Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gingerbread House

I've never made a Gingerbread House before.  I've seen the kits you can get at the shop and thought about it, but never given it a go.  There is something about prepackaged that i don't love LOL.  This year Masterchef had an episode where they made the most magic Gingerbread Houses and i saw what they did from start to finish, and i thought, hey, that wasn't too bad.  I think i can do that!  Well, not quite so grande, but i could do a small one.  So i decided that we would give it a go this Christmas.

I already have a gingerbread recipe that i love so i didn't have to hunt one down which made life a little easier.  I just had to find a template.  Google to the rescue :)  This is the site i found, we used the first pattern, the house template.

I doubled my regular recipe and it was MORE than enough.  We made some biscuits with the balance.


I left it all to cool and waited for peace and quiet before attempting to put it together.  I made up the royal icing by hand.  Oh, my!  Never going to make it by hand again, my arm almost dropped off from so much whipping!  I don't know how chefs manage it.  Ofcourse it would have helped if i actually had a whisk and wasn't using a fork!  In the end i was using 2 forks and yes, it was more effective than 1.  You think i would have learnt when i doubled the gingerbread recipe that i didn't need to also double the royal icing recipe, slow learner here.  I doubled that recipe too and had MORE than enough!  At the suggestion of a friend i made the icing VERY stiff.  It set very quickly which was just what i needed.  I loaded it in a snap lock bag, snipped off a corner and set to work.


With the assistance of some tinned beans and fruit the house went together quite smoothly.


Once all the walls were up i let them set before putting on the roof panels, door and window shutters.


I put the icing in the fridge overnight so that it was ready to go for decorating in the morning.  The kids had a wonderful time discussing and deciding on decorations.  Next year i know we need a few different supplies to what we had this year, but i guess that is all part of the learning process.





We were all VERY HAPPY with the final result.  We wont be waiting until Christmas to eat it.  I'm sure it will be all gone by the end of the week!





I think we just started a new Christmas Tradition :)

5 comments:

  1. Actually, I use a wooden spoon for my royal icing:-)
    This looks great:-)
    The trick with royal icing is to not make it up too thick at all, and keep it in the fridge. Then, when you're ready to assemble, take a portion and thicken it up (making sure your icing sugar is well sifted) to the desired consistency—pretty thick.
    The rest, you thicken up as needed (it keeps for quite a while!). Thinner is better when you get to adding icicles and things, but somewhat thicker is better for snow on window sills. But in each case, you mix up a portion as you need it. And doubling... I've _never_ made more than a single egg-white up at a time!
    I think doubling the gingerbread was probably a good idea:-) The one time we've actually completed the full experience (kids are older, next year we _will_ be doing it again:-) ), I found that one quantity was _nearly_ enough—and my template didn't have shutters:-) As a result, I had to roll the roof quite thin to make it the right size—and it shrunk as it cooked. Not an _insurmountable_ problem, but I did have to pay quite more attention to assembly than I would have preferred...
    But as I said, not a once in a lifetime thing:-)

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  2. Thank you for sharing this project. I want to make one now! You did a great job and the kids look happy. Would you care to share your gingerbread recipe?

    Thanks again for sharing about this!

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  3. Thanks for your tips Fe.
    Can't believe you do the royal icing with a wooden spoon! My recipe said to aim for stiff meringue consistency using an electric mixer. You must have a strong arm! I would have used the electric mixer but didn't want to wake any of the children.
    Great idea to leave it thinner in the fridge. Will try that next time and certainly wont double it!

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  4. Thanks for your comment Michele. I will see what i can do later today about posting the recipe. Stay tuned :)

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