As someone who has recently started a new job, I can testify to the importance of perseverance and patience; rarely, if ever, does anything work perfectly first time. In my first week, I nearly sold items that weren’t for sale, failed to pack items that had been paid for, failed to charge for items I had packed, misdirected, misinformed, had to get customers to giftwrap their own items, break it to a man he’d been wearing ladies’ perfume his whole life, do a badger impression for a woman who didn’t speak English, giftwrap a stuffed elephant, and was reduced to tears by one customer who found an object I had confidently told her we didn’t sell. There are times when I’ve felt that so many mistakes cannot be normal, that it must take a special kind of incompetence to mess up as many times as I have in such shocking proportions.
Recipe testing is the same sometimes. An idea seems so perfect in my head, but when I try to turn it into reality it often disappoints, and takes several failed attempts, and frequent doubts about its possibility, before finally getting it right. Like learning to giftwrap, use tills, and be polite to arrogant morons, it’s a slow and sometimes disheartening process, but there is almost always a way to make it work as long as you are patient and persevere (and your family/housemates/friends are equally patient in gobbling up the failed attempts along the way. Thanks guys.)
Every now and then, though, something does work perfectly first time, and the sense of satisfaction produced by that rare achievement lends enough confidence to keep going. This gingerbread was one of those rare examples — just in time for Christmas.
- 200g buckwheat flour
- 100g ground almonds
- 125g coconut sugar (or regular brown sugar)
- 100g coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsps blackstrap molasses (or black treacle)
- 125ml unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 5 Tbsps ground ginger
- Mix together the flour, ground almonds, sugar and spices until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, molasses and almond milk.
- Pour the wet into the dry and stir well.
- Once everything is mixed together and a dough has formed, wrap it in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour, or overnight.
- Once ready to bake, heat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 fan). Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Dust buckwheat flour over the surface and rolling pin, then roll out the gingerbread dough to about 1/4 inch thick, then use cutters of any shape to press out the biscuits and transfer them to the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Cook for around 15 minutes if you like it soft, or up to 18 for more crunch. Check regularly though as it depends on how thick you've rolled it and you don't want the biscuits to burn!
- Leave to cool completely then store in an airtight container. They freeze well too.