Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fight-or-Flight and Stage Fright

I have been asked a few times to appear on TV/radio and always experience an uneasiness creeping into my being in the week prior. I'll be honest - It's unpleasant. Once on camera though, the tension dissapates and I'm left with relative clarity to do the job…Fortunate but not coincidental that the adrenaline is advantageous to the performance.

Apparently, adrenaline is the reason some can down a couple of beers in quick succession right after performing and not feel tipsy for a while (the digestive system is basically shut down) Hmmm handy one to remember!

I had the privilege on Saturday afternoon of joining Natascha Moy on her Food in Focus show on Eastside FM together with Massimo Mele, head chef from Hugo’s Manly. I might add, his Tiramisu won both Natascha and myself over. I am the kind of person who deconstructs food (wherever possible) to understand the parts and the whole so this desert was right up my alley.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gingerbread Folk join Kids Pantry at MasterChef LIVE

Kids all over the country are tearing in from swingsets and tramps making a b-line for the box. With the clocks about to wind back an hour and Junior MasterChef underway, our (parents') evenings just got a whole lot shorter! Part of me is pleased that my 8 year old has such an interest in food, but the patience draws thin as I find myself the waiter for the evening - and apparently - my toasted sandwiches are no match for the creations of some of these talented kids!

On the flip side, Gingerbread Folk is delighted to be providing our all natural, egg-free gingerbread and special royal icing for Kids Pantry at MasterChef LIVE's Junior MasterChef workshops again this year. It's on 7-9th of October so bring the kids in to learn some fun chef skills.

In other Gingerbread Folk news about town, this weekend I'll be chatting to Natascha Moy from Food in Focus along with executive chef for Hugos Manly, Massimo Mele. streaming live at http://www.foodinfocus.com.au/radio/ this Saturday 1st oct 4-6pm on 89.7FM Tune in for some great giveaways!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mall Shopper Not

I don’t mind the odd dose of retail therapy but I’m not a shopper – I get bored. A glimpse up through the mock palms and opaque glass at my local mall has me wondering about the weather on the other side. The distorted view reveals that valuable daylight hours are being whittled away, so I grab a coffee and head on out. I’ll do my shopping later - when it’s dark – and I'll do it online!

There are many reasons I’ve come to like online shopping…
Some are a bit antisocial - It doesn't have to be done side by side the masses, I can wear my ugg boots and I don’t have to carry drink bottles and children's snacks. A couple are just practical – it’s fast and efficient and can be done in the stillness of the night.

After months of cooking up our online shop, we're very excited to announce it is now open for business. We can't wait to start posting our products out to all the folk on remote outback stations...not to mention busy parents who do their best shopping - online when all falls silent in the wee hours!

You can now place your orders for freshly baked, all natural and delicious gingerbread directly from us to you. All our products are available online including gift boxes and tins, our house kits and new-for-2011 Christmas Tree Kits and we have a special offer running for our first week only, 10% off all purchases. Look forward to you visiting the Gingerbread Folk online shop http://www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au/shop/home.php

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Celebrity Chef in My Pantry

Our 7 year old daughter’s hero is Maggie Beer and Masterchef is hot conversation. I remember wheeling the cat around in a pram at that age. How is it that kids these days are watching cooking shows?

Ian Palmenter’s Consuming Passions in the early nineties (I was a grown up) is my first meaningful foodie-show memory and his Hungarian Ghoulash, which after turning vegetarian, is still a great success in my kitchen. I recall the delight and fun he inspired.

Apparently, Jamie Oliver tops the table of celebrity chefs who influence the way we cook. Personally, I’m a wannabee domestic goddess so Nigella’s never far from my thoughts. Sticking to our theme of ‘gingerbread inclusive’ recipes, and given that it’s still cold and a bit Christmassy in July, this week, we'd like to share a somewhat festive recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book Feast. (for vegetarians, this makes a really nice dish with marinated tempeh) Enjoy!

