A classic Polish honey gingerbread cake is adapted by Edd Kimber. It's layered with plum jam and coated in chocolate with sprinkles of edible gold
- 140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 300g clear honey
- 100g light brown sugar
- 375g self-raising flour
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 200g plum jam
- 225ml double cream
- 140g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- edible gold powder (optional)
MethodGrease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. Put the honey, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat until fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Put the flour and spices in a large bowl and mix everything together.
- 1kg plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
- 300g cold butter, diced
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 450g light soft brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 225g golden syrup
- 300g royal icing sugar
- few ping-pong-size balls of regal icing, wrapped in cling film
- Put about half the flour in a food processor with the butter and whizz until you can’t see any lumps of butter remaining. Mix the remaining flour, spices and bicarb together with a pinch of salt. Tip both the floury mixtures into your largest mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. (If you don’t have a food processor, rub the butter into all of the flour until it resembles fine crumbs. Then stir in the spices, bicarb and sugar.) Whisk the eggs with the golden syrup and stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Using your hands, knead together into a smooth dough.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll a quarter of the dough out at a time on a sheet of baking parchment, to the thickness of 2 x £1 coins. Use a small, sharp knife to cut around the house templates (see tips, below)– remember that each time you’ll need 2 x A, 2 x B and 2 x C for one house. Remove trimmings and lift the gingerbread, on its parchment, onto baking trays. Re-roll trimmings to cut out all the shapes you need.
- Bake the gingerbread one tray at a time on a high shelf in the oven for 8-10 mins, until a lovely, rich brown and firm to the touch. As soon as each tray is baked, carefully sit the templates back onto the relevant shapes and trim any edges to neaten. Use a cutter to stamp out any windows or cut away any doors with a small, sharp knife. Let all the biscuits cool completely.
- Sieve the royal icing sugar into a bowl and stir in dribbles of water until you have a stiff icing. Spoon some into a food bag (cover the rest), snip the tiniest bit off the corner and pipe any icing decorations you want onto the gingerbread. Leave to dry.
- Arrange the wall biscuits as you are going to assemble them, then pipe icing along the side edges and stick the walls together. Pipe extra icing where the walls join each other on the inside of the house, and support the sides using your icing balls. Leave for a few hrs until set.
- Once dry, stick on the roofs, as above – you may need to hold the biscuits on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to set – or shape your icing balls to support the edges of the roof. Set overnight, then use any remaining royal icing to help you decorate your houses with sweets and sprinkles.
- 100g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 50g chopped crystallised ginger
- 225g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Mix sugar with ginger, allspice and cinnamon. Spoon into a jar and pack down tightly. Add a layer of crystallised ginger. Mix flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and spoon on top of the ginger. Put on the lid, decorate with ribbons and a cookie cutter.
- Label with cooking instructions: Mix 150g melted butter with 1 tbsp golden syrup and 1 egg yolk. Add to the dry ingredients, mix well, then knead to a dough. Chill for 15 mins then roll out. Cut into biscuits and bake at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack.
- 650g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 175g butter, cut into cubes
- 225g brown sugar
- 175g black treacle
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2x 120g tubes white ready-to-use icing
- 2x chocolate flake bars
- 2x 200g packs white mini marshmallows
- 200g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- coloured lollies, chocolate buttons, sweets
- 30cm square silver cake board
- Place the flour, ginger, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and pulse until they resemble breadcrumbs (do this in two batches if the bowl is small). Combine the sugar, treacle and egg in a large mixing bowl. Tip in the flour mix and stir, then bring the dough together with your hands. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover and chill for at least 1 hr.
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line three baking sheets with non-stick paper. Divide the dough into three and roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of two £1 coins. Using the templates, cut out two each for the roof, sides and two pointed end walls. Lift them onto the baking sheets. Re-roll scraps of dough, then cut out the small trees. Bake for 12 mins or until just firm. Leave to firm up for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To assemble the house, pipe a door on an end wall and a window on a side wall, using the squeezy icing. Pipe icing generously along one long edge of one side wall and stick it to the board. Repeat with an end wall, join the corners with a line of icing, then fix a flake bar to the base as a 'foundation'. Stick the remaining walls together. Use another flake bar to support the other end wall. Fix on the roof pieces, then leave overnight to set.
- Stick the marshmallows all over the roof, using the decorating icing as glue. Fix chocolate buttons around the door and to cover the corner joins. Pipe icicles along the front edge of the roof using the squeezy icing – start each one with a small pea-sized blob of icing. Pull the icing nozzle downwards and away from the blob – the icing will break off in a jagged 'icicle'. Alternatively, decorate with a line of white chocolate buttons.
- Mix the icing sugar with drops of water until you have a thick but spreadable icing. Spread this over the board and decorate with the lollipops (fastened to soft sweets), sweets, chocolate buttons and gingerbread trees. Dust lightly with icing sugar for a snowy effect.
- NOTE: To make the templates draw each shape on card or paper, using the following measurements. Side walls: 16cm x 10cm. Roof walls: 19cm x 12cm. End walls: Total height 18cm to the apex. 10cm tall to the top of the box. Angled line 11cm long.