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!
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 susieday.com
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!
Girl Meets Cake is officially out on Monday, wheee! So I’ve been rather busy giving susieday.com 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…
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.