Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Jamie's ultimate gingerbread

If you have the chance to visit Lake District in Cumbria, it is a beautiful region in the North West of England.  Apart from enjoying the natural beauty and the scenery, you can also visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery or the Cumberland Pencil Museum among many other attractions.  One place you do not want to miss is The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop.  You cannot miss it really, as the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread will definitely lead you to this little charming shop. I have tasted Grasmere Gingerbread and they are out of this world...

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's book Cook with Jamie and it is his attempt to uncover the secret recipe of the Grasmere Gingerbread; a recipe that has been a secret for over 150 years old.  I made this a few months ago during my Cook with Jamie - Project and it's one of my favourite recipes.

The base and the topping of this ultimate gingerbread is made with shortbread, which you can make yourself from Jamie's recipe, or your own favourite shortbread recipe or simply buy from the shop.  I like to make my shortbread from Jamie's recipe which is so-buttery, and modestly named the best shortbread in the world.

Making the gingerbread was an easy task.  Waiting for them to cool was the hardest part, but good things come to those who wait, right? The gingerbread does live up to its name. It has just the right amount of ginger and packed with flavours from the mixed peel, crystallised ginger, golden syrup and treacle which also give a nice chewy texture to the gingerbread. 

This makes a wonderful holiday treats and edible presents. Give it a try.

Ultimate Gingerbread
Recipe by Jamie Oliver
Makes 12 generous slices

400 g store-bought shortbread or home-made
170 g coarse demerara sugar
3 tsp ground ginger
40 g mixed peel, chopped
40 g crystallised ginger, chopped
70 g plain flour
a pinch of baking powder
40 g golden syrup
40 g treacle
70 g unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 170ºC and find a baking tray about 20x35cm. Put the shortbread, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the ground ginger in a food processor and whiz until you have crumbs. Remove 100g of the mix and keep this to one side. Add the remaining teaspoon of ginger to the processor, along with the mixed peel, crystallized ginger, flour and baking powder, and pulse until well mixed.

Melt the syrup, treacle and butter together in a saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients. When melted, add the mixture from the food processor and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly mixed together. Tip into the baking tray and spread out evenly. Press the mixture down into the tray, using your fingers or something flat and clean like a potato masher or a spatula. When the mix is a flat, dense and even layer, pop the tray in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle the hot gingerbread with the reserved crumbs, pressing them down really well with a potato masher or spatula. Carefully cut into good-sized pieces with a sharp knife, and leave to cool in the tray before eating.


  1. Wow, Michael, that's some yummy ginger bread recipe. So perfect for the holidays. I will certainly want to try this.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mmmmmm...I bet those were heavenly! I love the smell of ginger baking. I will have to try these for sure!

  3. Michael, this really does sound lovely. It is perfect for this season and I can almost smell the fragrance as you baked it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Hey Michael,... love your blog (love Gingerbread) and going to have a good old read over the next day or two but Lucy @ Kitchen Maid said we should be friends, and she's usually right about most stuff, so here's to a life long blog friendship! x

  5. I love ginger treat! This is so perfect for the holiday.

  6. It's the season of Ginger bread! How's it going in England. Haven't posted anything in my blog since work gets erratic as Christmas approaches.

    I wish I could taste your sumptuous cooking Mike, I hope one day when I go back to London.

    For now... Merry Christmas :)

  7. The gingerbread looks so good and perfect for a holiday! Happy Christmas!!!

  8. Michael, I can't wait to try this recipe! And how I wish I could pop in at The Grasmere Ginerbread Shop. My mother's family was from the Lake District--their lake was Ullswater--and I'm always interested in foods from there.