Gingerbread Stuffing

Preparation time: less than 30 mins Cooking time: 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 8
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g/1lb 2oz onions, finely chopped
2 eating apples peeled, cored and finely chopped
750g/1lb 8oz streaky bacon (free range or omit
), finely chopped
2 clementines or 1 orange, zest only
450g/16oz loaf gingerbread (or 2 smaller ones to give you 450g)
2 free-range eggs, beaten
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preparation method
1. Heat the butter and oil in a large wide saucepan. Add the onion and apple to the pan and cook until both ingredients have softened and turned golden in colour (about 10-15 minutes).
2. Add the bacon to the softened onion and apple mixture and mix well. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. Then add the clementine or orange zest and mix well.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and set a side to cool a little.
4. Roughly cut the gingerbread into clumps and crumbs and add the pieces to the stuffing and mix well.
5. Add the beaten eggs and pepper to the stuffing, and press the stuffing into a buttered baking dish. Bake the stuffing in a hot oven with your turkey for about the last 45 minutes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gingerbread-Inspired Winter Warmers

With the Mercury dipping to temps close to freezing, cooking up comfort food is high on our agenda. Cookbooks and magazines entice us with their alluring images and mention of comfort food, but we wonder - why are we drawn to it during the bleaker months?

Apparently, consuming comfort foods, increases chemicals in the brain, like serotonin and dopamine, that positively influence our moods - like the way certain drugs also induce a sense of pleasure (anyone for chocolate!?) Right now, even my toddler is loving a whirring oven. "Hot hot, cake?"

There may no longer be a biological need to fatten up during winter, however it’s certainly a great excuse to cook and eat, so this week we’ve decided to share a delicious and decadent recipe which includes our favourite spicy gingerbread flavours; Leche flan with gingerbread crumbs

As part of our 'gingerbread-inpsired winter warmers' week, there is also a chance to WIN gingerbread! We'd like to invite you to share an innovative recipe with us… but here's the catch - gingerbread needs to be one of the ingredients! Our favourite recipe will receive 1kg of gingerbread to make their recipe! Competition opens Wednesday 20th of July 9am and closes Wednesday 27th of July midnight. Head to http://www.facebook.com/gingerbreadfolk to enter our comp!

Leche Flan with Gingerbread Crumbs
Serves 8 Prep time 15 mins, cook 1 hr 25 mins (+ resting, cooling, setting)

440 gm (2 cups) white sugar
4 eggs + 4 egg yolks (free range of course)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
50ml dry sherry
750ml milk

Gingerbread crumbs
130 gm plain flour
½ tsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
60 gm butter, softened
45 gm caster sugar
1 egg yolk
90 gm (¼ cup) blackstrap molasses

For gingerbread crumbs, sift dry ingredients (except sugar) and ½ tsp each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper together and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy, add egg yolk and beat until combined. Add molasses, beat to combine, then add sifted ingredients and stir until just combined. Form dough into a square, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 180C. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and transfer to a lightly greased and baking paper-lined oven tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Cool, then break into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.

Reduce oven to 120C. Place eight ¾ cup-capacity (1.5cm-deep) moulds in a roasting pan. Combine 1 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves, then increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 minutes or until golden caramel. Divide among moulds and cool until set.

Whisk together whole eggs and egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl, add sherry and milk and gently stir to prevent bubbles forming, then divide among prepared moulds. Add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of moulds, cover with 2 sheets of foil and bake for 1 hour or until just set. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until cold. Serve leche flans scattered with gingerbread crumbs.

Note Blackstrap molasses is available from the health food section of supermarkets and health food stores.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Our Response to the Carbon Tax

Social commentators often portray small business opinion on the carbon tax as negative, however just like the rest of the country, small businesses have a variety of views. Here is ours;

We can all contribute to reduce CO2 emissions through the decisions we make but there’s only so much each individual household or small business can do. Gingerbread Folk are prepared to wear a cost as part of the big picture for action on climate change because we believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to solve these problems …not just that of big business and government.

Initiatives we already include are a switch to renewable energy supply and a hybrid business car. Some companies pay for carbon offsets. We’re still small enough to do the tree planting ourselves…It’s a great family outing and teaches our kids about how they can contribute to solving big issues.

We’re glad there’s now a carbon policy on the table that we can plan our business around. We look forward to finding new ways of managing a sustainable business and reducing our own carbon footprint.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Facebook - Lots to Like

We’ve just watched The Social Network on DVD (ok so a year or two behind here in the Mountains!)…now we’re ruminating on what it all means.

Is Facebook your social network? Apparently, 1 in every 13 people on Earth is on Facebook and would you believe that Australians, at 7 hours on average, spend more time per month on Facebook than any other nationality. To show how seriously we take it, Court notices and summons sent through Facebook are legal and binding in Australia. Facebook even has its own associated mental disorder – FAD - Facebook Addiction Disorder.

