Although the name harks back to the oldest form of Gingerbread, the biscuit recipe below is more modern with raising agents being a significant ingredient. These have been made commercially by Furniss of Truro since 1886 although their recipe is a trade secret.
A rough, irregular surface is a distinguishing feature and, containing raising agent, they are left to spread creating a less precise round somewhat thicker, and therefore less crisp, biscuit than the Ormskirk type above.
8 oz plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 level tsps baking powder
2 level tsps bicarbonate soda
3 level tsps ground ginger
2 level tsps mixed spice
1 level tsp cinnamon
4 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar
4 tbsps golden syrup
Sieve together the dry ingredients then rub in the butter (as you would for pastry). Stir in the sugar. Heat the syrup gently and then pour in sufficient to bind the mixture, which will be fairly stiff.
With floured hands, take walnut sized pieces of the mixture, roll into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Cook in a hot oven (200°C) for 5-7 minutes or until the biscuits are beginning to brown then turn out the heat and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes.
These are the old-fashioned type traditionally served in the UK, crisp on the outside but chewy in the centre, as opposed to the modern macaroons, pronounced macaron, which were developed in France in 1900.
Makes 20 – 36 (depending on whether you want to serve them as biscuits or a petit four)
2 egg whites
250 g caster sugar
125 g whole blanched almonds (+ flaked almonds for decoration)
30 g semolina flour (or rice flour)
1 tsp orange flower water
Edible wafer paper (or rice paper)
Pre-heat the oven to 140°C (Fan)
Put 4 sheets of rice paper, smooth side down, on a large baking sheet.
Process the almonds until finely ground.
Whisk the egg yolks until fairly stiff. Add the orange flower water.
Combine the caster sugar and semolina flour with the almonds and fold into the egg whites. It will make a stiff paste.
For petit fours use a teaspoonful of mixture or for biscuits a dessertspoon. Place the heaps on the rice paper allowing room for them to spread out to about double the size. For biscuits add a flaked almond in the middle of each.
Bake for 15 minutes for petit four size or 30 minutes for larger biscuits – until just lightly coloured.
As soon as the macaroons are cool enough to handle move them to a wire cooling rack tearing off the excess rice paper that surrounds them.
Store in an airtight tin for up to 10 days.