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Gingerbread House


An easy to follow, Christmassy recipe 

 

I have never made a gingerbread house. I’m starting off by letting you know that, just so you know that I am 100% not an expert. That being said, here’s a recipe for a (hopefully) fool-proof gingerbread house!

IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY:

This will take at least 2 ½ hours all together (longer if you leave it to fully set) and it could be tricky!! But it’s also going to be a lot of fun to do with the kids – so if you’re needing a Christmassy afternoon’s entertainment, then this is it!

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the gingerbread:

250g unsalted butter

200g dark muscovado sugar

7 tbsp golden syrup

600g plain flour

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 tsp ground ginger

 

To decorate:

200g flaked almonds

2 egg whites

500g icing sugar (plus a little extra to dust)

125g pack mini chocolate fingers

Lots and lots of sweets – choose what you want for decorating!

1 mini chocolate roll or a dipped chocolate flake

Edible silver balls

 

Here’s a template for the house! 

 

 

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 200°C (fan) and 180°C (gas mark 6) Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
  2. Cut out the template (see the download link above!) Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about ¼ of the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins.
    Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread (still on its baking paper) onto a baking sheet.
    Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels. Any leftover dough can be used to make little Christmas trees!
  3. Pick out the most intact flaked almonds and gently poke them into the roof sections, point-end first, to look like roof tiles.
    Bake all the sections for 12 minutes or until firm and slightly darker at the edges.
    Leave to cool for a few minutes to firm up and then trim around the templates again to give it clean, sharp edges. Leave it to cool completely.
  4. Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe generous lines of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry – ideally for a few hours.
  5. Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep, so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few minutes until the icing starts to dry.
    Dry completely, ideally overnight. To decorate pipe a little icing along the length of 20 mini chocolate fingers and stick these lengthways onto the side walls of the house. Use three, upright, for the door.
  6. Using the icing, stick sweets around the door and on the front of the house. To make the icicles, start with the nozzle at a 90 degree angle to the roof and squeeze out a pea-sized blob of icing. Keeping the pressure on, pull the nozzle down and then off – the icing will pull away, leaving a pointy trail.
    Repeat all around the front of the house. Cut the chocolate mini roll or dipped Flake at an angle, then fix with icing to make a chimney. Pipe a little icing around the top. If you made gingerbread trees, you can decorate these too.
  7. Dust the roof with icing sugar for a snowy effect. Lay a path of sweets, and fix gingerbread trees around the house, using blobs of icing. Your gingerbread house will be edible for about a week.

 

If you do attempt this gingerbread house – send us pictures! We’d love to see how it turns out, so send them to our Instagram or Facebook.

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