Gingerbread Houses

2011 Gingerbread house

Country of origin: Germany

This is a picture of the first house we made, two years ago. It really is a lot of fun to do, and somehow, easier than normal baking, as you don’t need to worry about the taste at all. I followed Rachel Allen’s recipe.

I would recommend a whole afternoon for this. Before you start, make sure you have a cake board/covered tray ready. Also, get your sweets and decorations, you can use anything! Then make the gingerbread and let it rest in the fridge, roll it out and cut out your shapes. Make a couple of people/trees/animals etc. in case of breakages. Once these have baked and cooled, you can begin decorating. I haven’t attempted this yet, but you could get really fancy and use boiled sweets when baking to make real “glass” windows as well.

The hardest part is the gluing together of the actual house, you’ll need to use snow glue (egg whites and icing sugar) to stick the seams together, and then hold these in places for a while until the glue dries.

I got a cake board, and made snow from some icing and caster/superfine sugar. The house was constructed straight onto the board, easier than lifting it on there! The gingerbread men and women were propped up with toothpicks, not very stable I know. Once you’ve assembled it all, you could put some lights in/around the house.

I’m not sure why, but this Christmas, perhaps after being inspired by the gingerbread creations on The Great British Bakeoff, I decided it had to be different, we had to go to Egypt. No, Egypt isn’t particularly Christmassy, and no… but that’s what it was.

2012 Gingerbread house

I made a few templates on paper of a camel, a man in the desert and for some reason, the Sphinx. The pyramids themselves weren’t too bad, just four triangles, and using a knife, I scored on the pattern of bricks.

Now for the fun part, the decoration. The sand base was digestive biscuits, bashed to oblivion. Then for a reason i still don’t understand, I used sweet Lego bricks and marshmallows to outline the border of the desert.

I iced the figures using water and icing sugar, and as soon as they were finished, in my excitement, I propped them on the board  straightaway. The wet icing of course dripped down, and now it looks like everyone is crying.

I have eleven whole months to plot and plan this year’s gingerbread extravaganza. Ideas? Space? The Deathstar? Under the sea? Here is some inspiration. From the not martha blog:

NOT MARTHA window_candy_alone

From Mightylists, a shoehouse!

MIGHTY LISTS Amazing-Gingerbread-House-Shoe

The kremlin: