Friday, April 8, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly: Pretty As A Picture

I'm a day late, again, and I missed last fortnight because of Easter. Whoops! This time, I decided to do something I've been craving for a while now and I love to eat: Medieval Gingerbread. I've made it several times before and I love, love, LOVE this stuff. It's just yummy. It tastes like bread at first but then the spices and honey hit and it really is a medieval fireball. It's got that right amount of spice and sweet. I have yet to find anyone that doesn't love medieval gingerbread.

The Challenge:  7. Pretty As A Picture (March 25 - April 7) If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows (like I am!), you know how the saying goes: we eat first with our eyes. Make a dish that looks just as spectacular as it tastes. Extra points for historically accurate plating - and don’t forget to post pictures!
The Recipe: (where did you find it, link to it if possible)  My original write up along with the 15th century recipes and sources is here.

The Date/Year and Region:  
England, 15th Century

How Did You Make It: (a brief synopsis of the process of creation)
I changed up the recipe a bit this time.  I used an entire bottle of  Orange Blossom honey (16 oz) and an entire box of panko bread crumbs.  I did use stick cinnamon and long pepper - which I promptly crushed in the very medieval blender.  :-D   The blender makes far less of a mess than I do.  I also crushed the bread crumbs and the sandlewood in the blender.  

I boiled the honey and added a mix of saffron and ginger.  I then added a mix of half the breadcrumbs, the cinnamon, and long pepper.   Once that was throughly mixed, I slowly mixed in the rest of the crushed breadcrumbs.  

When the gingerbread was cool enough to touch, I plopped it out on a piece of tinfoil, put some plastic wrap over it, and rolled it out as flat as I could.  I then started with my pie cutters for nice leaf shapes but those weren't working very well.  The cookie cutters ended up working much better so I stuck with the castle and the crown/tiara cookie cutters.   Once they were all cut out, I added some cloves to the tops of one of the crowns and to the castle.  

Time to Complete:  20 minutes
Total Cost:  I had everything in the house already.  I doubt the bread crumbs were very much and honey is normally about $8.

How Successful Was It?: (How did it taste? How did it look? Did it turn out like you thought it would?)  I'll put it this way, it will wreck my diet.  :-)  It's delicious!

How Accurate Is It?: (fess up to your modifications and make-dos here)  Well, cooked over a modern oven and I did use the blender so...that's out.  But all the ingredients are pretty much exactly what they would have used in period.  

Each piece of gingerbread (minus the castle which I'm counting as four!) is about 100 calories each.  At least the tiaras are.  


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