It’s been a few months since my last post, I guess sometimes life just gets in the way; so for my come back post myself and my sister in law Lavinia challenged ourselves to make a gingerbread house from scratch. Our pile of ingredients at the ready, we set to work.
for the gingerbread
- 750g unsalted butter
- 600g dark muscovado sugar
- 21 tbsp golden syrup
- 1800g plain flour
- 6 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 12 tsp ground ginger
- 2 egg whites
- 500g icing sugar
- 125g pack of chocolate fingers
- generous selection sweets – we went for smarties, chocolate pebbles and white chocolate stars
– Heat oven to 180C/gas 6.
– Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan.
– Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. You might need to add a splash of water if it doesn’t quite come together.
– Cut out your template – we doubled the dimensions on this downloadable template from BBC Good Food.
– Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about one quarter of the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet.
– Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels.
– Use your left over dough to make the gingerbread men.
– Each section needs cooking for approx. 12 minutes, you know its ready when it’s firm and a little darker around the edges.
– Make yourself a cup of tea and put your feet up while waiting for all sections to cool completely.
Once cooled, you need to make the icing to use to cement the house together.
Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe generous snakes of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together.
If you don’t have a piping bag, or the one you’re using breaks half way through (which may or may not have happened to me) this youtube video is incredibly helpful to show you how to make one out of greaseproof paper.
Next, while you’re waiting for the base to be secure before putting on the roof – decorate! You can do whatever you like here and a google image search can provide loads of inspiration – we went for a front door lined with smarties and windows with smartie flower boxes, chocolate fingers on the sides and white chocolate stars on the front.
When putting the roof on, hold it in place for a while for the icing to begin to dry (we waiting for 2 Christmas songs before we let go).