White Ginger Bread

50.

A friend of mine is providing some treats for a meeting at an SCA event and asked me to contribute. Ever since I did the Sugar Paste work I’ve been wanting to try some of the more advanced versions. One of the ones I’ve thought was interesting was the “White Ginger Bread” recipe in ​A

I made a mini version at the same time to taste test before I send the large version to the meeting.

Book of Cookrye, by A. W. in 1591. Of course this is the 16th century use of the word so it’s referring to confection, not necessarily something with bread in it.

I’ve never made marzipan before but I thought that combining marzipan, sugar paste, and ginger seemed like a great combination and a way to try something new.

End result is delicious. A great combination of the sugar paste with marzipan and just enough ginger to offset the rosewater.

This also marks the end of A&S 50 for me which I started in 2010. There was a fairly substantial break when I stopped playing in the SCA for two years but I’ve now completed it. As part of the completion I began linking all of my recipes on the new Recipes page. Also as part of this I won’t be using the category or tag A&S 50 any more; however, each new recipe will be added to my recipes page which should make them easier to find.

To make white Ginger bread.

Take Gumma Dragagantis half an once, and steep it in rosewater two daies, then put therto a pound of Sugar beaten & finely serced, and beate them well together, so that it may be wrought like paste, then role it then into two Cakes, then take a fewe Jordain almonds & blaunch them in colde water, then dry them with a faire Cloth, and stampe them in a morter very finelye, adding therto a little rosewater, beat finely also the whitest Sugar you can get and searce it. Then take Ginger, pare it and beat it very small and serce it, then put in sugar to the almonds & beat them togither very well, then take it out and work it at your pleasure, then lay it even upon one of your cakes, and cover it with an other and when you put it in the molde, strewe fine ginger both above and beneath, if you have not great store of Sugar, then take Rice and beat it small and serce it, and put it into the Morter and beat them altogither.(A.W. 1591, 37b-38a)

Essentially the recipe is two layers of sugar paste with a layer of marzipan and ginger between them.

My Basic Sugar Paste recipe will be perfect for this one.

  •     8 oz powdered sugar
    I’ve purchased a new mortar that’s larger, but this one works so well for the early stages and the later stages still need something bigger than my large mortar anyway. It’s a bit of a conundrum but I have a plan for next time that might work.
  •     ½ oz gum tragacanth
  •     4 tbsp rose water
  1. Whisk gum into rose water or coloured juice
  2. Allow to steep 12-24 hours
  3. Beat gum mixture in mortar
  4. Slowly incorporate sugar (and cinnamon oil if you choose)
  5. Grind in mortar until it becomes a paste, add extra rose water as needed (you may need to transfer it out of your mortar into a larger bowl you can use your pestle in)
  6. O
    I seem to be getting pretty good at making this now.
    ptional: replace ¼ of sugar with finely ground cinnamon
  7. Press into molds or roll out like fondant
  8. Allow to dry

 

I made the Marzipan last week and you can see the post here.

  • Slices of marzipan from culinary night last week.
    100 g blanched ground almonds
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp rosewater (extra if needed) (if you don’t like rosewater use egg white mixed with almond extract or a mixture of lemon juice, almond extract, and water)
  1. Pulse almond meal and powdered sugar in food
    Marzipan log ready.
    processor until fully combined
  2. Add rosewater 1/2 tbsp at a time until it becomes a dough, pulsing in between
  3. Turn out onto surface and knead a few times
  4. Roll into log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed

White Ginger Bread

1591 English, from ​A Book of Cookrye

You have to work fast when the sugar paste is rolled out thin, I might recommend not making it too thin, but it seems to have worked out for me this time.
  • sugar paste
  • 2/3 cup marzipan
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  1. Roll out sugar paste, cut two 6″ circles
  2. Dust one of the circles liberally with 1/2 the ginger
  3. spread marzipan evenly onto it
  4. Dust liberally with remaining ginger
  5. Cover with other circle, seal edges (use combination of rosewater and powdered sugar if needed)
  6. Cut into wedges
    Don’t do what I did. Let your marzipan come up to room temperature before using or it won’t spread and you’ll just have to layer the slices.
  7. Allow to dry (either two days air drying or dry quicker in the oven)

 

 

I made a small second one so I could try it before sending it to the meeting without destroying the look of the final product.

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Here you can see the problem with layering the cold marzipan. One side of the final version will be lumpy.
However, here you can see the unlumpy side and it looks great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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