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!
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
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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.