A while ago my friend Liz told me she and her lovely fiancée Mark had decided to have Gingerbread as the favours at their wedding, her bridesmaid Bec and I volunteered to make them.
So if you need to make 240 pieces of gingerbread for a wedding, here’s how!
Recipe: (ever so slightly doctored from a Waitrose one) – you’ll need to make about 5 times this amount to ensure enough decent hearts and allow for breakages and burning.
125g Unsalted Butter
100g Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
325g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Bicarb of Soda
2 tsp ground ginger
‘some’ cinnamon – this is a Pike measurement and cannot be replicated exactly
It’s often difficult to know how much of this stuff you’ll need, especially if you didn’t bother to write it down before you went to the supermarket, but suffice to say 6 sticks of butter, 2 large bags of sugar and 3 bags of flour is too much, you will have much of it left over.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a shit load of baking trays.
Melt your butter sugar and syrup together in pan. DO NOT stir with a knife, this is known to stir up strife, apparently.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a massive bowl then stir in the melted mass of fat, it will come together into a stiff(ish) dough.
Start your production line with one person rolling and cutting and another person traying up, shoving them in the oven and setting various timers, they need to cook for around 10 mins. The thinner you roll the dough the better the hearts will hold their shape but the less time they will need so never rely on timers alone.
When they come out you have a minuscule window of time to make the holes in them before they harden up, do this in a panic with as much swearing and burning of your fingers as possible, move to a wire rack to cool.
This will probably take you a good four hours, depending on size of oven, number of trays and general effectiveness, once they are all cooled you can move onto the prettifying, which is supposed to be the fun bit.
Divide the hearts into two piles the ‘good looking’ ones and the ‘shit’ ones. Please note the ‘shit’ ones are in no way inferior in taste but they do not lend themselves to the precise aesthetics needed to stun wedding guests into awed silence.
Take one ‘good looking’ one and two ‘shit’ ones and pile them up, (good looking one on the top obviously!) tie with 40cm of pink ribbon in a bow for the ideal presentation. Continue ad infinitum, you’ll need to make at least 20% extra to allow for rejects and breakages in transit.
They’ll keep for up to two weeks in tupperware so you can make them, and hand them over, well in advance.
I strongly advise interspersing this activity with tea, pie, cake and tea. Finish with a bottle of cava and (hopefully) a happy bride.