Lots of reasons to like it and plenty to lump it too! From connecting with old friends, keeping up to date with our favourite businesses, raising awareness for topical issues (think the power of the recent Live Export Animal Australia campaign!) to the dangers of cyber bullying, Facebook is really an electronic reflection of our society. For Gingerbread Folk, Facebook connects us with our customers who share their comments and photos. Our gingerbread house customers post their creations and our brides post their wedding shots.

This week we are running a competition on Facebook…Find our cheeky gingerbread man hidden somewhere on our website to WIN. You could be one of the first to experience the prize of our new Gingerbread Tree Kit.

Once you’ve located the gingerbread man, head to our Facebook page. You need to Like our page to enter. Email us at info@gingerbreadfolk.com with your name, address and answer. Remember - don't reveal the location on our wall.

Correct answers will receive 1 entry into the competition. Share our page with your friends to receive an extra entry. Entries open Tuesday 5th of July at 9am and close Tuesday the 12th of July at 11:59pm. The winner will be announced via facebook at 9am Wednesday the 13th of July.

Here’s the little guy to look out for! Good luck and happy hunting!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Working, living and loving The Blue Mountains

This week, we thought we'd take a moment to share why we love working and living in The Blue Mountains...

Arriving at our bushy appointed warehouse on a crisp winter's morning to find the local resident wallaby thawing in the sun is not a bad way to start the working day. Living in the Blue Mountains, we are in awe of the natural wonders on our doorstep in this World Heritage Listed area. Around the corner from us is the Glenbrook entrance to the Blue Mountains National Park which includes access to Glenbrook Gorge, Jelly Bean Pools and Euroka Clearing. Intriguing names that won't disappoint.

The food of the Blue Mountains, from the Hawkesbury and Nepean flood plains, to the Mountain farms from Kurrajong to Hartley, abounds in a wide variety of producers and wonderful cafés and restaurants that turn this produce into mouthwatering meals. The City of the Blue Mountains has been recognised as an outstanding source of fine food and quality produce with endorsement as a Cittaslow community.

The top of the Mountains is about an hour and a half away from Sydney by car but don't drive straight to Katoomba, enjoy your journey. We'd like to share some of our favourite places along the way;

At the foot of the mountains on the banks of the Nepean River is Cafe at Lewers. At the Penrith Regional gallery, set between the galleries and surrounded by the gardens with charm (the kids will love playing amongst the pretty flowers and hedges) chef Ross Dobson's menu uses local produce.

As you start heading into the Mountains, the blink and you miss it town of Warimoo (The Moo to the locals) is home to DmF Emporium, an eclectic café experience. The lower mountains is also home to a true hidden foodie gem…Blaxland's Restaurant Como offers spectacular degustation nights. Como has been awarded 1 Chef's Hat from the SMH Good Food Guide in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and we highly recommend it. Run by lovely people too!

Once you reach the heights around Leura and Katoomba and the Caffeine cravings are tingling, be sure to stop in at True To The Bean. Great coffee and waffles! In the old power station in Katoomba you will find Carrington Cellars home to local boutique wines and local deli produce. And of course don't forget to drop into our warehouse on Friday afternoons to pick up some of our delicious seconds.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Looking into the Lens

Last week we found ourselves looking into the lens of multiple cameras. You know the feeling when you smile and hold that smile until it becomes a clench, then a grit, then an 'um-can-I-stop-doing-my-ronald-macdonald-grin-now'? Smiling is supposed to be spontaneous…There is nothing spontaneous about being filmed, but it does get the adrenalin pumping!

On Wednesday Rob from Food Wine Dine, came to make the video to air on Virgin national and international inflight entertainment July-Dec. He was amazing…I can't tell you the amount of swearing and raspberries he edited out but he pulled all the bits together to make a fun piece. Amazingly he actually made us sound coherent. One thing that is apparent from the video, is just who at Gingerbread Folk is doing all the work. Whilst the bosses are trying to look important in front of the camera, there is our baker toiling away in the background. See the video at http://vimeo.com/24918367 and also check out some of the other stories
of foodie people around Australia that Food Wine Dine has filmed.

