- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Prep Time:
- Effort: medium
- 250 g lard
- 650 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 250 ml treacle
- 145 g golden caster sugar
- 300 g caster sugar
- 8 large egg whites
- pinch of cream of tartar
Tips and Suggestions
Raw or lightly cooked eggs should not be served to young children, elderly people, invalids and pregnant women, because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.
1. Melt the lard in a saucepan.
2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices together into a large bowl.
3. Stir the treacle and sugar into the melted lard and mix well. Take care, as the mixture will be hot.
4. Pour the wet mix into the dry and stir it well. It will come together to form a dough. Turn it out on to a clean surface and shape into a large flattish disc. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator. Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling out.
5. When you are ready to bake the gingerbread set the oven to 190°C/gas 5 and line several baking sheets with baking parchment or Bake-O-Glide. Roll the dough directly onto the lined tray so that it is about 1cm thick. Place the templates for the house on to the raw dough and cut out the shape removing the excess dough. Depending on the size of the house and the number of baking sheets you have, you may need a couple of batches of gingerbread dough and to repeat the rolling and template process for the walls and roof of the house.
6. Bake the gingerbread for 15 minutes or so, until golden and firm.
7. Carefully lift the gingerbread onto wire cooling racks and cool completely before decorating and assembling. It is a good idea to make the gingerbread on one day and decorate and assemble the next.
8. To make the meringue for sticking together the sides and roof of the house and for decorating (ie for making snowdrifts on the roof or hanging icicles), bring a saucepan of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer and set it over the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm. Test with your fingers. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
9. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and starting on the lowest speed, start to whisk the meringue gradually increasing the speed to high until the meringue is cool, stiff and glossy. This will take about 10 minutes. Use immediately.
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