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Fresh Ginger Bread with Lemon Icing

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This isn’t ‘gingerbread’–like the traditional Christmas cookie, it’s actually ginger bread in the sense of banana or zuchini bread. We made the recipe first in Delhi for our Christmas 2010 Hymn Sing, because we were trying to find holiday treats we could make easily from Indian ingredient. Everyone just raved about it! It’s easily become one of my Christmas favorites.   — Emily

Ingredients

For the gingerbread:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 standard loaf pans, greased and lined with foil or parchment paper

For the icing:

  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon warm water

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugar, syrup, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. Off the heat, add the milk, eggs, and baking soda in its water.

Measure the flour out into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until very well mixed (it will be a very liquid batter). Pour it into the pan and bake  until risen and firm (3/4 – 1 hour). Be careful not to overcook it, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway it will carry on cooking as it cools.

And when it is cool, get on with the icing. Whisk the lemon juice into the confectioners’ sugar first, then gradually add the water. You want a good, thick icing, so go cautiously and be prepared not to add all the water. Spread over the cooled gingerbread with a palette knife, and leave to set before cutting.

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