoy

Cheers

Maria

Artful is the new Rustic!

If the thought of a recipe described as RUSTIC sends shivers down your spine consider this!

“Artful is the new Rustic!

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Bread can be described as wholesome, earthy, crusty and rustic. Countries live and breath by the bread they make and have further developed a measure of quality by which a baker is referred to as, most popular being “Artisan Bread” or “Artisan Bakers”!

Why is it that a recipe handed down from Great Grand-mother to granddaughter not warrant the same respect , the feeling of deep admiration for a carefully crafted recipe measured not by grams but handfuls and the feel of the dough being carefully nurtured through every step.

“Don’t get me wrong I love the careful precision and craftsmanship produced in modern patisserie”

My point is we need to recognise that there is true art to be seen, valued and admired if only we looked closer with a child like wonder and used our sense of smell and our curiosity to enjoy the amazing baked spectacle that has been crafted together to produced a canvas of colour and long lasting memories.For all the recipes handed down for us to enjoy and to all the  “Artful Bakers”

” THANK YOU”

Pastry
Pastry
Home made Apricot Jam
Home made Apricot Jam
Mixed Sultanas, Currants, Orange Peal
Mixed Sultanas, Currants, Orange Peal & Mixed Spices
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Egg wash and a sprinkle of Demerara Sugar

Ingredients:

160g Self-Raising Flour

2 Tablespoons Icing sugar

1 Tablespoon Custard Powder

100g Butter – Unsalted

1 Egg

65g Light Sour Cream

Filling:

1 cup mixed dry fruit (Sultana, Currant, Mixed Peal)

Apricot Jam (optional Raspberry is lovely too!)

Cinnamon Sugar (optional)

 

Egg-Wash:

1 Egg yolk

1/2 Tablespoon Milk

You will Need:

1 Baking sheet lined with baking paper

1 pastry brush

Rolling Pin

Method:

Pre-heat oven 180 Degrees

1: In a food processor add Self-Raising Flour, Icing sugar, Custard Powder and Butter process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor rub the ingredients together using your fingertips.

2: Add the egg and sourcream, bring the mixture together to form a dough ball. Do not over work the pastry.

3: On a floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry 4 – 5 mm thickness.

4: Brush the apricot jam over the pastry surface, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and lastly sprinkle over the mixed fruit. Gently roll the pastry. Place it on the baking tray brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top.

 

4: Bake till golden 25 – 30 minutes.

I hope you and your family enjoy this “Artful bake” 🙂

Happy Baking

 

Aromatic Wine Poached Pear and Almond Tart

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Poaching pears in a blend of good red wine, and boosting the warmth of the poaching liquid by adding spice aromatics like a cinnamon stick, star anise, lemon and orange peal and you have a pear that will tantalise your every taste bud with every spoonful.  

Wine Poached Pears

150g Marsalla Wine

750g Red Wine

150g Caster Sugar

1 Cinnamon Stick

Lemon and Orange Peal

1 Star Anise

10-12 Small Corella Pears (pealed and seeds hulled)

Now don’t over complicate this its as easy as.

1: You will need a pot (with a lid) that will fit all your pears side by side in an upright position.

2: Add all poaching ingredients to the pot – the wine, sugar, spices and peal. On low heat stir till sugar has dissolved.

3: Peal pears and remove the core if possible leave the stems for now (you can remove after they have been poached and cooled)

4: Place the pears in the pot, lid on and allow them to poach for about 20 – 30 minutes. Test the pears to see if they are ready by piercing with a small knife if  the tip of the knife slides in easily then they are ready, under poached pears do not have a very pleasant texture.

Just a note: At this stage you can ditch the rest of the recipe, pop the cooled poached pears with the liquid  in the fridge. They make an amazing dessert on their own with a dollop of double cream, or your favourite vanilla ice-cream and for crunch place the pear on some recently baked puff pastry sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar and you have lovely individual desserts. Don’t forget to drizzle some of the poaching liquid over the top!