On Friday we had a visit from Melissa Mylchreest (creative director of House and Garden magazine) and Meryl Butterworth (freelance photographer) from Buttermilk Publishing who are putting together a photographic journal of the Blue Mountain's food, people and hidden gems. This is going to be a great collection about more than just The Three Sisters with a significant focus on the lower mountains. (By the way, if you've never been into the Blue Mountains National Park accessed from Glenbrook you are in for a special surprise…Glenbrook Gorge is well worth a visit!) We're really excited about the publication on the place we call work and home, and will keep you informed regarding its progress.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making Your Business Memorable

Gingerbread Folk are unlocking your clients' and employees' positive emotions to make businesses remembered. ..and all from the comfort of the work desk!

Have you
experienced how a smell or taste can instantly transport us to another time and place.

Marcel Proust a French novelist, described this in his monumental work À la recherche du temps perdu (translated as Remembrance of Things Past). He writes of an experience in which he tastes a Madeline cookie and a sip of lemon tea and is flooded by a vivid happy memory of his Aunt's house, from his childhood 40 years earlier.

Smell and taste relate to memories of emotional rather than informational content explains Dr. Stuart Firestein, a biologist from Columbia University. He adds that this sensory memory, recalls very distant but strong memories and recreates them vividly. It is a survival trait that helps us avoid what we don't like to eat but advantageously allows us to enjoy our positive experiences time and again.

Gingerbread Folk have a range of corporate gifts to refresh and rejuvenate your business relationships. Open a tin of gingerbread cookies, let the aroma embrace you and the taste transport you. For more about Gingerbread Folk's memorable cookies visit

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wintery Weddings

Tis the season for romance... Nights by the fireplace and crisp morning walks leaving footprints in the frost. With a chill in the air, it's the perfect time to warm hearts with your winter wedding.
Imagine a magical forest of sparkling, icicle laden trees for an enchanted Narnia-themed wedding... or frosty and festive trees with brightly coloured edible baubles for a Christmas-themed wedding.
Gingerbread Folk have the perfect table decoration to bring these winter wedding themes to life. Our new Gingerbread Trees make wonderful centrepieces on wedding tables.

Styling your winter wedding is simple... Here are our tips for your beautiful day;
  1. Keep your colour scheme soft to match the fallen snow around you. Whites and soft blues crispen the atmosphere and set the scene.
  2. Add elements of spice and warmth through your centrepieces, flowers and decorations. We recommend browns and reds to add a little heat.
  3. Natural fire will keep your guests toasty so candles should be a plenty.
  4. Enchant your guests upon arrival... Have your bridesmards cast confetti snow as you make your dramatic entrance.
  5. The richer the better - fine wine, dark and bitter chocolate team well with spicy gingerbread placecards which can double as bomboniere. These elements will warm the hearts and stomachs of your guests.
  6. FDon't forget your gown - strong lines and soft hues teamed with a wrap cardigan will have you looking stunning and keeping warm too!
  7. Greet your guest with the best champagne and serve a feast to remember.
  8. Don't forget winter is the time when wedding reception venues offer competitive packages allowing you to put more into the styling of your winter wedding.
Gingerbread winter wedding

Gingerbread winter wedding by gingerbreadfolk on Polyvore.com
Let us wind back a few weeks in the lead up to the big day. It's your hens/bachelorette party and step one is to get a handful of girlfriends and enjoy a fun afternoon of gingerbread house making (using Gingerbread Folk house kits of course). Decorate your houses to your hearts content in your theme colours, wrap them up and viola! you have your wintery centrepieces.

Gingerbread Folk High Tea

Gingerbread Folk High Tea by gingerbreadfolk featuring pewter heels

For table settings, our 2-in-1 personalised cookie placecards are a fun icebreaker and will get your guests warmed up and talking.

Gingerbread has a natural association with the tradition and timeless themes of winter. For information on Gingerbread Folk trees, houses and cookie placecards, head to

To see some real wedding ideas using Gingerbread Folk products, check out our facebook wedding album.

For inspiration, head to the following bridal blog sites for more ideas about how to style a winter wedding;


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Adding the Edible Touch to Business

Requests for gingerbread as client gifts and corporate promotional gifts has been keeping us on our toes. "What's going to stand out on my client's desk in amongst the branded golf tees and novelty pens?"

