White Gingerbread

11 Nov

To make white Ginger bread.
Take Gumma Dragantis* half an once, and steep it in rosewater two daies, then put thereto a pound of sugar beaten and finely serced, and beat them well together, so that it may be wrought like paste, then role it thin into two Cakes, then take a fewe Jordain almonds and blaunch them in colde water, then dry them with a faire Cloth, and stampe them in a mortar very finelye, adding thereto a little rosewater, beat finely also the whitest Sugar you can get and searce it.

Then take Ginger, pare it and beat it very small and serce it, them put in sugar to the almonds and beat them together very well, then take it out and work it at your pleasure, then lay it even upon one of your cakes, and cover it with an other and when you put it in the molde, strewe fine ginger both above and beneathe, if you have not great store of Sugar, then take Rice and beat i tsmall and serce it, and put it into the Morter and beat them altogether.
*Gumma Dragantis = gum traganth.

From: A book of cookrye Very necessary for all such as delight therin. Gathered by A.W. At London : Printed by Edward Allde, 1591

I brought the white gingerbread to our event this weekend and entered it in the cooking competition. It was a very big hit.The consensus is that it was tasty without being cloyingly sweet or rosy. I believe the key was the addition of the freshly ground dried ginger.

I had samples of the gum paste and the marzipan available to the judges and asked that they try the individual ingredient first prior to eating the confection. There was a sample of the ginger, which I also asked them to try. There is a brightness to the ginger when you grind it fresh. It retains some of
the properties of fresh ginger and it isn’t as pungent as the ground ginger you can buy anywhere. By trying each ingredient separately, I could show how all the components were needed to make the perfect bite.

I used a shallow chocolate mold for creating the shapes and trimmed out the pieces using a round cookie cutter. The over all confection was a tad smaller than a 1/2 dollar.

I will definitely be making this again.

Modern recipe
1 tsp gum tragacanth
1 tsp rosewater
1/4 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
4 oz sugar
8 oz blanched almonds
2 tbl + 1 tsp rose water
2 tbl ground ginger

1. Combine tragacanth and waters together, let sit for 8-10 hours
2. Combine softened gum mixture with powder sugar. You may need more or less
than a pound.
3. Kneed mixture until a paste has been achieved.
4. Wrap in plastic wrap and put aside
5. Grind sugar, almonds and 1 tbl of ginger together until very fine
6. Add Rose water and bring mixture together to a sticky paste.
7. Roll out gum paste 1/8″ thick.
8. Cut out shapes
9. On a bottom piece, add almond/ginger paste 1/8″ thick.
10.Cover with a second piece of gum paste.
11.Dust candy/sugar/cookie mold with ginger
12.Press disk of gum paste into mold.
13.Trim edges and serve.

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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Recipes, Sugar


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