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Sweet Pastry Crust

125g Butter (cubed)

125g Icing Sugar

1 Free Range Egg

250g Organic Plain Flour

25g Almond meal

The hard work has been done its time to let the food processor take over.

1: Place the flour, butter, almond meal and icing sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse 4 – 6 times till all resembles an even crumble.

2: Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water, pulse the flour mix again till it starts to come together. Remove the pastry dough push it all together, flatten out into a disc shape wrap in food grade plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 10 – 15minutes.

3: Time to make the Almond creme, once again another a handheld mixer standard mixer is perfect for this job.

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Almond Creme

125g Butter (room temperature)

125g icing Sugar

125g Almond Meal

2 Free Range Eggs (room temperature)

1 teaspoon Queens Vanilla Bean paste

1: Cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste, be a little patient and don’t rush. Once the butter and sugar are pale light and fluffy in appearance add the eggs one at a time.

2: Add the almond meal, stop beating when all ingredients have combined. Set aside for the moment.

3: Pre-Heat the oven 180 Deegrees.

Tart shell filled with almond creme
Tart shell filled with almond creme
Baked to a golden finish
Baked to a golden finish

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Arranging the poached pears
Arranging the poached pears

Assembly

1: On a lightly floured surface, roll-out the pastry about 4-5 millimetres thickness. Line the base and sides of a 26cm round nonstick fluted tart baking pan and trim the edges.

2: Fill the tart shell with the Almond Creme filling no more than 3/4 full.

3: Bake the tart on the middle shelf for approximately 25 minutes or till light golden colour. Once baked remove form the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the baking pan.

4: Decorate the cooled tart with the poached pears.

Just a note: Baking is part science and a whole lot of creativity! So you can either cut the pears in half, or slice them into wedges and arrange them around the tart. If they are small pears they look great left whole as an individual serving. Its up to you.

Happy Baking by Baking Beautiful

Maria – The Great Australian Bake Off

Band of Bakers Australia

Instergram: BakingBeautiful

 

Grab a spoon, this is going to get messy!

When I think of French baking the main ingredients come to mind flour, butter, Eggs, Sugar and Spice. Each one is carefully chosen to achieve a result of texture and flavour, it is these same carefully chosen ingredients that are used to achieve perfection and excellence in quality.

French patisserie is taken very seriously and for a chosen few it is a way of life. A modern revolution has taken place amongst pastry chefs which have chosen to push the boundaries of french classics producing elaborate masterpieces which are encased by an explosion of colours and flavours. The treasured bakeries are more like emporiums pushing the limits of reinvention, giving a twist to grandmothers treasured favourite. Breathtaking make-overs creating show stoppers filled with the imagination of an artist.

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The showcase at Le Petit Gateau is filled with what one would only describe as a visual arts show. There are certain foods that create their own special aura, a world of wonder and a dilemma for the taste buds.

Though we describe them as works of art and the initial reaction or comment made is  “It’s too beautiful to eat”, a thought that Executive Pastry Chef Pierrick Boyer said “I wish they would just eat it, and enjoy the moment”. There is a kind of momentary sadness which dissipates very quickly as your fork is plunged into your chosen dessert. With a wave of delight the “Oh its too pretty” comments are very soon forgotten. Your mouth fills with the carefully matched flavours, and layer after layer the only thought you have is that this is an experience you only wish it wouldn’t come to an end.

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I took the opportunity to spend a day at Le Petit Gateau and the team, its always a challenge to see if given the opportunity would I enjoy this type of environment. Perhaps I had been watching too many shows where the fiery tongue of a chef was prevalent and the mishaps of contestants were highlighted with an over regimented barking of orders would echo through the kitchen. Ok so a little nervous thought did travel through my mind. I must stop watching those shows!