We answer a lot of questions like this so we have decided to put together a package on the various options of Gingerbread Folk's corporate gifts. This will be available next week to download from our website. Today we've decided to spotlight the occasions when we have suppliedthe gift of gingerbread to  promote a stronger relationship between businesses…A range of fun and out-of-the-box ideas follow;

The End of Financial Year Trading Gift - Who doesn't love enjoying a cookie as they're chewing over the year in review? We ensure you stay top of mind with a surprise cookie gift tin to your client to ring in the new financial year.

The Christmas/Easter Gift -. Our snowmen, christmas trees and easter bunnees have goodwill in spades. These seasonal design cookies bring cheer and merriment to all who feast on them.

The Events and Promotions Gift - Nothing engages like food. Customers use our corporate branded cookie gifts to be remembered.

The Thank Goodness It's Friday Gift - Why wait til Friday…Our customers surprise their employees and clients everyday with our delicious cookie gifts. Wow what a nice boss!

The 'Morning Tea On Us' Gift - "A big box of gingerbread cookies just arrived in the office….Well that's morning tea sorted!" We organisebusiness-to business delivery of morning tea packs to surprise and delight your clients.

The 'Thank You For All Your Hard Work' Gift - It's the end of a campaign or a project and the team has worked around the clock to achieve fantastic results. Some say it with flowers, some say it with chocolates…Our customers like to say it with gingerbread. In the workplace, our elegantly presented cookie gift tins are an appreciated gift to say a big thank you.

The ideas are endless and we love them all. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gingerbread Houses add Joy to Christmas

Gingerbread made its first appearance in Europe in 11th century Germany. It is believed that Crusaders brought home the ginger spice they found in the Middle East. It was quickly discovered that it added a warmth and punch to baking and soon gingerbread was abundant.

The popularity of the Gingerbread House soared when the Brothers Grimm, a German fable writing duo, penned their fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel in 1812. Since then, the much loved activity of building and decorating a gingerbread house has become a Christmas tradition, with variations on a theme popping up all over the world. 

In Australia, gingerbread house building has taken on its own character. Cold winter nights are replaced by long summer evenings and the gluvine swapped for a chilled glass of chardonnay. From the coast to the bush, communities come together to build their gingerbread houses, to reflect and share in the spirit of Christmas.

Here is a lovely piece of feedback we received last year from one of our customers, that we really feel captures the experience of a gingerbread house building event.

“We had a fantastic night! I decorated the room all Christmassy and had candles & Christmas music softly playing to have the right ambiance. I included a short speech about the history of gingerbread before we started. That went down really well. With a chink of glasses and cheers, they began! Only 3 ladies of the 20 had done it before. There was a great mix of age, cultures and diversity. There were a few nerves and lack of confidence, but once everyone started I think it became meditative and therapeutic. Their creations were all wonderful and different, and they were all very happy. Thanks for such a great product and excellent service - it is so hard to get these days. Until next year – I’ve been asked to run it again!“

If you’re interested in holding a gingerbread house making event this year, we would love to hear from you. Our early bird offer is currently on until 30th of June.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Building a better team...out of gingerbrea​d

Remember that team building activity?…Stuck in the bush with the Rambo wannabe. Embracing that person you'd rather not because you're told you have to "bond". Summing up your life's history in 5 words or less to a room of people who are all thinking about lunch.

What was the point of it all?

Apparently, the 8 top functions of a team building exercise are to:
- improve communication
- make the workplace more enjoyable
- motivate a team
- bond
- promote problem solving
- identify strengths and weaknesses
- improve team productivity
- stimulate creativity

In today's corporate environment engaging employees is vital for increased productivity…and nothing engages like food!

Not only has food brought people together for thousands of years, countless research organisations have discovered links between the reward of food and an increase in productivity and communication in the workplace .Gingerbread House making events are a growing corporate trend. Gingerbread Folk supply gingerbread house making kits for corporate team building. We offer delicious-tasting, premium quality gingerbread and everything you need, for a fun and out-of-the-box team building activity.

At the end of the event, you have a great corporate gift that an employee can take home to share with their family. Some companies have even run competitions and auctioned the marvellous creations for charity.

If you would like a fast quote on bulk supplies for a gingerbread house team building event , phone us on 02 4739 0950 or email

And by the way… No Rambo wannabes have ever said "no" to some gingerbread action.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Mothers Day Treat

Today Mother's Day is celebrated around the world with many different customs. In Australia, the US, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey and Belgium, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

In Spain, Mother's Day is December 8, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In France, Mother's Day is on the last Sunday of May. A special cake resembling a bouquet of flowers is presented to mothers at a family dinner.

