Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gingerbread People

“Run, run, run, as fast as you can... you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” I can vaguely recall trying to make gingerbread once or twice somewhere in the dim dark past, but not doing what you’d call a spectacular job. Regardless, I’m going to call this my first SUCCESSFUL attempt at making gingerbread people. Piped icing clothes are still to come (and there are actually twice as many as in the photo), but this is what they look like naked…

I made a couple of handy discoveries while making these biscuits. The first was just a lucky coincidence that four of them fit rather neatly onto one of my cookie sheets, but the second was a stroke of sheer genius, even if I do say so myself. I’ve always been a fan of rolling out dough between two sheets of baking paper. So today I rolled out a portion of dough, peeled off the top layer of paper, cut out two boys and two girls, and removed the dough trimmings. I looked at the lined tray, then looked at the four dough cut-outs, wondering how I was going to transfer them to the tray without them getting stretched out of shape.

Light bulb moment! The cutouts were already on baking paper, the bottom layer used when rolling out the dough. I simply trimmed the baking paper around the cut-outs and slid the paper, biscuit dough and all, onto the tray. Brilliant! No mess, no fuss, no gingerbread deformities. It worked so well! I now know EXACTLY how I’ll be doing any kind of cut-out biscuits in future.

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