For the gingerbread
500g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
150g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
150g golden syrup
For an extra posh gingerbread
Silver balls and other decorations
For the royal icing
3 egg whites
1g cream of tartar
450g icing sugar
To make the gingerbread dough
Cut the butter in small pieces; let it warm to room temperature.
Once the butter is soft, place the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream using a whisk or electric mixer.
Add the golden syrup, then add the eggs one at a time. Mix well after adding each egg.
Sieve the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda together into another mixing bowl.
Gently fold the flour in to the creamed butter mix. Mix until completely incorporated.
Divide the dough into two even parts. Wrap the dough up, and refrigerate for 12 hours or more.
To finish the gingerbread
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Lightly flour a clean work surface. Place the biscuit dough on the surface, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 5mm thickness. Make sure the dough is even all the way through.
Using your favourite cutters, cut the dough into individual biscuits. Carefully lift them onto your baking tray, leaving space between each biscuit.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, till golden brown.
Remove, and let the biscuits cool down completely. Be careful as the biscuits will be soft until they have cooled completely.
To make the royal icing
In a mixing bowl whisk the egg whites till pale and frothy.
Add the cream of tartar, and slowly add the icing sugar till you have a smooth thick paste.
You can split the icing into different bowls and add a few drops of food colouring if you want coloured icing.
Pour your icing into a piping bag. Fit with a fine tip, or if you are using a disposable bag, carefully cut the end of the bag off to create a small nozzle. Pipe designs onto your biscuits.
Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas!