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Grasmere-ish Gingerbread

Grasmere is a village in the Lake District of England, which was beloved of the poet Wordsworth and was his home for a number of years. As well as being a location from which one can “wander lonely as a cloud”, it is also the only place where you can get genuine Grasmere gingerbread. That doesn’t stop people trying to replicate it though and I made an attempt this afternoon following a video by Peter Sidwell. Unfortunately, the website he put the measurements on appears to be out of action but (I thought) it can’t be too hard to follow the steps.

Grasmere-ish Gingerbread - Attempt 1
First Attempt

It turns out that, as someone who doesn’t do much baking, there are some challenges. If it was a loaf of bread, I would have been better prepared but I made a guess at the basic flour / butter mix and ended up with 150g to 100g (the flour is a mixture of wholemeal and oats, whizzed together in a food processor to make them quite fine). On checking with the biscuit chapter in my Mary Berry book, a 2:1 ratio would have been closer the mark. My mix (with sugar, three different forms of ginger and a bit of orange zest) was still very soft after 15 minutes of cooking instead of done after 10.

The taste was good but it is too rich and possibly a bit too sweet. I doubt I’ll get that close to the original (confession: it is at least a quarter of a century since I last tried it – we didn’t make it to Grasmere in our recent trip) but I’ll try a few more iterations and then, once I’ve got something I’m happy with, I’ll probably order some of the proper stuff to compare.

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