If you can’t resist a gingerbread every time you see one on the shelf next to the bakery and cafe cashier, this recipe is for you. With a lot of honey and spices, immersed in the chocolate icing, it still gets beehive decoration. It also has a tip for making a stuffed version. Either way, it will be difficult to eat just one square!
1 cup of tea
1 ½ tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of cloves
4 cardamom berries
With a knife, open the cardamom berries in half and transfer to a kettle. Add the water, the remaining spices and bring to medium heat. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat, cover and let it steep for 20 minutes.
Strain and let the tea cool – it needs to be at room temperature to be used in the recipe. If you prefer, you can make tea the day before the recipe is prepared.
FOR THE GINGERBREAD
3 cups of wheat flour
1 cup of honey
1 cup of tea
½ cup (tea) of milk
½ cup (tea) of strained, spiced tea at room temperature
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 teaspoons of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of powdered ginger
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Butter to grease the baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C (medium temperature).
Butter a 40 cm x 28 cm baking dish and 5.5 cm high.
Cut two pieces of parchment paper to cover the bottom and larger sides of the pan.
Also grease the paper with butter – this makes it easier to unmold, as the dough for the honey bread is very moist, in addition we avoid sprinkling the pan with flour, as the honey bread will be bathed in chocolate.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda, powdered cinnamon, powdered ginger and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, place honey, sugar, milk, tea and melted butter. Mix well with the wire whisk to dissolve the ingredients.
In a small bowl, break the egg and add the liquid ingredients – if it is spoiled you will not lose the recipe. Mix again with the whisk just to be smooth, there is no need to incorporate air into the dough.
Add the reserved flour mixture in three stages, stirring with the wire whisk with each addition to incorporate.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the honey bread grows and its golden surface is dry to the touch.
To find out if it is baked, stick a toothpick into the dough: if it comes out clean, you can take it out of the oven; otherwise, let it bake for a few more minutes.
Remove the honey bread from the oven and let it cool completely before unmolding and slicing.
FOR CHOCOLATE COVERAGE
800 g dark chocolate 55% cocoa in callets
To unmold the gingerbread: turn the baking sheet over on a large board (or smooth workbench) at once.
Gently pull the wax paper and discard. With a bread knife (or serrated), cut the honey bread into 5 cm squares – if you want a very straight finish, cut about 0.5 cm from the edges and remove the chips.
Bring a medium saucepan with a little water over medium heat to a boil – it will serve as a base to melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil.
If you are not using chocolate in callets (or drops), chop the bar into medium pieces.
Place the chocolate in a large refractory glass bowl, place the bowl in the pan and turn the heat down; stir from time to time with a silicone spatula until completely melted – the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl, the heat of the steam is sufficient to melt the chocolate.
If you prefer, take the chocolate to melt in the microwave, on average, every 30 seconds, stirring at each stage.
Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the water bath and, with a ladle, transfer ⅓ of the melted chocolate to another medium bowl. Place the bowl with ⅔ of melted chocolate over an ovenproof dish with water and ice.
Attention: chocolate cannot come into direct contact with water.
Stir the chocolate well with the silicone spatula to cool until reaching a temperature of 27 ºC – remove the bowl from the ice and return as many times as necessary to prevent the chocolate from the bottom of the bowl to harden.
If you don’t have a culinary thermometer, dip a toothpick into the chocolate and touch the lip: it must be cold.
Remove the bowl with the chocolate from the ice and mix the ⅓ reserved chocolate – so the temperature of the chocolate rises again until it reaches between 30º and 32ºC, ideal to be worked without hardening too fast.
To bathe the honey breads: dip one square of honey bread at a time in the chocolate, lift with a fork and tap the fork well against the edge of the bowl to drain the excess chocolate. Use a small spatula on the surface, sides and base of the gingerbread to be very straight.
Transfer the bathed honey bread to the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and repeat with the rest.
Allow the honey loaves to harden completely before storing in a jar with airtight closure or wrapping. They last up to 15 days.
NOTE: in case of melted chocolate, transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and spread it forming a thin layer, about 0.5 cm (the thinner the layer, the faster the chocolate cools and hardens). If you want to speed up the process, refrigerate for just 5 minutes. Once it is firm, wrap the chocolate with film (or in a food bag) and store at room temperature.