The joy comes with sticking the sweet adornments on (for which you need to take a bank loan out at today's prices) and eating the leftovers. Here is how you can make one, but don't blame me when you are pulling your hair out!
You will need to allow about 3 days (not full days granted) to make this house...day one, make the gingerbread and bake the house; day two assemble the house and prepare the
1 baked Gingerbread house
1 pkt red line like sweet things
1 pkt liquorice Catherine wheels
One vat full of royal icing
Sugarpaste flowers/butterflies (home made ones)
1 quantity of green sugar paste
Edible cake glitter
Icing sugar to dust
1 cake board, size to suit
1 large tin of 'the patience of a saint'
Alcohol of your choice (NOT for the children or house)
1. Start (day one) by making your gingerbread house. At this point I would advise extra care and attention when making and baking the house, if you take on a 'devil may care' approach to this like2. Once the house is made and has cooled, (day two) its time to pour yourself a stiff drink and try and assemble the
me some reckless home bakers, it will turn out wonky and will not stick together. Baker be warned! The recipe for the gingerbread to make the house was from the Good Food Channel here. The template for the house is here.
Use royal icing (icing sugar plus egg white and glycerine mixed to a thick consistency) as the cement for the sides and roof. If all else fails
swear a lot use lots and lots as a) its
Christmas and b) it shows heavily in Lancashire and it adds to the
authenticity of the final effect.
Use the tins to help keep everything together as the icing sets. If you do manage to assemble this its best to leave it overnight to harden.
Have another drink when you have done it as you will need it.
4. Next, prepare a base with a cake board of suitable size. Roll out some green sugar paste icing and cover the board (brush board with water first), trim with a sharp knife as you would a pastry lined dish.
5. (Day three) Alcohol is optional on this day! Place your house on top of the green base, towards the back to allow for a front path, and secure with royal icing under the house.
6. The EASIEST part of this whole operation is the actual decoration. Either pipe lines of royal icing onto the roof or use a knife to add icing onto sweets in order to stick them on in rows or randomly. OR you could use cake glue if you prefer.
You can use any kind of sweets or chocolate you like as anything looks good on this. Use the red line sweet things to make window frames and a door.
Decorate the sides with the liquorice Catherine wheels to imitate
badly made windows.
7. Add sugar paste flowers for the garden and dot a few sugar paste butterflies around (put a very large butterfly on the roof so your hubby can mock its pterodactyl like form).
Make a path by smearing royal icing and covering this with cupcake confetti for a fancy gravel effect.
Add the chimney (a flake) to the roof and secure with a dab or royal icing.
8. For a final flourish
and to hide a multitude of failures dust with lots of icing sugar and sprinkle with edible
cake glitter. I swear they will be so wowed by the glitter and sweets they won't see the rest. Oh, and don't bother to add the gingerbread men you made as their necks have broken and their heads snapped off, as the cutter you used was rubbish!
creation and say a little thanks (to whoever?) that luckily the child
you made this for is only 2.5 years old. And she won't notice how
bad it really looks, as she'll be too busy picking jelly babies off the
roof (only she will need help to do so with artex-like icing)...then have a couple of nights without sleep worrying about the effect of all this on the same child's teeth. (no she didn't really eat either all the sweets or the whole house).
I am entering this post in the Gingerbread House link up run jointly by Jude, Kate and Jamie...luckily there is no lost prize to cry over but I wanted to show even a disaster can prove to be something of a success at Christmas.