The history of Mother's Day dates back to the 19th Century. It wasn't until 1914 that the U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution, and President Woodrow Wilson signed it, establishing Mother's Day, emphasizing women's role in the family.

Eric Fromm, a famous social philosopher and 20th century psychoanalyst, and author of the best selling book The Art of Loving says, "The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.” Fromm believed “the true nature of love, … always had the common elements of care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge.”

We love to spoil our mums and give gifts of appreciation. This year we recommend giving the gift of gingerbread. Gingerbread Folk cookies are all natural, egg-free and come in pretty sustainable packaging.

They embody the age old tradition of freshly baked goods, smell delightful and taste just asdelcious. They bring comfort, warmth and love to those who consume them.

You can pick up a giftbox from one of our retailers in your area, visit our website for a complete list. Alternatively if you would really like to splurge on your mum, you can order direct from Gingerbread Folk with this limited special offer…A gift tin filled with hearts and flowers and tied with mulberry ribbon. Click here to view the offer details. Be quick offer closes 5pm Wed 5th of May. We hope all your Mums (and you!) have a wonderful Mother's Day on Sunday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kits, Kids and Easter

Yesterday we found the inspiring blog ‘Hold Your Horses Vintage’. Erin, crafty mum of 20 month old Oli, sells vintage wears, is inspired by healthy food inspirations and is constantly creating. She picked up one of our Gingerbread House Kits and turned it into an exciting activity to do with her son, that was both delicious and educational.

We think this is an excellent idea. What better method to teach children than with a Gingerbread House building activity? It’s a creative way to develop concentration and motor skills, teaching cooperation and dexterity - and for the real littlies, a new world of vocabulary opens up…like 'wall', 'roof' and maybe even 'yum yum'.

It looks as though everyone has a lot of fun helping to create a Gingerbread House and just as much fun devouring the masterpiece.

Erin took the finished house to her mother's group for all to enjoy. She was kind enough to share some photos of the experience on her blog and we recommend you check out the happy faces and the beautifully decorated Gingerbread House at www.holdyourhorsesvintage.com.

If you are interested in creating your own Gingerbread Houses, then head to our
website We wish you a safe and Happy Easter! Don’t forget, you can still pick up our egg-free Choc-Gingerbread Bunnies at stockists.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gingerbread Folk and SEDUCE bring the style back to Easter

When the leaves start to turn those bright autumn hues and a crisp chill freshens the air, you know Easter is near.

Little girls grow up and the Easter Sunday egg hunt no longer seems as important as that extra hour of beauty sleep. Leaving behind pig-tails for updos, plush toys for pumps, play dates for play-suits… Let the fun begin.

Easter is a time for luxury. Feeling good, looking good and indulging in the finest of tastes. That is why Gingerbread Folk have teamed up with iconic Australian fashion label Seduce these holidays. We're swapping sugar for spice and going egg-free, literally, our gingerbread cookies are egg-less, even our royal icing.

If you've ever seen the 1948 film Easter Parade starring Fred Astaire alongside Judy Garland, you'll remember that every Easter Sunday high society would don their best and stroll the streets indulging in high teas, sparkling wine and couture.

Well known Australian fashion label Seduce, is celebrating Easter this year with a fantastic
VIP night serving Deakin Estate sparkling, offering styling sessions in store, and of course, Gingerbread Folk's very own spicy treats…Choc-Gingerbread Bunnies.

We couldn't think of anything better these holidays than to dress up in our best outfit, purchased from Seduce of course, grab the girls, open the sparkling wine and plate up delicious gingerbread cookies

If you're still attending those play-dates but now with little ones in tow, a pot of hot tea and gingerbread cookies make for the perfect morning snack. They are also ideal all-natural lunch-box treats.

Why not even spice it up this Easter and have a gingerbread house building activity with the girls? You can head to our
website for more information on our house kit supplies.

The finest gingerbread cookies, the best of fashion and the closest of friends - Have we died and gone to heaven?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day of Reflection

All has gone quiet here today. No baking as we are clearing the kitchen in preparation for installation of our new oven this morning. It’s really big…In fact you can walk inside it. We have been waiting 10 years for this one!

