Festive Gingerbread Biscuits
Jessica Pedemont, Chocolate Artisan
250g Pepe Saya cultured butter
300g Wildflower, stone ground, Rosella Flour
1tsp or 6g Olsson salt sea salt
3tsp or 10g Spice Zen gingerbread spice mix
75g Carriageworks honey
15g South Pacific cacao, cacao husk
1 egg (average 60g)
200g Brown sugar
250g Plain flour
1 1/4 tsp or 7.5g Bicarbonate of soda
1. In a saucepan over low heat melt butter. Add spices, treacle, brown, honey and salt. Stir until evenly incorporated, take off heat.
2. Sift bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, large enough that will be able to incorporate all ingredients by the end of the recipe. Gradually add the hot liquid from the saucepan while stirring with a spoon or a whisk till evenly incorporated. This will have a rising effect as the bicarb is alkaline, and the sugars are an acid, but it will come back down.
3. Allow to cool for a few hours to room temperature or leave overnight. You can put in the fridge should you wish to chill this down quicker. The reason we can’t add it to the flour now, as it will cook the flour and will turn out like a gluggy paste.
4. Once the liquids at the right temperature, you can add the egg and the cacao husk mix it in really well. Then you can add the two types flour and mix really well with a wooden spoon till it just comes together as a dough. You don’t want to keep mixing it unnecessarily as it will develop the gluten structure and the biscuits will turn out a lot tougher. If you feel the mixture is too wet you can add a little bit more flour or if you feel it’s too dry you can always add a little bit of water.
5. Remove from bowl, wrap in baking paper, plastic wrap or equivalent. Flatten to around 2-3cm, allowed to firm in the fridge for a few hours minimum or overnight. This dough is freezable.
6. Roll the dough out on a floured surface or between two sheets of baking paper. Lifting the paper occasionally, so the dough can spread nicely when rolling. I do flip the dough as I’m rolling. Once you’ve reached the desired thickness, keeping them all the same thickness I’d say aim for 5mm. You can chill this again on a tray and then when ready, cut out and place on a baking tray and popped into the preheated oven of 160 to 180°C, depending how strong your oven is, baked to lightly golden on edges. You can bake longer for a harder crunchier biscuit. You can use this mixture for gingerbread houses also!
Royal icing ingredients
250g Pure icing sugar
30g Egg white
10g Lemon juice
5g Glycerin (optional) stop the royal icing from completely drying out and becoming hard long-term.
Royal icing method
1. By hand with a whisk or put in a stand mixer with a paddle. Beat all ingredients on low to incorporate, and then on medium to high for five minutes until light and fluffy. Keep covered with a damp cloth to stop it from crusting, use as needed with piping bag or spatula.
Add sprinkles should you wish.
Chocolate Artisan is a regular stallholder at the Carriageworks Farmers Market.