My Favourite Gingerbread

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OK, so I know that there are a lot of healthy gingerbread recipes out there, both vegan and otherwise, but this truly is my favourite gingerbread. I am so proud of this recipe and the ingredients that make it so unique. It is exactly as gingerbread should be; soft in the middle with a slightly crisp outside, a sweet, spiced flavour and easily mouldable into shapes. This is something that I wasn’t sure I could achieve in the form of a completely vegan, gluten and refined sugar biscuit, but I did! And it’s all down to one ingredient that I have not previously seen in gingerbread recipes; almond butter. This replaces the fat that you would usually find in gingerbread from the butter, and gives it the soft, biscuit-like texture. The dates naturally sweeten the gingerbread and also provide a great binding material that keeps the biscuit soft, yet dense. Gingerbread often uses treacle for a really rich, indulgent flavour. I have replaced this with blackstrap molasses that still gives that depth, and it works perfectly, although you can just replace this with more maple or rice syrup if you don’t have any to hand.

Last year I travelled to Berlin to enjoy the Christmas markets and tried lebkuchen (no, not very healthy) for the first time. The texture was almost a cross between a macaron and gingerbread; crispy but light on the outside and soft in the middle. These are often coated in chocolate, which gave me the idea for decorating my (much healthier) gingerbread. With a steady hand, dark or raw chocolate can create some great designs! I also love using desiccated coconut as this sticks easily to the melted chocolate and resembles snow!

Top Tip: I made tree decorations by using a straw to cut out a hole in the shape prior to cooking and they came out perfectly with a hole just big enough to thread through some ribbon! They make great decorations as they last at least a week as they do not contain any animal products.

My Favourite Gingerbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups buckwheat flour plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
  • ½ tbsp brown rice or maple syrup (or 1 tbsp if not using the molasses)
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 40g raw or 85% dark chocolate (for decoration)
  • 2 tbsp dessicated coconut (for decoration)
Instructions
  1. Place the dates, coconut oil, almond butter, molasses and syrup into a high speed processor and process for about 5 minutes until smooth
  2. Add the spices and salt and then gradually add the buckwheat flour, adding a bit at a time and processing in between
  3. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees celsius
  4. Once all ingredients are combined, gather the dough into one ball and turn out onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with buckwheat flour
  5. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll with a rolling pin until about 5mm thick
  6. Cut out desired shapes and gently place onto a lined baking tray
  7. If you want to hang your decorations, use a straw to cut a hole into the shape
  8. Keep re-rolling and cutting until all of the mixture is used
  9. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes until the biscuits are well bound but still soft to touch
  10. Remove the gingerbread and leave to cool
  11. Once cool, melt the chocolate in a bain marie and decorate using a steady hand, adding decorations of your choice

 

 

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