A lot can happen in a decade. A lot can influence the paths we take. The pause in baking today, has given us a moment to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.

In 2001, cutting the umbilical chord with the corporate world, we set off on a journey that would change our lives and steer us in a direction neither of us had ever imagined. Leaving behind a fast paced Sydney lifestyle and experiencing the beauty and timelessness of the Australian outback, allowed us to think freely. With no consumer bombardment telling us who we are or who we should be, new possibilities and passions were born. This change - this time of reflection - provided the space to visualise a dream.

Over the years, we’ve had plenty of advice on what we should and shouldn’t do in business, and how-to and how-fast we should grow it…But it seemed to us, to be important to allow growth at the pace that suited and would ensure balance in our lives. (Can’t say that was an easy lesson!) Taking the time to plan which years would be ‘growth years for the business’ and which would be ‘growth years for our family’ paid off and resulted in 2 young eager gingerbread consumers to boot!

It’s been a long journey from selling gingerbread men to our local swimming centre in Perth…From first thinking there should be more gingerbread men in the world! The passion to make this happen has never been extinguished. There have been years sourcing environmental packaging, researching egg-free icing and playing with shapes and styles of gingerbread. We now have customers all over Australia, from large corporations to small social groups, bride and grooms, to mums with bubs.

We are inspired by the way our products are received by people of all ages and backgrounds and continue to work to create products for friends and fans to enjoy gingerbread year round and for every occasion.

Sometimes it is nice to stop and reflect…Anyone for gingerbread?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Giving a little back to the community

We at Gingerbread Folk have a strong belief in giving back to the community. One of the lovely things about owning your own business is that you can choose to support the charities that you believe in.

Inspired by the work of the amazing volunteers that dedicate so much of their time to providing a 'home-away-from-home' for families of children with serious illness, last year at Christmas we donated gingerbread house kits to Ronald McDonald House in Randwick.

One of Australia's most notable food writers and tv chefs
Janelle Bloom dedicates time each week as a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Randwick and in 2008 she was appointed ambassador for the house.

Janelle approached us about participating in last year's Christmas event at the house and we were over the moon to assist.

We donated gingerbread house kits for the children along with our egg-free ready icing and decorating boards and we received this wonderful message recently from Janelle about the event that we would like to share with you:

"xmas eve when the rest of us are getting ready to enjoy festive season with family & friends we should remember that there are many not so lucky. Ronald Mcdonald House is still full with families and kids whose treatment does not stop for the holidays. So xmas eve I gathered kids around tables for a few hours we had a ball making the gingerbread houses, eating too many lollies that were suppose to be on house. Some of the beautiful houses went up to nurses & doctors at the hospital while others couldn't bare to part with their creativity. Some wonderful members of the local community came in to cook xmas eve dinner and spread the cheer.

No one who stays there feels sorry for themselves, they just get on with the hand they are dealt."

The Ronald McDonald House has now been helping families in Australia for 30 years and Gingerbread Folk are looking forward to assisting again where we can to bring extra joy to the house.

If you would like more information about Ronald McDonald Houses around Australia and what you can do to help head over to

If you would like more information about our delicious gingerbread houses please feel free to visit our

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Psychology of eating a gingerbread man

Have you ever caught yourself wondering which part of the gingerbread man you should eat first? Do you chomp off the head quickly or do you devour each limb slowly?
Some psychologists believe there is a link between how we consume our gingerbread men and our personality types.
Teresa Brunner is a journalist for The Examiner in the US and we found her article on the issue, particularly interesting.
Brunner referenced a study conducted by American brand Dunkin Donuts upon their release of their gingerbread man.
They hit the streets and asked more than 500 people last November how they munch on these cookies. The results were sent to Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. 
The report conduced "If one chooses to bite the head first, it indicates an achievement-oriented individual, a natural leader, who won't take no for an answer. If the initial bite is the right hand, it reflects an individual who tends to be skeptical and pessimistic, while those who initially bite the left arm have a flare for creativity and are more extroverted. Those who first choose the legs tend to be more sensitive, revealing in the company of others," he said.
64% of respondents in the survey start at the top by eating the head first. 20% go straight for the legs, while only 16% begin with the arms.

