22 December 2010

Gingerbread House

I'm so excited, this is my first ever home-made ginger bread house! And it wasn't even remotely difficult, as I had been led to believe. Either I have been very fortunate in the recipe I used which came on some scrap paper with a biscuit cutter I bought, or else my friends who had handled gingerbread dough before were rather unlucky in their choice of recipe. This dough was very easy to handle, not particularly sticky, kept its shape once baked and even tastes nice. Another plus: instead of golden syrup or other such exotic concoctions it uses plain honey, thus no need for a pilgrimage to specialist shops. Indeed, I had all I needed at home.

I used this set of biscuit cutters 


which gave me these shapes for a house with chimney.

However, you could easily do without, just use a sharp knife and possibly a template. Quantities given are enough for a house and a baking tray's worth of smaller shapes (horses, gingerbread men). You could also roll out the remaining dough and bake it as a platter to stand the house on.

100 g butter
250 g honey (runny)
125 g sugar
8 g gingerbread spices (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice)
8 g cocoa powder
600 g flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg

Day 1:
Combine butter, honey, sugar, spices and cocoa in a pot and heat up gently until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients, knead until combined. Leave to rest overnight at room temperature.

Day 2:
Roll out ca. 4 mm thick, cut desired shapes and bake ca. 12-15 mins at 200 C. Leave to cool. The gingerbread can now be kept until you are ready to build and decorate the house.

Mix a thick paste of egg white, icing sugar and a little lemon juice. This is your glue. You don't need to work tidily but make sure to let the structure dry out before you decorate the house. Here are a few impressions of my house:

I used mugs to support the structure initially.

All stable (no pun intended!). Let's decorate:

And all done!

 Merry Christmas!


The Cilantropist said...

Using a template to cut the dough is a great idea, but I would love to have those cutters! :) Where did you get them??

Zeralda said...

I bought them from www.tortissimo.de, a German baking ware shop. They are relatively easy to find over here, in both stainless steel and plastic, and inexpensive. I don't know whether they ship abroad, if you run into trouble let me know and I'll get you a set.