350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and sugar, blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the icing and cake decorations, if using.