Gingerbread: A fantastic Autumn recipe. A soft, warming cake: Good gingerbread is an absolute delight to eat, particularly as the colder months begin to set in.
Gingerbread was brought to Europe in 992 by Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis from Greece, who taught French Christians in Bondaroy how to bake it. Since then, gingerbread spread across Europe and, subsequently during the Age of Discovery, the world, and remains a highly popular treat in many countries. Gingerbread biscuits would develop later, believed to be around the 17th century.
There are a dizzying array of gingerbread and forms of gingerbread, and to make matters more confusing, it can refer to both the cake or a type of biscuit in England. Variants on gingerbread include peperkoek, a soft and crumbly gingerbread served thickly sliced with butter in the Netherlands and Belgium; Lebkuchen, from Germany, which comes in either soft or hard form and takes a number of shapes, often with a fruity filling and Parkin, a more local delight which adds black treacle and oatmeal to create a heartier cake!
There are an incredible amount of different varieties of gingerbread, but this recipe, courtesy of Joyce, is for the traditional gingerbread cake: Soft, fluffy, sweet and spicy, everything you look for when Autumn rolls around!
This recipe is for filling 2 loaf tins.
10 ounces Plain Flour
2.5 teaspoons of Ground Ginger
1.25 teaspoons of Mixed Spice.
1.25 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda
2.5 ounces of Soft Brown Sugar
5 ounces of margarine
10 ounces of Golden Syrup
1/2 a pint of milk
2 eggs, beaten
- Grease and line your baking tins.
- Melt the margarine, syrup and sugar together, mix well and set to one side.
- In a mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the milk to the melted syrup mixture to cool slightly before adding the beaten eggs, and stir well.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk. At this point, the mixture will be quite runny: Don’t worry, this is to be expected!
- Pour the mixture into your lined tins and bake at 150 Celsius/300 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 2 for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.