soft gingerbread tiles with lemon butter glaze

15 Jan 2018

When I returned to Sydney I bought a few items at the Boxing Day sales including these snowflake pie crust cutters. I doubt I'll ever use them to decorate pies but I thought they'd make great cookie cutters.

I couldn't wait to use them and I knew exactly what to make, the soft gingerbread tiles with lemon butter glaze from Sweet by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.

I made a few adaptations to the original recipe. I don't like the taste of molasses and didn't have any treacle in the house, so I used golden syrup instead. To save time I threw everything into the food processor and found I didn't need to use the full quantity of golden syrup. When I made the glaze I went down the non-alcoholic route and used lemon juice rather than rum.

The original recipe said it would make 12-14 biscuits depending on the size of the cookie stamp but I made about 30 cookies. I was a bit generous with the glaze so I ran out, so if you use small cutters like I did, you might need to make a little more glaze. 

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams; I use unsalted butter and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Lemon Butter Glaze - makes 30 small cookies
Soft Gingerbread 
235g plain flour
1 tbs dutch process cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
85g unsalted butter at room temperature
90g brown sugar
75-100g golden syrup
1 large egg yolk

Rum or Lemon Butter Glaze
80g icing sugar
⅛ tsp cinnamon
15g unsalted butter, melted and warm
15 mls dark rum (or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon warm water

Place the dry ingredients into a food processor and whiz for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and sugar and whiz until soft breadcrumbs form. Add the egg yolk and the golden syrup and whiz until the mix comes together. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.If the dough is soft you may need to chill the dough before rolling out.

Preheat oven 190ºC. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside. Roll out the dough so it’s 6mm thick Dip the cookie stamps in a small bowl of flour, shake off any excess and then press them firmly into the dough, one at a time, to create a deep imprint. Using a round biscuit cutter that is slightly larger than the pattern, cut out the pieces of imprinted gingerbread.

Transfer the cookies to the lined baking trays about 1-inch apart. Re-roll the dough and continue to stamp and cut until all the dough is used up. Bake for 9-10 mins, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm to the touch. Don’t be tempted to cook any longer as the gingerbread will continue to firm as they cool.

While the biscuits are in the oven, prepare the glaze as it needs to be brushed on while they are still warm. Sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the melted butter, rum (or lemon juice) and water and mix with a spoon until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits around, so stir through a little more warm water if you need to – it should be the consistency of runny honey.

Remove the biscuits from the oven, leave to rest for 5 mins, then brush or dab the glaze all over with a pastry brush. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Biscuits will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.

Like all Ottolenghi recipes, this one worked like a dream and the gingerbread was packed with flavour.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


apricot and almond cake

8 Jan 2018

Hi Every-one,

Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of 2018. I may have taken a break from blogging but I've done plenty of baking since my last post. I think I baked at least 4 dozen mince pies and made a huge batch of chocolate chip cookie bark to share with my Brisbane friends while I was away.

I normally make plum cake at this time of year, however apricots have been plentiful and not too expensive this summer so I thought I'd make an apricot cake instead.

I made the cake on a very hot Sydney day and the smell of the cake as it baked almost distracted me from the heat coming from the kitchen. The cake came out of the oven looking golden brown and smelling delicious.

This cake is nothing complicated, just a lemon scented butter cake topped with apricots and almonds but often simple is delicious.

If you'd like to make this at home, here is the recipe for you which makes an 18 cm cake. I think you could also bake this in a 20cm cake tin but you'd just layer all the apricot slices on the top of the cake and it might need a little less time to bake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams; I use unsalted butter and my oven is a conventional gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Apricot and almond cake  
Cake Ingredients  
6 apricot 
125 grams (4 oz) unsalted butter  
100 grams (½ cup) caster sugar  
1 tsp grated lemon rind  
2 eggs  
3/4 cup self raising flour  
½ tsp baking powder 
¼ cup (35 g) finely ground whole almonds 
1/4 cup milk or plain yoghurt  
tablespoons caster sugar  
tbs flaked almonds 
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line the base and sides of an 18 cm springform tin with baking paper.  
Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Slice each apricot half into thirds and sprinkle with little of the extra caster sugar. Set aside.   
To make the cake, cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until combined well. Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir through the ground almonds. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk to make a soft batter. You may not need to use all the milk.  
Spoon half the batter into the lined tin then decoratively arrange half the apricot slices over the top of the cake, sprinkling the apricots with some caster sugar. Spoon the remaining cake batter over the apricots gently pressing the remaining apricot slices down into the batter. Sprinkle with the rest of the caster sugar and the flaked almondsBake the cake for 50 minutes – 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown and tests cooked when a skewer is inserted into it.  Cool the cake in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.  

I took this into work today to sweeten my workmate's first day back at work for 2018. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

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