Hey baking friends! its been an AGE since I posted a recipe here, but this one is special, so here goes…

It has just been my businesses 7th birthday, and one of my biggest orders of all time, was for almost a thousand of these little gingerbread cottages…and each one has 6 pieces, so this means I have such strong muscle memory when make the cottages now, that it feels almost comforting to make them.

I promise you this is an achievable recipe. The dough will not spread, it doesn’t need chilling before you bake it, and its totally plant based, so there is no danger of sick tummies if little people get involved and start eating straight from the bowl.

The cookie dough is totally versatile too – it can be used for gingerbread shapes, baubles, other types of construction

For the biscuits: (makes enough for at least 2 gingerbread cottages)

Ingredients:

  • 280 g plain flour (for GF use 2/3 pre-mixed blend, 1/3 ground almonds)
  • 140 g solid vegan “butter” e.g. Naturli / Stork block, at room temp
  • 140 g muscovado sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds, mixed with 4 tbsp hot water)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice / nutmeg

Method:

Mix everything together in a large bowl, or a stand mixer until you have a smooth, brown dough. If making ahead of time, allow to chill wrapped / in Tupperware in the fridge. Keeps for one week in the fridge and one month in the freezer.

To make the template:

On an A4 piece of card, draw out the following:

2 x roof panels measuring 7.5 X 5.5cm (see below, middle)

2 x side panels measuring 6.5 X 3.25 cm (see below, right)

2 x front / back panels measuring 7.5 X 7cm, with slanted points for the roof cut at 3.5cm. Add a front door by cutting freestyle keeping it little to ensure the house doesn’t crack / break.

To cut / make the gingerbread cottage

Preheat your oven to 175C and line a tray or two with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out evenly to around 0.5cm thick.

Carefully cut around the outline of the cottage pieces using a sharp knife carefully then transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for around 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until they are a little more brown at the edges.

Allow to cool and then decorate the house pieces using the thinner icing consistency below, in any design you like best. Allow to set overnight (or at least an hour) before assembling the house.

To assemble the cottages:

To assemble, use the thicker icing consistency. Cut a sharp, 3-4mm hole in the end of your piping bag / parchment bag. Using a wiggling motion, pipe a wiggly line along the inside edges and bottom of each gingerbread piece in this order: front, side, and side, back. If your line doesn’t look pretty enough when you stick them together, just scrape off and try again. Gently place and press the pieces into place on your base. Allow to set for a few minutes, then gently wiggle another thick line of icing all around the edge of the cottage foundation, and on the inside edge of one of the roof panels. Gently put the roof in place and allow to rest for at least an hour, ideally overnight before moving / packaging up.

For the royal icing:

Makes enough to ice two houses and at least 5 cookies, depending on the design. Keeps for one week in the fridge.

  • 500 – 520 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornflour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 100 ml cup aquafaba (drained water from about a tin of chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp. piping gel (optional)
  • 1 tsp. glycerine (optional)
  • food colours as required, gel or paste ones give an intense colour, but natural fruit powders e.g. spirulina work too.

Method:

Combine everything in a large bowl or a stand mixer and mix for around 3-5 minutes, until you have a thick, glossy icing. If needed, spoon in a little more aquafaba or icing sugar to get the right consistency. Store in an airtight container.

Consistencies:

Add a little more aquafaba / icing sugar as needed:

  • to stick gingerbread house pieces together, aim for a very stiff peak, hard-to-mix consistency
  • to pipe clear and sharp lines, aim for a softer icing, that still holds its shape

When I’m baking without animal products, i’m motivated by two things – knowing that I’m not harming animals, and knowing that I’m making something really delicious that I can eat without guilt.

These brownies tick both these boxes, and I really hope you like them!

I’ve used cups in this recipe, as I’m too pressed for time to re-test and weigh today, so if you don’t have a “baking cup” just use a small teacup, I promise it works well.

Bee.xx

Note: I’m not 100% vegan yet, about 70% of the way there…and learning all the time.

Bee’s Vegan Aquafaba chocolate brownies

  • 1 cup Aquafaba (the liquid from around two tins of black beans, which can be saved to make some great spicy refried black beans for supper)
  • ½ cup groundnut OR coconut oil, plus some more to grease the baking tin
  • 1 cup unrefined molasses sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple / brown rice / molasses syrup
  • 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate – chopped roughly
  • 1, ½ cups of plain flour (wholemeal if you fancy)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or other nuts of your choice (optional)
  • a generous pinch of flaky salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 2 teaspoon instant espresso coffee / ground coffee (optional, adds depth of flavour)
  • 1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips

 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees and line, or oil an 8 inch square baking tin / brownie pan. If you don’t have one, then a lasagne dish or a pie tin work well too.

In a small saucepan over a gentle heat, warm the aquafaba, coconut oil, molasses sugar and maple (or rice / molasses) syrup and chopped dark chocolate for a few minutes until you have a lovely thick, gooey mess. Don’t let it simmer or boil.

Take off the heat and add in the plain flour, chopped nuts if you’re using them, vanilla, coffee, and pinch of flaky salt. Mix thoroughly then throw in your chocolate chips and pour into your baking tin.

Bake for around 40 minutes at 175 degrees celsius and allow to cool completely before serving. This is the tricky bit – so remember, a teaspoon of hot brownie from the edge is fine – its just “quality control”!

 

 

 

 

This recipe is one that i always teach when doing vegan baking lessons…it tastes delicious, and it is easy peasy…and that’s a promise.

Yes, it sounds like a lot of bananas, but I PROMISE it works beautifully…go for the grossest ones you can get.

Banana cake with pecans and chocolate chips

This is both vegan and gluten free

Makes two x 8-inch round cake layers

  • 8 overripe, medium-sized bananas (the more bashed, blackened and squishy the better)
  • 350g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp good-quality vanilla bean extract
  • 120ml groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 375g self-raising gluten-free flour (my favourite is Doves Farm)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g pecans, toasted if you like
  • 100g dairy-free chocolate chips

 

Peel the bananas and beat the flesh in a food mixer on a medium speed, until it appears paler in colour and turns light and fluffy. This usually takes around 10 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 195C/175C fan/gas mark 6 and line two round, 8-inch springform baking tins with parchment paper.

Add the sugar, oil and vanilla to the fluffy banana mixture and mix gently until combined.

Add the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder (if using), nuts and chocolate chips, with a pinch of salt, and mix just until combined – avoid knocking too much air out of the mixture.

Divide the mixture equally between the two prepared tins, smoothing the surface. Bake for 25-35 minutes until well risen and golden on top and a cocktail stick when inserted, comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes then turn out on wire racks to cool completely.