Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Marriage of Taste

Gingerbread has not really been "in vogue" for a while now.  It's funny how foods go through cycles of popularity - from being on every trendy bistro menu to suddenly disappearing.  Prawn cocktail, baked Alaska, Black Forest gateau have all made the comeback as "retro foods". So why not gingerbread?  I have to admit I love gingerbread and remember my mother making big trays of it when I was a child.  She had an old beaten up copy of Maura Laverty's Full and Plenty, which was well-used and had drawings of cats and other doodles at the back, done by my father and me and my siblings.  Funny the things you remember - so when I found the copy at home recently I got all nostalgic for gingerbread.  There are four recipes in the book and I just took down one and true to form modified it. 

I made it the first time recently - the same weekend I had invited people to dinner.  More due to laziness than anything else I decided to turn the gingerbread into dessert and started thinking how I could "jazz" it up.  For some strange reason caramel sauce came into my head.  I had never made it before so did a search in Google for a recipe.  What followed was a marriage made in heaven.  Some combinations just work together and this works supremely well.  I served the gingerbread with the caramel sauce and a good vanilla ice cream. 

This is my version of Maura Laverty's Recipe

100g Butter
150g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
300g spelt flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. grated zest of lemon
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 tsp. ground ginger
A piece of stem ginger (optional)
half a cup of boiling water
2 heaped tablespoons of treacle or molasses

Cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time and continue beating. Add lemon zest, nutmeg, ginger, stem ginger chopped finely, treacle or molasses.  Then fold in sifted flour, baking powder and gradually beat in boiling water.

Place in a lined roasting tin and bake in a pre-heated oven gas mark 4 for about an hour or until feels firm to a light touch.

Caramel Sauce
100g butter
100g brown sugar
100ml cream

Heat together until combined and then simmer for a few minutes.  Pour into a jug.  It can be re-heated in the microwave if it cools and thickens.

Gingerbread   Caramel Sauce  Maura Laverty  Full and Plenty Cakes  Dessert Recipe Ideas  Food

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