Honey gingerbread porcini

These beautiful biscuits were originally developed to accessorize my New Forest roulade recipe for Hampshire Life magazine‘s Christmas edition, but they also make a lovely gift for any foodie friend with a sweet tooth.

This lebkuchen-style gingerbread is intensely spiced with a lovely soft, almost chewy texture. Although they’re made over the course of 3 days, there’s actually hardly any work involved each time. Unlike most baking, uniformity isn’t important here. A bit of natural variation in shape and size between each one will make them look all the more realistic.

Makes 12

  • 50 g salted butter
  • 80 g runny honey
  • 60 g treacle
  • 60 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 260 g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp white royal icing
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the honey, treacle and brown sugar.
  2. Stir in the spices, followed by the flour and bicarb, then bring the mix together with your hands. You can sprinkle over a tablespoon of water if it’s too crumbly, but knead the dough as little as possible to form a smooth ball. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge overnight.
  3. Shape twelve porcini caps with oiled hands, adding a little indent underneath where the stems will attach later. Make the stems a little narrower than you want them to end up, as they’ll spread a tiny bit when cooking. Leave to dry overnight, covered loosely with a dry tea towel.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150 fan) | 325°F | gas 3. Bake the gingerbread for 15 minutes, or until set on top. Brush the caps with egg yolk, then return to the oven for 3 minutes or until shiny and brown. Leave to cool completely on the tray.
  5. Brush the stalks with white royal icing and sprinkle the ends with poppy seeds. Leave to set on greaseproof paper.
  6. Use a dab of royal icing to attach the caps to the stalks, then leave to set before packaging or serving.

Check out my New Forest roulade recipe (the ultimate yule log!), plus how to make those oak leaf tuilles and marzipan acorns.

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