Saturday, June 30, 2012

Queen's Gingerbread - belatedly for the Diamond Jubilee

I am a hoarder of recipes that I see online.  Some of them I print, some of them I email to myself.  I have so many of them that I will never make them all.  If I don't act quickly, I forget about them and never end up making them, and discover them years later in a heap of papers or in my email box.

When I saw Dan Lepard's recipe for Queen's Gingerbread in The Guardian online, I knew that I had to make it.  It intrigued me because Dan said that it was what the Elizabethans would have called a sweetbread.  I was also hooked because it contained crystallised ginger - one of my favourite things in all the world. To ensure that I didn't put the recipe in a drawer and forget about it, I printed it off and left it on my kitchen bench until I got around to it.  The first attempt at making it was aborted as I lacked a crucial ingredient - ground ginger. Not to be thwarted, I left my lined cake tin on the counter and bought the ground ginger the next night.

This gingerbread is not a cake or a cookie - it is more like a slice (or what Americans call a bar cookie).  It is very substantial, so a small piece goes a long way.  For this reason, I ended up chopping the pieces in the photograph in half again for serving purposes.

The gingerbread is quite dense, and contains sugar, honey and treacle (or in my case, golden syrup).  It is studded, not only with crystallised ginger, but dried apricots, and features almonds on top.  The spices in this gingerbread are ginger, cinnamon,  nutmeg and mace.  I left out the mace as I didn't have any.

I really enjoyed this gingerbread for a change. I won't say that I loved it so much I would hurry to make it again, but I think it would be a great edible Christmas gift.  Dan published the recipe as Diamond Jubilee baking, so that is the occasion that I dedicate mine to - congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II on a stellar achievement of 60 years on the throne of the United Kingdom.