Friday, 16 December 2011

Gingerbead House recipe! (Hey, It's Christmas!!)

Happy Holidays everyone!! Oh my, I am excited ! I have all (most) of the presents under the tree for all the family here. (Round one of course, I go home to Ireland this week and I have to brave the crowds again for the family there! Phew!) All part of it I guess! So, I wanted to do something special for Big Fella's mummy as I was not going to be there for her scrumptious Christmas Dinner this year. So I thought, how about a Gingerbread House?

Big Fella's mum loves everything Christmassy and whats more Christmassy than a gingerbread House I ask ya?

You ready? I'm Ready! I think... wait!!! I have icing sugar in my hair! (Yep,get an apron on, its that kinda messy recipe, but hey, its Christmas! Lots of fun for the kiddo's too, heck get everybody to do it!)

OK, lets start with some essentials. I strongly suggest a plastic cake stand. Is that what you call them, the silver disk sounds strange. A tin of some sort is good as well to store but I made mine too big so keep that in mind if it needs to be transported.

Now, a stencil for your gingerbread house. I just drew a basic one on card and cut them out, but there are some great one's online you can print out! Quick tip, make sure your gingerbread house will fit onto your cake stand!!

First thing, preheat oven to 200c.

In a bowl, mix 600grams of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of bio of soda, and 4 teaspoons of ginger. (Well you can't make a gingerbread house without ginger!)

Set aside and in a heated pan, melt 250grams of butter with 200grams of dark moscovado sugar, and 6 tablespoons of golden syrup

until it transforms in to a dark golden goo!! Yum yum, but be careful, it is hot, dark golden goo!! Also as a bonus, the smell alone is lush!

Then mix this into the bowl with flour mixture and hopefully with some stirring you should have a lovely dough! Place dough on some baking parchment to ease sticking.

Then roll out to desired thickness, not too thin, enough thickness for templates to stand alone.

Cut out templates, don't worry about being precise and we can smooth over all template sins with icing sugar and sweeties! For the front of my wee house I used a star cookie cutter to make windows, but let your imagination go wild, or whatever you please, for its is your very own Gingerbread house!

Slip templates with baking parchments underneath on to baking sheets, into the preheated oven for around 18 minutes or until sides are slightly brown. Leave to cool down a couple of minutes then gently cut off any rough bits of dough around the sides of your template with a pointed knife, but don't worry too much about it. Now leave to rest to cool completely. Make yourself a cuppa and have a sit down. Make sure to make some extra to sample yourself!

Because the amount of time spent cleaning up after this next part, your gonna need it!

Ok, did you have a cuppa? I hope so, I had a mocha. (Ohhhh, get me!) Magic ingredient: Nutella! (Just..the best!)
Anyway, back to Gingerbread! If you haven't scoffed the lot already, bravo. I had to make this a second time and banish Big fella from the kitchen. He thought I was making it for him, he said. Mmmmm. Anyroad, when the gingerbread is completely cooled , lets start thinking about gluing this wee house together! Take two eggs whites whisked slightly and gradually add 500grams of icing sugar to make the sweet glue! But personally, i just add the icing sugar as i needed it, it might have been more than stated.

Soon you should have a stiff sticky glue to paste on to your gingerbread templates. Please don't be downhearted if they fall apart immediately, find objects nearby to support your structure as it sets. We will get there in the end!

Now, at this moment, I may be about to commit a cardinal sin in the world of gingerbread house making, ( and trust me, there are some beautiful creations out there, just check some flickr groups, amazing!!) but, most very well informed makers say to put structure together and then decorate... but... as well as not being able to help myself, (this is my first one!) I decorated it while still on the baking sheet! Don't shout! I know this may make it top heavy and it may collapse, but their nothing icing paste can't fix and the decorations just sled down to the bottom when i tried it upright.But It's up to you!

Mind you I only decorated lightly, just in case.

Now, if you are rushed for time, as most of us are these days, you can do this in a day, but if you can leave main structure to set overnight, that would be better. I just glued the gingerbread pieces together but saved the roof for the next day, don't worry if nothing fits together very well, it will be covered with sweeties and icing and it can only add to the character to the grand wee place, I personally think!

And off to bed I crept.
I started mine in the evening, but if you are doing it in one day, just make sure you know it has set properly before carrying on!

The next morning I awoke to grab a morning cuppa, and there was my gingerbread house all standing up firm ready for the roof!

I added my roof pieces and it was constructed! Yay!
As much as I liked my wee gingerbread house creation, it was missing something, it was, dare I say, a bland looking Gingerbread house. We needed a big bag of colourful M+Ms!!! Oh yes!!!

Just make some icing paste as before, I just dribbled it over with a spoon, pop a M+M on the gingerbread house and one in your mouth! Its hard work this, you deserve it and hey, its Christmas!( I had to buy another packet.)

For decorating (and nibbling on)I used chocolate fingers and chocolate buttons for the roof
some Jelly babies, M+Ms and it just wouldn't be complete without some candy canes. But go mad as you like, the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you made one, I am sure it will be ten times better than this! But I loved making it, and very proudly presented it to Big fellas mummy this morning, who was chuffed to bits with it thankfully!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and fantastic new year!

See you in 2012! Wow!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

That is one bitchin' gingerbread house! Well done! Have a wonderful holiday season, you and the Big Fella.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

OMG Claire, what a tremendous surprise! I just received your lovely Christmas card in the mail -- thank you, dear one, for thinking of me! Have a wonderful holiday season!

Halloween Spirit said...

YUM! How fun! Thank you Claire fore the dear Christmas card. What a treat it was to receive! I have had a couple of surgeries this Christmas season, and didnt get any cards out. Hope you had a wonderful trip home!