English Gingerbread – Christmas Baking, part 2

My mum calls it “English Gingerbread” but its ‘real’ name is Chocolate Gingerbread and it’s a recipe by Nigella Lawson. It’s the first of only two of her recipes I’ve ever tried as for some reason I’ve never warmed to her and her TV shows. I did read her column in The Guardian, I think it was, at the time when we still read the paper paper. Anyway, it’s a personal favourite with my mum and so the kids and I made this again this year. I never got round to making it last year even though it was on the list…

The recipe is here. I have reduced the dark muscovado sugar to 80g and found it actually tastes much better. Normally it’s neither here nor there if you have a third less sugar but in this case it enhances the chocolatey-ness of the Gingerbread. What works rather well too is replacing the choc chips with grated chocolate. I suppose that would depend what you’re after: with choc chips you get chunky bits, the grated chocolate just melts into the Gingerbread. This year we used a mixture.

Black treacle and golden syrup are melted with butter and spices:


It doesn’t look very pretty:


I bake the Gingerbread in my brownie tin instead of a 30×20 roasting tin. The Gingerbread comes out higher that way and needs 45 minutes in the oven plus ten extra minutes with the oven turned off.


The Gingerbread is covered in an icing made out of butter, ginger ale and cocoa melted together before whisked together with icing sugar:



They’re then cut in sticks. Because the Gingerbread rises up so high in the brownie tin and we want small(-ish) bites, I cut them in sticks of about one centimetre thick. My mum says she likes them like that but I just might try the roasting tin version again next year…

Here are a couple of the Gingerbread sticks, the top layer of three or so in a shoe box (we keep Christmas cookies in shoe boxes on the balcony – that keeps them fresh all winter):



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