As the leaves begin to fall and everything turns golden my tastes begin change and long for warm spicy flavours. It's now that I begin to make Gingerbread.
There are two types of gingerbread. One is a soft spongy cake mix and the other a biscuit. For gingerbread croutons I make the a gingerbread cake which is then cut up into squares and baked again until in is completely dry, which creates a crunchy crisp crouton. This technique is inspired by the method used for the classic Italian biscotti which you may have been served with a coffee. This biscuit is traditionally baked in a long squashed sausage form. Once baked it is then cut into thin slices and baked again until all moisture has been removed.
The flavours in ginger bread are, for me, heavily associated with Autumn and the run up to Christmas. I used to work in a large Hotel in London and the Pastry menus on the run up to Christmas would have many sweets, pastries and cakes containing the spices ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. These spicy aromas would fill the pastry kitchen and I have always connected these particular flavours to this time since.