How to Make:
- Combine the butter, sugar, syrup and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cool. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, bicarb and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the butter mixture and mix well to combine (the dough will be very soft). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to a tray or plate and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.
- Divide the dough into 3 portions. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out 1 portion of the dough on a large sheet of baking paper until 5mm thick. Slide the paper with the dough onto a baking tray. Use the template (see note) to cut some of the ute shapes from the dough, allowing 2cm between each piece. Place the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining ute shapes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Remove the excess dough from between the gingerbread pieces and reserve. Bake the pieces for 10-12 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
- Reroll the reserved scraps of dough on a floured surface and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Roll the dough out to 5mm thick. Use Aussie animals cutters to cut out shapes. Place on the prepared tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch (see note).
- Use a palette knife to spread the flat back of each piece of the gingerbread ute with a layer of dark melted chocolate and set aside to set. Place the remaining melted chocolate in a snap lock bag and snip off one corner.
- Assemble the ute using the chocolate as “glue”. Attach the half wheels to the inside top half of each wheel (these will help support the base). Place a 2cm-thick rectangular piece of foam or a chopping board under the base part of the ute to help as a support. Pipe chocolate around the edge of each side piece and attach sides to base. Set aside to set. You may need to support the ute between two cake pans while setting.
- Repeat with the chocolate to secure the back and front parts of the ute (you may need to melt the chocolate again, if it has started to set) allowing the pieces to set between stages. Add the top of the bonnet, the grilles, windscreen, top of the cab, back cab window and ute boot. It may be necessary to trim the sides of the gingerbread to fit as it will spread a little during baking. Set aside to set.
- For the royal icing, use electric beaters to beat the egg white in a bowl until foamy. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth and able to be piped. Divide the icing among 5 bowls. Leave 1 portion of icing white. Add some of the orange food paste to tint 1 portion of icing, black to tint another to make a grey colour, yellow to another and green to the last (use a little extra beaten egg white to thin the icing if it becomes too thick).
- Place each icing in separate snap lock bags. Use scissors to snip off a small corner of each bag (alternatively, you can use piping bags fitted with a 2mm plain nozzle). Pipe outlines onto the ute with the white icing. Decorate with the coloured icing to represent windows and doors with different designs, such as dots, stripes, squiggles or gum leaf patterns. You can even pipe a quirky numberplate, if you like. Set aside to set.
- Use the remaining coloured icing to decorate the animal gingerbread. Pipe outlines around the biscuits and fill in the shape with icing. Tap the biscuits lightly to settle. Set aside to set.
- Serve the ute with the animals in the back. Merry Christmas!
Time for preparing:30 min. PT30M
- 250g butter, chopped
- 140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- 80ml (1/3 cup) golden syrup
- 80ml (1/3 cup) honey
- 2 eggs
- 750 (5 cups) plain flour
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 290g packet dark chocolate melts, melted Royal icing
- 1 egg white, plus extra, if needed
- 230g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Orange, black, yellow and green food colour pastes