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The Fabulous Bake-A-Boy Challenge!

In honour of Heidi’s imaginary boyfriend in GIRL MEETS CAKE, here’s a challenge for you: why not make your own yummy gingerbread boyfriend? (Or girlfriend, or entirely platonic buddy who you might have a bit of a crush on…) Bake yourself a boy, decorate him in suitably delicious fashion, and send me a photo of the results – I’ll be putting up a gallery of your tastiest creations! Personally, I’m planning to make a Gingerbread Avon at my Publication Day tea party this weekend. Silver balls and black food colouring at the ready! Although now I think of it, a gingerbread Tenth Doctor might be quite cute…

Here’s my favourite Gingerbread Men recipe to get you started: they’re soft and bready, so cook them for a few extra minutes if you like them super-crunchy!

125g butter
100g brown sugar
125ml (half a cup) golden syrup (or half syrup, half black treacle)
1 egg yolk
375g plain flour
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Also needed: gingerbread man cookie cutter (or other shapes), rolling pin (I use a wine bottle!), baking sheets, wire rack for cooling – and whatever you’d like to use for decoration: icing, chocolate buttons, etc

  • preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
  • beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy
  • add the syrup and the egg yolk, and beat together
  • with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, ginger, spice, and bicarb: then turn it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth
  • roll out until about 7mm thick, then place on a greased baking tray
  • cook for 7 minutes for soft gingerbread men, 10 minutes for dunk-them-in-tea-or-they’ll-break-your-teeth ones
  • cool on a wire rack
  • decorate! and don’t forget to snap a photo before he disappears! Email your photos to me here: susie at

book_mini   I’m actually re-reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando at the moment, which is covered in my studenty scribbles – but I didn’t get the chance to babble about MG Harris’ second Joshua Files book Ice Shock when I read the proof, and now it’s out! If you’ve been blinded by a neon yellow book cover lately, that’ll be the one – and the inside is every bit as striking. The first book, Invisible City, threw Josh into some uncomfy situations, but this time the sense of peril is relentless. After some very hairy moments locked in a cellar, Josh ends up hiding out back in Mexico with the magnificently unimpressable Ixchel, where he discovers that he might not just be in danger from the present, but the past as well. From night-time pursuits through freezing Oxford rivers to Lara Croft-style rock-hopping in a Mayan temple, all the way to the heartstopping ‘ice shock’ at the end, this is a top-notch thriller that is absolutely impossible to put down. Loved it!

pencil_mini Girl Meets Cake is officially out on Monday, wheee! So I’ve been rather busy giving a cakey makeover (look! innit pretty!), and adding some new stuff for you lovely readery people. You’ll also see interviews with me popping up on a few YA sites soon (or you will, if I can whittle my answer to ‘What is your favourite cake?’ down to just the one paragraph). And in the meantime, I’m feeling increasingly gleeful about New Book, which is still just some ideas on a few bits of paper, but, you know, I think they might be good ideas…

rocrastination_mini watching Blake’s 7 (only the final episode to go, oh no!); inventing a new sandwich by accident (blue cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel: somehow both disgusting and nice at the same time); loving In Bruges much more than I expected, and hating Watchmen much more than I expected; missing people who are far away.


20 thoughts on “The Fabulous Bake-A-Boy Challenge!”

  1. A gingerbread man with jelly babies in his pocket? Marvellous. It would be quite fun doing the scarf in icing too…hmm…think you’re onto something there! And do substitute your own recipe of course – am sure you already have a tried and true one in your kitchen. 🙂

  2. That costume index is hilarious, but I’m disturbed how familiar many of them look when it must be over 20 years since I saw them. Somehow it’s the leather I remember though…

    Will get baking. The last time we let Small Person loose with cookie dough and a cutter not all our gingerbread people had the usual number of limbs. Perhaps she was making a statement about disability.

  3. Avon is a fashion genius. Personally I’m very fond of the silver binbag and the one where he looks like a big cockroach dipped in poo, but the thigh-high leather boots are quite special. And hurrah for Small Person and her non-discriminatory limbless biscuits!

    David – you two are magnificently obsessed. 😀

  4. my minor B7 quibble – how come they all wear leather in outer space? where are all the cows mum? I was banned from watching it after that. Or it might have been my unhealthy attachment to Servalan.

    Ice Shock is officially bwilliant according to my son. Plus I was dead impressed that I found it at Tesco number 2 on the children’s chart. I haven’t read it yet *shame* still have to read the first book dammit too many on my list!

    Thuthie if you visit can I have a thigned copy of GMC if I pwomis to pay?

    I will make every attempt to bake a gingerbread g/f without Alys getting jealous and biting her head off. Mind you I’m not brilliant at shaping the biscuits and it may well come out looking like an outer space cow. *runs off to look for the cutters*

  5. white feathers. I like the black feathers one.

    I’m going now…. gingerbread Servalan?

    I’m really going now, sorry to hijack your blog Suse.

  6. Oh dear, Josie, I think contemplating the divine Servie’s wardrobe has been just too exciting for you! The feathers are good, but nothing tops the red thing from ‘Gambit’: it looks like the collar is trying to eat her. And I do love it whenever she’s desperately trying to negotiate her way across Winspit beach in high heels and an evening gown. Gingerbread Servalan, oh yes! I’m getting tempted to do the whole crew now…

    Glad the boy approves of Ice Shock: it really is cracking (though definitely read the other one first!).

  7. I have formulated the plan for the Bake 7 while I was lying awake last night. I don’t think I’ll do the whole seven of them, but will do Servalan, Avon and the one with curly hair – is that Blake? I really should watch it properly instead of relying on clips from Youtube to augment my hazy memory! Have to buy some fondant icing and food painty stuff. Wee, this is exciting. Should really be marking essays and working on my PhD but a Bake 7 is much more fun.

  8. wellity wellity well, if it isn’t ye old Avon-in-boots discussion again.
    The years I spent lusting after that guy. I mean serious lustage, wasted on a fictional character.
    Bought some gingerbread boy cut-out shapes from The Cake Shop in town. Lilia REALLY looking fwd to the baking.

  9. Bake 7! Wheee! Oh, I can see this getting out of hand very quickly indeed (especially as there were about 19 of them by the end). Blake did indeed have curly hair, but then so did Tarrant, who was only in it after Blake left: you can tell the difference by the prancing. If it prances, it’s Tarrant: Blake never pranced. You must go back and rewatch!

    If there’s going to be Gingerbread Servalan, there’ll have to be Gingerbread Travis as well. Both of him. We’re going to run out of black food colouring and silver balls ever so quickly, I can see it now…

    MG: that wasn’t wasted lustage: you just know Mr Darrow revelled in every moment. Have they still got the Radcliffe Camera Cake in the window of the Cake Shop? Most impressive. And I’m looking forward to the baking too! (There will be plenty here to play with, if you don’t fancy baking yourself, btw.)

  10. Re Bake 7 I have a cunning plan my lord, which will involve some youtubery and rather a lot of not-working-on-my-PhD.

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