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Posts tagged ‘Gingerbread’

A New Years Trifle of Gingerbread & Nectarine

 (3)Now don’t fall off you’re perch’s because I’m posting twice in one week.  This is not a New Years resolution either so no one get too excited please. The next post could be a month away. I have just had more time over Christmas with the shop closed till the 7th but I am already writing my lists for shopping, preparing and baking to be done Monday. This was our New Years Eve dessert which followed Braised beef cheek and ribs, Mexican spiced. Accompanied with a piquant coleslaw,  bean & corn salad and homemade tacos. It was a gloriously sunny evening, we ate outside and lit the outdoor fire as the sunset so we could spend the rest of the evening outdoors. I have to confess, we didn’t see the New Year, I’m not much good with late nights, even on special occasions. Does it really matter if one doesn’t stay up till after midnight?

The recipe will made 6 individual servings or one medium sized trifle bowl. You can prepare all the components of the trifle or buy some of them depending how you feel and how much time you have. I have offered recipes for each part if you are feeling adventurous. I thought of buying a gingerbread loaf when contemplating the recipe, cursing that I hadn’t frozen some from my shop before we closed for Christmas, but when I looked at what the supermarket had to offer I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

I’m also submitting this for our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by Alessandra If you pop over you will find more delectable sweet treats by fellow bloggers.

Simple Gingerbread Sponge

Preheat oven 160C, Line approx 18cm cake tin or tray with greaseproof.

100g butter, melted, 100g golden syrup, 1 free range egg, 100g self raising flour, handful crystalized ginger, roughly chopped. Save a few pieces of ginger for slicing and decorating the trifles.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter. Add the egg and beat mixture again. Add the chopped ginger and flour and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into lined cake tin and bake to 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before using in the trifle. Crumble sponge roughly once cool.

Creme Anglaise

200ml cream or milk, 2 medium free range eggs, 1 heaped Tbsp castor sugar, seeds of 1 vanilla pod

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. In a saucepan heat cream or milk and vanilla bean seeds over a medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot milk/cream over the egg mix and whisk while pouring to prevent eggs scrambling (easier if you get an extra hand to help you). Turn heat down to low and pour the mixture back into the saucepan, cook over the low heat whisking all the time until sauce thickens. It’s important to keep whisking to prevent sauce sticking to bottom of pan. Once thickened pour into a clean bowl and cover with lid or plastic wrap to cool.

Poached Nectarines

6 nectarines (or you could use peaches), 1 vanilla pod (I use an empty pod that has already had its seeds used above)

Half and de-stone the nectarines. Place them in a pan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. I don’t add sugar to the water as the tart fruit contrast well with the other sweeter ingredients in the trifle. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow fruit to cool in water. If fruit is quite ripe then you may only need to simmer for 5 minutes or use the fruit fresh. Once cool slice nectarines into wedges, approx 12 wedges per nectarine.

Whipped Cream

150ml whipping cream whipped to soft peak. Or you can use more cream if you prefer a thicker layer of cream!

Assembly

Layer nectarines, sponge, creme Anglais then cream. A few slices of crystalized ginger for decoration.

sweetnz

Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations

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This is a wonderful way to decorate your Christmas tree over the festive season, although there is no guarantee they will last very long on the tree! You can also wrap them individually with cellophane so they will keep fresh longer.

My friend from Frankfurt introduced me to the tradition of making Lebkucken/Gingerbread biscuits at Christmas time many years ago and I have kept up the tradition even though we now live on opposite sides of the world.

Ingredients

  • 450g self raising flour
  • 110g butter
  • 1 tblsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 200g honey
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 1 large egg (beaten)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Place flour and spice into a bowl.
  3. Melt butter, sugar & honey in a pan over a how heat until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the honey mixture to the flour and spices, combine and leave to cool. Dough should come away from sides of bowl and form a ball.
  5. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the egg and kneed into dough.
  7. If the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.
  8. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest in fridge for at least 20 minutes (you can leave it over night). If you use the dough immediately it will swell more when baking and loose it’s cookie shape.
  9. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 cm thick and cut out with Christmas cookie cutter shapes.
  10. Make a whole at the top of each cookie dough with a skewer or straw so you can thread ribbon once cooked.
  11. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place cookies with space around them as they will expand when cooking.
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from tray once cooled.
  14. Decorate as desired with icing.
  15. Thicker icing can be piped, see tree cookie in picture or dipped as in the angel cookie in picture. Have fun adding other decorations like silver balls, cherries, sugared sweets.
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