I have been converted to cut the actual human cutting techniques using ginger to make this effect. Feel free to use one large ginger man or, depending on the size of your cake, a collection of various sizes on one cake. I prefer to stick to gingerbread men I am looking quite a classic, but again went to town on decorating them however you like. Sweet colored buttons and candy cane is both a popular choice.
Equipment and preparation: you’ll need a gingerbread man cutter of various sizes and bag pipes.
- 150g/5½oz mixed dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins and currants
- 150ml/5fl oz brandy, plus optional extra to ‘feed’ the cake
- finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange
- 150g/5½oz butter, softened
- 150g/5½oz dark muscovado sugar
- 150g/5½oz dried cranberries
- 150g/5½oz pitted soft prunes
- 150g/5½oz pitted soft-dried dates
- 150g/5½oz dried figs
- 150g/5½oz mixed whole nuts
- 3 tbsp black treacle or date syrup, optional
- 3 free-range eggs (at room temperature), beaten
- 150g/5½oz self-raising flour
- 3 tbsp ground mixed spice
- 750g/1lb 10oz marzipan
- fondant water icing
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
- 750g/1lb 10oz ready to roll fondant
- small coloured sweets or sprinkles
- Stir in the cranberries and dried fruit mixture in a bowl. Using kitchen shears, snip prunes, dates and figs in small pieces, removing any stems, and drop into the bowl. Add the brandy and orange zest and juice, and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with clingfilm, a shower CAP or a plate and allow to marinate in a cool place for at least 12 hours or, even better, 2 days.
- When you are ready to make the cake, grease and line 20 cm/8 in round loose-bottomed Tin and preheat the oven to 180 c/160C for Fan/Gas 4.
- Spread nuts on a baking tray and roast, checking frequently to make sure they do not burn, for 5-10 minutes or until fragrant (you can skip the grilling, but it really brings out their flavor). Cool, then cut the beans-I like them relatively chunky contrast with fruit. Turn to 140 C/120 C Fan/Gas oven 1.
- Use a handheld electric whisk (it’s complicated to defeat this tiny amount in free standing mixer), beat together the butter and sugar for 5 – 10 minutes or until very light and soft. Beat in the molasses or syrup, if using. Gradually add the egg to the mix the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour and spices into the mixture and fold. Finally, stir through the soaked fruit, with any liquid left in the bowl, and chopped nuts.
- Spoon the mixture into the Tin and smooth ready surface with the back of a spoon dipped in hot water. Bake 2¼ – 2½ hours or until the cake is firm to touch and a skewer pushed into the Center comes out clean. Set the Tin wire shelves. If you want to ‘ feed ‘ the cake, let it cool for about 15 minutes, then prick all over with a cocktail stick or stab, going as deep as 3 cm. brush for approximately 1 tablespoon of brandy. Leave to soak in while the cake is cooling. Once the cake is cool, remove from Tin and wrap in parchment fresh cakes, if you like, and then in foil before you store them in an airtight container or Tin at least 5 days before eating. You can repeat the process of eating downloads up to 5 weeks.
- When you are ready to finish the cake, gently heat apricot jam and spread over the surface of the cake. Roll out the marzipan to about the thickness of a pound coin and cover the entire cake. Roll out fondant icing for the same thickness and cover the cake completely, pressing to smooth out.
- Place your gingerbread men cutter/s to the surface of your cake is fully es in accordance with the desired settings. Press the cutter/s through a layer of fondant and marzipan and remove the icing with the cutter is still included to help provide a clean line. Add gingerbread man to cut out shapes using a good cut and shaped pieces of white fondant icing fondant or water is placed in the bag pipes. The form of marzipan and sweets can be added to around Your gingerbread man shape for additional decoration.