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Ormskirk Gingerbreads

In York I bought a really good book about Northern English food - From Eccles Cake to Hawkshead Wig: A Celebration of Northern Food - and read about "Ormskirk gingerbread". Never heard of it before (nor been to Ormskirk) but it sounded like a good recipe so I made some for the dorks at dorksnow and they went down very well.

By the way, I added brazil nuts to the recipe, which is totally and utterly non-traditional but I fancied it. You can include them or leave them out - I've done both ways, both are good, but I recommend adding the brazil nuts.

  • 500g plain flour
  • 200g dark brown soft sugar
  • 200g margarine
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4-6 tsp ginger (powder)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (powder)
  • 100g brazil nuts, finely chopped

Cream the marge and sugar together with a fork. Add the golden syrup too.

Sift the flour and ginger and cinnamon in. Be generous with the ginger, and stingy with the cinnamon - you don't want the cinnamon to be noticeable.

Also add the brazil nuts. It's OK if there are some larger bits of brazil nut, that adds to the texture.

Mix it all together well, then shape with your hands into flat rounds, say roughly about 1cm thick and 6cm across.

Lay them out on a floured baking tray and bake at 170ÂșC for 25 or 30 minutes, until they just turn a baked colour. They'll burn easily so don't overdo them. Apparently a "falling heat" is a good way of doing them: I tried both ways, a constant temperature the whole time, or turning the oven off halfway through, didn't notice much difference.

Put them on a wire rack to cool. (This stage is important cos that's when they firm up and get that nice crunchy texture on the outside, while still being cakey in the centre.)

This made 18 nice big biscuits when I did it.

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