We recently asked you on our facebook page how you eat your gingerbread men. Do the results of this study reflect your personality?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why we believe in saving our chickens

If you have been following us on twitter you may have seen our link to the Free Betty campaign. Animals Australia is the second largest national animal protection organisation. They have an unprecedented track record in investigating and exposing animal cruelty.
Just one of the Animals Australia campaigns we at Gingerbread Folk support is the Free Betty campaign. Freeing Betty is all about how we can all play a small but important role in freeing birds from cruel egg facilities.

Our products including our royal icing are all egg-free. After much research and development we succeeded in creating an egg-free royal icing. We believe that no chickens should be imprisoned in battery cages to create our cookies.

The birds that lay Australia's 'cage-eggs' never feel the sunshine, never beat their wings and are forced to live in spaces smaller than one A4 sheet of paper.

Over 12 million day old male chicks are gassed or grounded up alive each year as they are an unwanted by-product of egg production systems. Female chicks are de-beaked.

Sharing their space with thousands upon thousands of other hens, they will not be able to stand, dust bathe (which is important to keep their feathers free from parasites). Occasionally they becoming de-feathered from rubbing up against the cage wires. Studies show 1 in 6 hens inside battery cages live with broken bones. Others die unnoticed.
The birds are killed when their egg laying rate declines at around 18 months of age, compared to a natural life span of about 12 years. 
It takes approximately 30 hours for each of Australia's 11 million battery hens to produce just one 'cage egg'.
Operators are unfortunately protected by a 'code of practice'.

So what do we do to help Free Betty? We don't use eggs. What can you do to help Free Betty? Buy free range eggs.
Head to the Free Betty website for information as to how we can all take action.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Little More About Us

Good morning Gingerbread friends.
This week we are focusing on letting you know a little more about who we are and what we're doing.
Gingerbread Folk is the creation of Blue Mountains based Karen Sharman. Whilst practising as an architect Karen began playing with a gingerbread recipe, drawn to the artistic design process, she refined her style of decorating gingerbread. 
Combining her ability to design, with her passion for baking and a keen eye for spotting a demand in the marketplace, Gingerbread Folk was born.
Karen began baking from her home kitchen, with a few cutters, a mixer and 1 rolling pin, but it soon became clear that more space was needed and the business now operates from a commercial kitchen and warehouse in the Blue Mountains.
Gingerbread Folk uses the finest quality ingredients in their cookies and have a strong loyalty to using all natural and egg-free products.
      “We don’t support the use of battery hens, and we aim for cruelty free philosophy".
10 years later Karen's gingerbread products have travelled the world and have received phenomenal praise from the fine food industry, media and delighted customers. With the assistance of her husband Dominic Mason who joined the business in 2008, and a small team of helpers, Karen is very much hands on with all aspects of her business.
Karen's attention to detail fused with her vision of an environmentally sustainable business has resulted in a high demand for production of her products. Gingerbread Folk’s packaging uses 
compostable wrappers, chlorine free and recycled cardboard to further cement this ethical vision.

Gingerbread Folk now produces cookies for retail purchase, foodservice, corporate gifts, events, wedding bomboniere and is constantly innovating new ideas.
      "Gingerbread makes people happy. It's a timeless concept that brings out joy and appeals to old and young alike".

For more information about Gingerbread Folk products head over to www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au

Don't forget that Gingerbread Folk will be at Taste of Sydney this week from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th. Drop in to say hello and meet the Folk behind the delicious cookie.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welcome to the Gingerbread Folk kitchen. Here we create all natural gingerbread using the finest pure ingredients. Our cookies are egg-free and wrapped beautifully in sustainable packaging. We have set up this blog as a space for you to grab a coffee, crowd around our bench and find out about what's coming out of our oven.
We will provide you with weekly reports as to where our little treats are popping up in conversation and on shelves.
We also vow to let you know when we will be out and about and how you can become involved with Gingerbread Folk.

This year is a very exciting one for us and we have lots to tell you. But not all at once. Follow this blog to stay up to date and we'll tell you some of our secrets.

To begin with, if you happen to be floating around Sydney between March 10-13, head on over to the
Taste of Sydney in Centennial Park. This marvellous festival brings together the finest food products available on the market and some of Sydney's best chefs to create a wonderful atmosphere of good food, good wine and good fun.
You can find Gingerbread Folk on Stand E. Pop over, say hello and grab some yummy gingerbread. Karen and Dom, owners of Gingerbread Folk will be delighted to meet you.

Finally, we always love to hear from you - so drop in with a comment.

Until next time - happy eating.