Suggestions for when you just don’t know what to do. This week is all about baking.
Whenever I think about gingerbread men, I automatically think of Shrek. In particular, the scene of “Gingy” under the hands of Lord Farquaad. His legs were severed and being danced around him which at the time, I realise was traumatic. However, he was saved in the form of icing ‘stitches’, which I believe is a nice analogy reiterating that things can be mended if given the right tools
Making gingerbread men would have been a great way to pass time during level 4, alongside the hype of making bread. Instead, I planned this with a friend right when level 2 was announced in order to celebrate our freedom. Why though? Of all the things we possibly could have done, we decided instead to remain indoors.
The point wasn’t the activity itself, but rather taking the time to talk to each other without the bustle of others interrupting. Lockdown was hard on a lot of us and I felt it was important to take the time to reach out, to ensure that we’re all okay.
To begin, I have interpreted the recipe from New Zealand’s very own Chelsea Sugar website which has been a tried and proven success.
2 cups of flour
½ tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp of ground ginger
1 cup of brown sugar
150g of butter
1 tbsp of golden syrup.
1 egg white
1 ½ cup of icing sugar
Rolling pin (wine bottle works as well)
Electric beater (or a whisk, but I don’t recommend that for the sake of your arm)
Piping bags (or just a plain Ziploc)
Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 degrees on bake. Mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar and ginger. Next, you’ll want to soften the butter to room temperature (do not melt) and then incorporate it to the mixture with your fingers (or a food processor) until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg and golden syrup to get a smooth looking dough, and if that doesn’t work, just add more syrup. Now, it is ready to roll out on a floured table to cut your shapes and then placed on a lined tray to be put into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
As for the icing, separate the egg whites, and if you don’t know how to do that, there are great tutorials online. Afterwards, beat the egg white until it forms a peak (lift the whisk from the mixture and it should stay upright like a snowy Mt Ruapehu ) and slowly add the icing sugar while still beating to form stiff peaks (this might take a while if you’re doing it by hand).
And there you have it! Separate into different bowls to add food dye before putting it into a piping bag. No bag? No problem! just use a ziplock, or plastic bag and cut a tiny hole on the corner in order in order to start decorating.