Gingerbread spelt men with Champagne Caramel Dipping Sauce

Gingerbread with a spelty twist. Using Rude Health Spelt Flour gives your gingerbread men the perfect snap and a toasty taste. Need we say more?

 

Makes: 18-20 biscuits (depending on size) and approx 400 ml of caramel

Prep time: 25 mins +15 mins for chilling the dough

Cook time: 20 mins

 

Recipe by Nena Foster

You’re a rude elf when… there’s a queue under your mistletoe.


Recipe

For the gingerbread

375g Rude Health Spelt Flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp nutmeg

25g fresh ginger grated

Zest of 1 lemon

130g butter or margerine

150g raw cane sugar

1 tbsp molasses

3 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup

1 egg or 1 tbsp aquafaba/1 flaxegg

 

For the champagne caramel

120ml champagne

200g raw cane sugar

Big pinch of sea salt

120ml double cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 drops almond essence (optional)

120g butter

For the vegan champagne caramel

2 medjool dates, finely chopped

8g arrowroot

300g coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

100ml champagne

150g raw cane sugar


Method

  • First make your biscuits. In a large bowl or food processor, blend together the dry ingredients, ginger and zest.
  • Add the butter and crumb together, you want the mixture to resemble bread crumbs. Next, stir through the sugar.
  • Whisk together the egg, molasses and honey. Add this this to the biscuit mixture, mixing until it comes together to form a dough.
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in parchment and place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and line 2-3 baking trays with parchment.
  • When the dough has had its time in the fridge, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface about ½ cm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the gingerbread shapes and place the cut outs onto the baking tray. Be sure the biscuits aren’t touching.
  • Bake the biscuits for 11-13 minutes until deep golden.
  • Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the tray before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  • While the biscuits cool, whip up your caramel by heating the champagne in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium high heat. You want this to reduce by half.
  • Next, add the sugar and salt and bring the mixture to a boil while gently swirling the pan, then turn down the heat and carry on swirling to incorporate the sugar. Use a wet pastry brush to brush the sugar from the sides of the pan and into the caramel.
  • Keep an eye on your sugar, watching for colour change, whilst gently heating the cream, vanilla and almond extract (if using) in another pan or microware, until it is just warm to touch.
  • When the sugar has turned a golden amber colour, and is thick like syrup, remove it from the heat and slowly, in a steady stream, whisk the cream into the sugar.
  • Put the pan back on the heat, adding in the butter one piece at a time and whisking to incorporate. This may seem tedious, but only add another piece of butter once the first has mixed in.
  • Continue to cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Allow the caramel to cool, it will thicken as it cools.
  • If you are making the vegan version of the caramel, whiz together the dates, arrowroot, half of the coconut cream vanilla and a pinch of sea salt using a high-speed blender until smooth (you may still see tiny flecks of date). Pour the champagne in the pan, and bubble on a medium high heat until reduced by half. Add the sugar and cook until frothy and deep amber. Pour in the date and coconut mixture, whisking as you go. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the caramel thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining coconut cream. Allow the caramel to cool.
  • Serve the biscuits with the caramel for dipping.