I was greeted at the door 7.30am on the dot with huge smiles and a warm friendly welcome. With a shot of coffee under my belt and the guidance of Kim the day began. Armed with a list for the day I was more than happy to take my orders. Im happy to say that looking back the day consisted of spreading sponges, quenelles and dressing plates with consistent perfection, preparing Bomb Alaska, making meringue and vanilla bean garnish, Raspberry Souffle, biscuits and so much more! The team was amazing like a well oiled machine tasks were completed under the guiding eyes of Executive Chef Pierrick always there to advise and encourage. Before I could blink my day had come to an end. Exhilarated at the thought that I hadn’t buckled it was finally time to sit down and have a chat with Pierrick.

Q:  Where or with who did you training to become a Pastry Chef?
A:  I did my training in France & Belgium, where I worked for a year, in Strasbourg, Brussel, Reims & Bordeaux, before I worked in Italy for 6 months.

Q:  Do you have the same passion for cooking as you do for baking?
A:  Yes, as a guest & eating in restaurant, to cook the savoury dishes, not really, I don’t do it

Q: If you had to choose one dessert as your favourite what would it be?
A: Hard one, I’d say half a tiramisu & other half in creme brule! It would be one dessert right! lol

Q: Is Le Petit Gateau everything you have wanted to achieve or is there more to come?
A: It’s a good achievement & I would be happy with it in my younger years, now, I’d like to open something bigger, cater for organic breakfast & lunch and why not open over seas, how good would it be! While based in Melbourne, very important, It’s too Amazing living here 😀

I have few food hero’s to like Jean Delaveyne, Michel Roux, Raymond Blank, Emmanuel Mollis, Alain Fabregues and yes Pierrick Boyer. They are the masters and even though French cuisine is recognised for its flavours, textures, and colours it is the composition of a dish and the presentation which will always takes centre stage the ability to modernise classic with artful intent. Le Petit Gateau has the “WOW” factor and sure to impress.

I wish to thank the team a Le Petit Gateau and Pierrick Boyer for the kindness and warmth that they extended to me, and I look forward to seeing them all again very soon.

Le Petit Gateau, 458 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000 ph:  03 9944 8890

www.lepetitgateau.com.au

www.pierrickboyer.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChefPierrickBoyer

Instagram & Twitter: @pierrickboyer

Merci

Maria

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Fougasse…..Yes my guilty pleasure.

I have a confession to make, and if you haven’t guessed all ready “I love bread”.

Fougasse is one of those yeasted doughs Ive seen in books and watched bakers on food networks prepare and serve, Its always intrigued me. I have had it on my to-do list for a while now, I couldn’t think of anything better to make on a grey wet day like today.

Now I know Dan Lepard will not mind me putting one of his recipes to the “Recipe Review Test” so I have a copy of his book “Exceptional Breads” and on page 124 Roquefort and walnut fougasse. Just a little oversite on my part NO Roquefort and NO walnuts ……plain Fougasse with sesame seeds it is.

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The dough is a little softer and stickier but don’t be tempted to add more flour than required. Before flipping it onto the sesame seeds brush with a little water……thats all just a little water and rest the wet side onto the sesame seeds. Lift and flip again place on a baking tray.

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Be a little gentle with this dough it has a lovely tender texture, I have used my kitchen scissors to cut 7 to 8 slashes to create the design just putting the tip into the dough to make the hole then just pulling it into the required shape.

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Put them on the baking tray and let them rest for about 20 minutes or till they have risen again about half their size again.  Into a preheated oven at a lovely hot 220 degrees they go to bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes and the result is an amazing golden almost soft pretzel like delight. If you can let them rest on a cooling rack after they come out of the oven you are a more restrained baker than I am.

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Happy baking, and thanks for the inspiration Dan Leopard.

Christmas Baking Classes

I have always said that nothing say’s “I love you” or “I Care” or just “Thank you”
like a gift from home.

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This Christmas Baking Class will sure put a smile on everyones face with the gorgeous desserts you will learn to:

Make, Bake, Decorate and at the end of class

Take Home a wonderful sample selection of everything you have made.

BOOK NOW!

