I thought I’d do something a little different this week, as it’s coming to Christmas, I wanted to do something a bit more Christmassy and wasn’t really inspired by bread.
..magical enough for me
so i decided to go for something sweet and spicy.
So I don’t know if you’ve heard about the new Christmas Fria range exclusively sold at TotallySwedish? I managed to get my hands on the Vörtbröd (which tastes a bit like a slightly sweet spiced tealoaf) and the Gingerbread dough/Pepparkaksdeg and literally the minute I held it, the vision of this structure flashed before my eyes and my arms did a little Hurrah dance to celebrate (Bang in the middle of Baker Street! Oh the shame…) If you’ve never been there before and you like Swedish food and ingredients, then I you must have had your head stuck in a holly embellished hole for the past month!
But seeing as it’s Christmas I’ll forgive you.
Pepparkaksdeg/Gingerbread dough is very popular in Sweden particularly at Christmas time. They make gingerbread biccies and all kinds of beautfiul gingerbread houses and structures with the dough.
We don’t really have an equivalent here, especially not one that’s gluten free. Sure you can get gluten free shortcrust pastry nowadays but the idea of not having to make a dough from scratch and one that was already spiced up for Christmas was quite appealing.
The first thing you notice as soon as you take it out of the packet is the smell. it’s makes you smile with Christmas joy. You could bottle the fragrance and hand it out to Christmas Scrooges and Grinches and I’m pretty sure it will transform their lives!
Then once in the oven, you better run for cover cos that Christmas smell is back! It will make you dance around the house in a tango with your Christmas tree, singing cheesy Crimbo songs. Once all the dancing’s over you can take it out of the oven and get stacking…
Because of the soft texture, it lacked structure, making my Christmas tower a lot harder to realise than envisioned. It had less of a snap and more of a bend, when you tried to break it and it almost felt like it wasn’t cooked, even though I followed the instructions to the letter. The instructions were short but not very clear and mainly consisted of photos and numbers, I would have liked a bit more detail with some troubleshooting tips maybe.
But the main thing I just couldn’t get over was the texture. I found the best way to combat it is to roll the dough super thin or leave it for double the amount of time stated on the instructions, then let it cool down completely before doing anything else. I didn’t expect a biscuit dough to puff up or rise like a cake, which also meant some of the stars weren’t flat, which again didn’t much help the structure.
All in all, I found it had a doughy texture and was like a cross between a ginger tea cake and a biscuit with not enough snap for my liking, but hey it smelt great and tasted O.K. and looked really pretty as a tower, but it just didn’t wow me as an overall gluten-free product. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Gluten Free Gingerbread Tower
- I pack of gingerbread dough
- One pack of Christmas cookie cutters
- Icing sugar (ready to roll)
- icing sugar (in powder form)
Roll the gingerbread dough flat on a lightly floured work surface, as thin as it you can, if you think it’s thin enough, roll some more. This dough really puffs up.
Dip the cutters in flour then cut out the star shapes. Two of each size, starting from the largest.
Arrange them on a baking tray and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, test them after cooling, if they don’t snap, put them in for another 15 minutes.
Leave to cool completely
Roll out the ready to roll icing and cut with the same cookie cutters used for the cookies. Wet the icing with pastry brush and stick on top of cookies.
Once cooked, start to stack cookies
With icing sugar and water make a paste, put a knob of paste in the middle of the star, arrange the second star slightly off centre.
Continue to stack and stick until you get to the top and it resembles a tower.
Brush or spray with edible gold dust or spray for the final star.
Okey doke. It’s Giveaway time and this week The Curious Baker goes international! 🙂
This means anyone can enter from Australia to Zanzibar, by simply clicking like on the Christmas post below.
I initially said UK fans couldn’t enter this week but I’m so full of Christmas spirit, i’ve now decided to open it to everyone including UK likers so get liking and start winning. 2 prizes up for grabs. Full details here
See you after Christmas.
Have a good one!