Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Men

350g plain flour
1-2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g butter or margarine
175g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons golden syrup
Makes about 20 biscuits.

Put the flour, ginger and soda into a bowl and rub in the butter.

Add sugar and stir in the syrup and egg to make a firm dough.

Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut out your gingerbread men. If you don't have a gingerbread man cutter then use whatever you have - stars and hearts are just as tasty.

Bake at 190 C /Gas 5 on greased baking trays (spaced out, as they will spread) for 10 to 15 mins until golden brown. Leave to firm up for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cook.

Variations: Swap the ginger for cinnamon or a few drops of vanilla essence if you don't like ginger. Swap golden syrup for treacle, if preferred.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Easy Microwave Fudge

This recipe for microwave fudge has a crumbly texture (like butter tablet), rather than a chewy one, and is much quicker and easier to make than traditional fudge.

100g (4oz) milk or plain chocolate, broken into pieces
100g (4oz) butter, melted (not low fat spread)
450g (1lb) icing sugar
45ml (3tbsp) milk
a few drops of vanilla or other flavouring essence (optional)
Place the chocolate into a glass heatproof bowl and heat on medium for 2-3 minutes. Stop the cooking time and stir every 30 seconds or so, until just melted.

Add the butter, icing sugar, essence and milk, mix well.

Heat on high for 3-4 minutes, take out of the microwave and beat well every minute.

The mixture and bowl will be very hot, so take care.

When the mixture starts to set around the edges of the bowl and becomes thicker, it's ready to pour into a greased, 20cm x 15cm (8" x 6") dish.

Allow to set for a few minutes before marking into squares using a knife, and leave to cool before removing from the tin.

Place in paper sweet cakes and keep in an airtight container for upto a week.