A: “Best of Bake Off”

Next Class: December, Sunday, 15th from 9.00am till 3.30pm

Only 8 places available per class.

At: LG Kitchen, Shop 90, Cecil Street, South Melbourne Market

$160 per person

A Best of Bake Off 15:12

A: In this class you will learn to make:

· Gluten Free Spiced Raspberry Tart

· Baked Honey Blossom Cheese Cake

· Choc-Orange Mini Tarts

·Mango and Raspberry Tarts

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BOOK NOW!

B: Christmas Desserts

Next Class: December, Sunday, 22nd from 9.00am till 3.30pm

Only 8 places available per class.

At: LG Kitchen, Shop 90, Cecil Street, South Melbourne Market

$180 per person

B Christmas Desserts Class 22:12

 B: In this class you will learn to make:

· Baked Honey Blossom Cheese Cake

· Tropical Meringue and White Chocolate Trifle *(Bowl will be provided)

· Red Velvet Swiss Roll with White Chocolate and Mascarpone cream

·Fancy Gingerbread Cookies

In this class you will learn:

· Techniques and recipes for home use

· Create your own unique decorations

· Rolling, cutting, baking dough

· Intricate assembly techniques

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Please email your preference for:

Class  A on Sunday 15th of December 9.00am – 3.30pm

Class B  on Sunday 22nd of December 9.00am – 3.30pm

*Please note that appropriate clothing must be worn at all times, including closed-toe footwear, preferably no loose garments or extra jewellery.

*Please do not make travel arrangements until your class has been confirmed. We do not offer refunds for classes once your payment has been processed.

*Please note participants must be 18 years of age or over.

*Note: GIFT VOUCHER ARE AVAILABLE AND WILL BE SENT VIA EMAIL – MINIMUM $10.00
Vouchers are valid for a period of 365 day(s) from date of purchase.

Sugar and Spice Gingerbread

To say that there is a special place in my heart for gingerbread would be an understatement. While baking my house is filled with the sweet spicy aromas of ginger, cinnamon and clove. I think its a warmth that touches your heart and soothes the soul that feeling of comfort and security….who would of thought that a humble biscuit was this and so much more. Christmas must be around the corner but when I really think about it there’s no need to wait gingerbread is lovely any time of the year.

Ginger Bread House and Template

  Gingerbread Dough:

100g butter chopped

1 cup Brown Sugar (Firmly packed)

1/2 cup Molasses

1/2 cup Golden Syrup

1 egg (lightly whisked)

4.5 – 5 cup Plain Flour (extra for dusting)

1 Tablespoons Ground Ginger

1 Tablespoons Cinnamon

1 Tablespoons Ground Cloves

1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

Royal Icing:

1 x Queen Royal Icing (Instant mix)

Method:

1: Place butter, brown sugar, Molasses and Golden Syrup in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Set aside for 10 min to cool. Add the egg well.

2: Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and bicarbonate of soda. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Combine all and knead until smooth. Alternatively –  pour the butter mix into the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment and on slow add the flour mix till all comes together.

3: Wrap the dough in food plastic flatten out into a disc shape and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4: Preheat oven to 180C. Roll portions of the dough out directly onto the baking paper about 3 – 4 millimetres thick.

5: Use the template to guide you and cut out the shapes required,  remove excess ginger bread dough.  Place another piece of baking paper over the dough and cover with another baking tray. (this will help to keep the gingerbread flat).

6: Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Once baked use the template to guide you once again and trim any edges straight. Please note the gingerbread will still be soft and Very Very Very HOT! so take care.  Once trimmed transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

7: Decorate the baked ginger bread and set aside to set before assembling the structure.

After you have cut all your Gingerbread pieces any remaining dough would make perfect gingerbread figurines to enjoy with a cup of tea while showing off your masterpiece.

The decorations are really all up to you.

I have used stencils as well as the:

Queen Royal Icing

Queen Pansies

Queen Soft Sugar Pearls – Pink

Which you can find in most supermarkets in the baking section.