Ginger Bread Man got a makeover
Giving a make over to ginger bread man was the idea given to me by kids. After many thoughtful thoughts; together we (me and kids) stuffed our ginger bread man with roasted nuts and cranberries coated in chocolate ganache. We made the base more like a tart case, made with almond short crust which has very subtle almond flavours.
Every thing about this fellow turned out delicious. The thought in the mind was to make ginger bread cookies more interesting. Our new approach to an old recipe lifted the mood bars, Nitya and Yatu were thrilled; I got some wonderful expressions captured with Ginger Bread tarts. Sharing these here.
May be I should name this recipe The Tart Man — because there is no ginger in there, Lol !
Any ways the only thing to remember and emphasise here is The Tart Man turned out yumm and we all loved it.
1. I have this big size ginger bread man cookie cutter.Iif you don’t have the same — you can very well go with another cookie cutter. I would like to suggest here; don’t try making the same with a shape which has very narrow edges or small openings. It can get crazy to distribute the almond shortbread evenly for the base making.
2. While making the almond short bread – don’t over mix the batter. Just be gentle and mix only until you see no dry flour.
3. I did not require any milk when kneading the almond shortbread dough. But, as we know sometimes, the absorption rate is different from flour to flour. You can add few drops of milk if needed.
4. Place the prepared dough between two parchment sheets and use a rolling pin to roll an even sheet of dough. Then with a very gentle hand transfer the dough sheet in the cavity of cookie cutter.
5. If you feel that the dough is too soft to handle at this stage, place the rolled sheet in the fridge for sometime.
6. You can also use your hands to spread the dough in the cookie cavity. Make sure you spread the dough evenly. Remember to cover the walls of cookie cutter as well.
7. You will require a bit patience for this task, but the end result is totally worth the effort. ( I am trying to pump you up here)
8. Making of ganache is a simple step. I added roasted nuts into prepared ganache, which really lifted the texture and flavours. This small info given below will help you understand the ganache – this will be helpful in many more recipes.
The chocolate ganache is all about the proportion of cream to chocolate. Glazes have thinner ( pouring )consistency so higher percentage of cream is required. A thicker ganache for frosting or for rolling into truffles needs to be stiffer, so the chocolate percentage is higher.
To Make ;
Layer cake filling and thick glaze: 1:1, equal parts chocolate and cream.
Chocolate truffles: 2:1, two parts chocolate to one part cream.
Soft icing and runny glaze: 1:2, one part chocolate to two parts cream.
(1:1 ratio means 4 ounces chocolate to 4 ounces cream)
9. One clean layer of ganache on the top makes the ginger bread man more presentable. The swirls on the top is a creativity given by kids. But this will not have any effect on the flavours, so its totally optional.
10. You can also have fruit filled ginger bread man or jam filled or may be a savoury version of ginger bread man.
For Almond Shortbreads:
100 gm of unsalted butter – room temperature
1/4th cup sugar
1/4th cup of whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup ground almonds (almond meal/flour)
2 tablespoons rice flour or cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup of heavy cream
175 gms of chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts of your choice
A pinch of salt
Almond Shortbreads: You will need a big cookie cutter with ginger bread man shape. Place the cutter on to a baking tray, which is lined with parchment paper.
In the bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, using a whisk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours (all purpose, whole wheat flour, almond, and riceflour) and salt. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix just until incorporated. Use a spatula or hands for this job.
Press the shortbread dough evenly into your cookie cutter. Or You can roll the prepare batter between two sheets of parchment paper and then lay it down in the cookies cutter cavity. Make sure you are covering the walls of the cutter well and you are spreading the dough evenly.
Prick the surface of the shortbread with a fork to prevent the shortbread from puffing up. Place the prepared cutter with the dough in the fridge for 10 minute and Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Bake till the edges start to brown (biscuit color), about 10 to 20 minutes. Place on a wire rack and allow the shortbread to cool for about five minutes before removing from cookie cutter.
To prepare the chocolate ganache – Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan ( do not boil the cream ). Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Allow the cream to sit on chocolate for about a minute, then mix until smooth and glossy.
Add in chopped nuts and cranberries along with a pinch of salt. (Don’t forget to leave a little of ganache without nuts for Top layer). When the tart is completely cool – fill the cavity with ganache mix and add a clean layer on the top. You don’t need to chill the tart, it stays good at room temperature. Enjoy with friends and family.