To kick start the first of the true Christmas bakes I thought I would show you how I make my gingerbread house, I make one of these each year they are brilliant fun to make especially with kids, if you construct the main house and let it dry then let them decorate with sprinkles, sweets and chocolate.
This year I decided to keep things quite simple and just using icing and a few sprinkles. In the past I have always cut out stencils from cardboard but this year I found cutters in Lakeland and thought they would be a good investment and they made life so so so much easier. I also found a similar set in Aldi that would a brilliant Christmas present for anyone who loves to bake. They also had a star Christmas tree that I was very tempted to buy but I have no space to store all my baking bits and pieces as it is so decided against it.
This bake is a slight cheat as I shared my ginger bread recipe not too long ago but for this house I use 1.5 times the recipe to allow enough for the house and a few biscuits. I have used a variety of different materials to hold gingerbread together, if you are a dab hand at caramel that is the strongest but also very hard (It broke my Dad’s tooth one year!). The caramel also would last longer so if using you gingerbread house as a display I would use that. For this one I used a royal icing which is made using egg whites, it can take a little longer to try but I think the icing is perfect with the gingerbread, I even added a little spiced gin flavouring for an extra Christmassy treat!
- 1.5 times Ginger bread recipe – bare in mind that larger pieces of the house will take longer to bake than you usual cookie size. Link to recipe here: https://willeysweeklybake.com/2018/09/25/ginger-bread-men-willeys-weekly-bake-108/
- Boiled sweets (Add these into your window holes before baking the ginger bread, use different colours to create a stained glass window effect).
Ingredients for Royal Icing
- 500g Icing sugar (You may need extra it will depend on the size of your eggs)
- 3 Egg Whites
- To make the icing sift the icing sugar to ensure no lumps, separate the eggs and add the egg whites slowly along with flavouring whisking the icing to form a thick paste. This can take quite a while, you want the icing to be thick enough to hold up a dessert spoon, too runny and it won’t hold the house together.
- Once all your gingerbread pieces are cooled and hardened you can start assembling this can be a time consuming process but cannot be rushed. Pipe lines on the bottom of your plate or board. Then pipe icing down the ends of the two walls and the front an back of the house.
- Gently push together and hold for a minute or two then using mugs, bowls or glasses to help hold the walls until hardened some more around 20-30 minutes.
- Then remove the glasses and pipe down the lines of the roof and along the walls, and about an inch from the bottom of the roof piece.
- Place the roof pieces on top these you will have to hold for longer to help them stay in place.
- Leave the house to set before continuing to decorate further. I left the door until last as I wanted to be able to put fairy lights or candles inside.
- Using the rest of the royal icing pipe intricate patterns on the roof and windows, creating the perfect snowy scene. You can decorate with sweets or chocolate. I kept mine simple just with icing glitter and sliver balls.