Wednesday 9 October 2013

Making Gingerbread (the Real Life version)

I love gingerbread and Coco is getting rather a taste for it too.
There is a bakery right at the school gates and every now and again we buy gingerbread men for an after school snack. It's getting to the point where Henry will also request a gingerbread man every time we pass the bakery now so I thought it was about time I had a go at making some. Also, after our gingerbread from The Biscuiteers which was vastly superior to - but not quite as convenient as our normal supply I wondered if the homemade stuff would also be better.

I also needed an excuse to fill these beautiful cake tins which were kindly sent to me by Joules. I didn't even know they did a home range. They are going to be put to good use over the next few months I think with the onset of autumn and the baking season. The flowery one is truly massive, the perfect transportation for a victoria sponge...  the smallest fox one (my favourite) looks like it's destined to become our permanent biscuit tin.

So anyway - the seemingly simple task of making some gingerbread somehow turned into an epic two stage process. That's what happens when you add Coco and Henry into the mix.
We followed this recipe from the BBC website. 
Above is pretty much the moment that I wondered what I'd started... Henry was determined to press the buttons on the food mixer and Coco wanted to lick the syrup spoon... meanwhile I was just taking pictures. Hairy.
Of course Coco had to wear a princess dress throughout the whole process. 

We did get some good 'team work'...

I'm not sure if it was because the dough got a little overworked... but our gingerbread spread a lot (and obviously I failed to didn't put the biscuits far enough apart) meaning we ended up with some interesting shapes.

The next day I tried to get prepared so that Coco could decorate a gingerbread man as her after school snack in the 20 minutes we have between getting back from picking her up from school and heading out to get Henry from nursery.

Mid - decorating. This went on for pushing on two hours if you include the 20 minute Henry collection interval.

Henry joined in when he got home too.
(Have you spotted that pile of kids aprons hanging up in the background... useful that I remembered to use those eh!)

Henry's first gingerbread man seemed to suffer an in-icing injury...

I feel like I want to put this batch down as my 'experimental' batch - it can only get better; I'm definitely up for some further practice batches, without the hindrance of children around possibly. The gingerbread tastes good and we have snacks for the foreseable future... but at some point in the process I decided that maybe I should make Coco a gingerbread house for her birthday in a months time. Can a gingerbread novice reach such dizzying heights? We'll see. 

Thank you very much to Joules for the cake tins - now I just need an exercise plan to counteract all my baking plans.

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