Christmas Sweets - Chocolate Gingerbread

Saturday, 26 December 2009

What a glorious Christmas Day we had yesterday - filled with delicious goodies that I love to bake. I'm much more a sweet baker than a savoury chef, and I relished creating these goodies for the family. They were devoured and much appreciated!

In the first of this short series of Christmas Sweets, I'll treat you to my most loved recipes for each - they are chocolate gingerbread, rocky road, mango curd tart with almond crust and gingerbread ice cream.

First the chocolate gingerbread, which can be made a few days before Christmas...


5½ cups plain flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
225g (½ pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
6 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup golden syrup (or dark molasses)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in spices and salt then eggs and golden syrup. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Don’t over-knead.

Roll out dough between two sheets baking paper to 5mm (1/8 inch) thick. Leaving paper on, lay it in the fridge for about an hour. The dough will darken in colour.

Heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line baking sheets with baking paper. Remove top sheet from dough and cut into desired shapes. Transfer to baking sheets.

Bake around 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on cookies to make sure they are not darkening underneath. If you like them softer, cook less time; if you like them crisp, cook a little longer.

Cool on wire racks.

Decorate with icing made from sifted icing sugar (powdered sugar) and fresh lemon juice (mix until it reaches a thick but fluid pouring consistency.

Lay chocolate gingerbread out for Santa with other chocolate-flavoured treats.

Tune in tomorrow for rocky road!

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