Nothing shouts Christmas Time more at you than the smell of gingerbread. There is something about the mixture of spices in a freshly-made gingerbread that conveys warmth and homeliness and makes you want to cuddle up under a duvet with a hot chocolate and stare at a log fire.
Here is my personal favourite:
- 60g candied ginger
- 50g sultanas
- 50g dark chocolate (plus 50-100g for coating)
- 200g honey
- 100g butter
- 100g muscovado sugar
- 2-3 drops almond flavouring
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 slightly heaped tsp baking powder
- 375g flour
Blend the candied ginger, sultanas and dark chocolate until you get a relativeky smooth paste. In a Teflon-coated pot, melt the butter, muscovado sugar and honey, stirring the mixture until smooth and leave it to cool.
Grind the cloves and mix them with the cocoa powder, cinnamon and ground ginger, then add the eggs and almond flavouring. Sieve the flour and baking powder, then add the spice mix and sweet butter mixture.
Gently stir in the fruit and chocolate paste. Pour the dough onto a small tray lined with baking paper, smooth it into a 3-4cm high square and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30min. Leave to cool.
Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes or use a knife to cut the gingerbread into small rectangles. Melt the chocolate in a water bath and dip each shape into the chocolate until fully coated. Lave the shapes to cool at room temperature until the chocolate has set.