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January 01, 2019
Gingerbread in various forms goes back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for ceremonial purposes. It turned up in Northern Europe in the 11th Century when the Crusaders brought ginger back from the Middle East for their cooks. When prices for ginger and other spices reduced, it became popular with the masses.
Gingerbread tied with a ribbon was popular at fairs and, when exchanged, became a token of love. This is the loaf version of gingerbread a little like the Polish piernik but without the coffee.
Gingerbread is considered an art form in many parts of Europe and some have gingerbread baking guilds sanctioned by Government from the Middle Ages.
Ingredients:250gms plain flour250mls full fat milk200gms golden caster sugar175gms unsalted butter3 tbsp golden syrup2 tbsp ground ginger1 tsp ground allspice1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
optional – add ginger stem or crystalized ginger to the mix, or use to decorate
Method:Preheat oven to 175⁰C. Grease and line a loaf cake tin.
In a saucepan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup. Add the milk and bring to the boil. Once boiled remove from heat and allow to cool. Mix the flour, ginger, allspice and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl. Blend the cooled mixture to the flour mixture until all incorporated.
Pour mixture into the prepared tin. Turn oven down to 155⁰C and place in oven. Bake for appx 55 mins, or until skewer inserted comes out clean and cake feels firm to touch.
Gaby Van Clarke
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