Over the past few days I have been working hard in the kitchen creating a gingerbread house for the boys to devour. I must admit it wasn’t as easy as i initially thought it would be! It’s easy to look at something on the web or in a book and say ‘I can do that!’ but I may say i hit a bit of trouble when my house fell down and crumbled.
My first attempt was abysmal, I baked the gingerbread too thick and although it tasted lush it was more of a cake texture than it was a biscuit and it fell down as it wasn’t sturdy enough. I tried to keep it together by using books and cocktail sticks to keep it up, but it didn’t bear well and collapsed.
On my second attempt I added treacle to the recipe and rolled out the dough thinly (about a £1 coin), this seemed to work!
250g butter (stork)
200g muscovado sugar (i used dark and light)
620g plain flour
4 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp treacle
3 tsp ground ginger
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven at 200c
Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle in a pan over a low heat. Set aside to cool
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in a bowl.
Add in the melted butter and combine until a stiff dough texture
Leave wrapped up in cling film in the fridge over night
There are many templates out there that you can download and print off, take a look at shelter recipe. I found it easier to just judge it by myself, just by drawing onto some baking paper. You will have to trim off the edges once baked anyway.
Make sure that you do 2 of each template; 2 sides, 2 roofs and a front and back (front will be the same size as the back but will have a door and windows cut out.
You will also need:
Royal Icing-for piping, sticking and decoration
A selection of sweets – Giant chocolate buttons for the roof, chocolate fingers for the sides, jelly beans, skittles, strawberry laces.
When you are ready to cook your gingerbread templates, place a couple of boiled sweets in the window areas, these will melt in the oven and give the windows a colourful window look to them.
Once all of the house pieces were cooked I left them over night as they become crisper and more solid. Before erecting the house, I piped icing onto a board where i wanted the side and front of the house to be. I then placed the pieces together by holding onto them for a minute or so, the icing hardens quickly. Build the house up, piece by piece making sure that each piece is stuck together with the icing. The roof was the last piece to go on.
Each sweet/chocolate needs to be stuck in place onto the biscuit with the icing.
Have fun with your decoration, get creative and go as mad as you want!
My boys couldn’t wait to pull it apart and taste it, on the other hand i sat back and cried as my first gingerbread house was attacked and pulled down like a lion attacking a gazelle, my boys were certainly hungry for the sweet taste of gingerbread!
I am very pleased at how my house turned out and can’t wait to make another one, I found it quite therapeutic and really enjoyed baking and creating it.
I was invited along by Tribal media to build a gingerbread house and enter it into Shelters : The great gingerbread house sale More info here Why don’t you join in to?