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The sweetest of Christmas memories from Richard Bainbridge

PUBLISHED: 10:29 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:49 26 November 2018

Richard Bainbridge has fond childhood memories of gingerbread and jellied sweets at Christmas

Richard Bainbridge has fond childhood memories of gingerbread and jellied sweets at Christmas

Archant

TV chef and local lad Richard Bainbridge shares his memories of Christmas treats – and invites you to have a go at making them!

There's nothing like a ginger bread man after the hard work of choosing a treeThere's nothing like a ginger bread man after the hard work of choosing a tree

Christmas in my house starts with putting up the Christmas tree. We always go out as a family and pick the tree together, haul it into the car and head home, Christmas music playing in our ears.

Once home, the tradition is to have the table laden with gingerbread. This comes both from my wife’s traditions of growing up in Germany, but it is also a tradition I remember from growing up in a single parent family, I used to walk down the road when I was about eight or nine years old, feeling

like the man of the house with the money my mum had given to me to pick the Christmas tree.

I recall dragging it back up the road to show my mum, and once home there would be a hot chocolate and ginger biscuits ready to for us all to enjoy while decorating the tree.

Jellied sweets were Richard's nanny's specialityJellied sweets were Richard's nanny's speciality

My nanny would always have a plethora of sweets in a bowl ready for us when we all piled round on Christmas Day. It was always the first thing I would look for – just like the Holy Grail, a goblet full of jellied sweets signifies Christmas all over for me.

A great story springs to mind about my nanny at Christmas, which happened not so long ago. I went straight for the sweet jar, trying to be sneaky as I would have as a child. Bearing in mind I’m a grown man at this point, and my nanny screamed at me from the corner of the room – from the angle she was looking at me, she thought I was having a wee in the sweet bowl when I was just trying to sneak some jelly sweets before dinner!

Now we go to my mum’s house on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and the first thing my daughter does is go straight to the shelf, where my mum always leaves her a bowl of jellies, just like my nanny used to do for me.

If you get the chance, have a go at these sugared jellies and gingerbread and make your own Christmas memories.

Merry Christmas one and all!

GINGERBREAD

Ingredients:

350g flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon

125g butter

175g light brown sugar

1 egg

4 tbsp (60g) golden syrup

Method: Pre heat the oven to 180C. Blitz together the flour, bicarb, ground ginger and cinnamon until all mixed together. Add the butter and continue to mix until the butter is all incorporated. Stir in the light brown sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and golden syrup together then slowly add to the mixture, stirring continuously. Once all ingredients have been incorporated wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Cut into your desired shape and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown in colour.

JELLIED SWEETS

160ml apple juice

1 cinnamon stick

380g glucose

800g sugar

Extra 100g sugar / 50g pectin (mixed)

Method: Bring the first four ingredients to the boil, then whisk in the the extra sugar and pectin, bringing the mixture to 107.5C, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into a clingfilm lined tray and leave to set for two hours. To serve, cut the jelly to the portion size you desire and roll the jellies in a bowl of granulated sugar.

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