Gingerbread gets the Oakmeeds thumbs up


I was very excited to get a phone call from my sister-in-law about the gingerbread that she had made from my book. (I know I ought to get out more!).

Rosanne works at Cafe Oakmeeds at Oakmeeds Community College in Burgess Hill. Cafe Oakmeeds is the in-house catering service which provides home made nutritious food by a team of 8 people headed by Sue Everest.

The lovely staff there can bring in their own ideas for baking, especially cakes or biscuits that have a lower sugar content and Rosanne chose the Gingerbread recipe from my book Recipes From An Unknown Kitchen.

The Gingerbread went down a storm apparently and whizzed of the shelf. This is also a bit personal as this was the school I attended from 1960 -1969.


As this recipe was from the German recipe notebook, the home of gingerbread.  I just had to include it. It is a light cake made with golden syrup rather than treacle.

250g plain flour

250g golden syrup

60g butter

15g caster sugar

½ teaspoon ground ginger (if you like things a bit spicier make this 1 teaspoon)

½ teaspoon ground mixed spice

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150ml milk


Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a square tin 25cm / 9”. The mix needs to go straight in the oven after mixing so everything needs to be ready.

Warm the milk and golden syrup in a small pan, gently this does just needs to be warm to the touch not hot, just enough to melt the syrup in the milk. Rub the fat into the flour then add the spices and sugar. Add the mix and syrup mix. Add the soda and mix as quickly as possible. Transfer to the tin and put in the oven at once. Bake for around 40 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool on a rack.


English Christmas Gingerbread

After the Arundel Fair Trade Fair, once again a great success, I have officially declared Christmas. So here is the first offering.

Christmas English Gingerbread

Here is a lovely recipe for gingerbread biscuits that can be used as tree decorations or even just eaten! This recipe comes from the Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer and published in 1896. A classic cook book, this was published in America at around the same time as Mrs Beeton was producing her tome. also in the book are recipes for Gossamer Gingerbread and Fairy Gingerbread which I haven’t tried. I’ll let you know how they turn out.


1 lb /500g plain flour, 8oz / 250 g butter, 1 cup of caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, black treacle (enough to mix).


Mix the flour, sugar, ginger and salt. Work in the butter with your finger tips and add just enough black treacle to bring the ingredients together (I used around 4 tablespoons). Let stand overnight to get thoroughly chilled. Roll very thinly, cut to shape and bake for 20mins in an over gas mark 5/180c.

Delicious! Merry Christmas – eat well. P.s. yes I did decorate these myself, not a 5yr old.