Saturday, December 23, 2006

In preparation: The Gingerbread House

Drugged up to my eyeballs, quarantined in bed, I am thankful for wireless and laptops. I've got posts to catch up on. Here are some more of my Christmas preparations.

Last Sunday, before the little virus took a hold, I had a bit of fun building and decorating our Gingerbread House. A few years of graphical drawing at school helped when I drew and cut the templates. A simple royal icing acted as the mortar. Sweets from the sweet stall at the market. Dan's mother's gingerbread men recipe. Couldn't ask for better.

We held off for one day before Dan ceremoniously bit off the chimney - the roof soon followed. By yesterday - with most of the sweets devoured we decided to throw the majority of the walls away. I didn't feel guilty about it, it's done its job. It brought a sweet scent to the room that smelled like Christmas for the leading up to the big event. In its place, the Christmas cake, all ready to go.


Enough for the house above plus a little left over.

460g plain flour
220g brown sugar
120g butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 190° Celsius. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and create a well in the centre.

Place the butter and golden syrup into a saucepand and heat on low. When the lard is fully melted, pour into the centre of the dry ingredients. Add the egg and mix well. Add more flour as required until a dough resembling soft clay is formed.

Place on a heavily floured work surface and roll out to approximately 5mm thick. Place the sheet of dough onto a nonstick baking tray. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until browning slightly. Allow to cool slightly before moving onto a wire rack. Once cool, use templates to cut out the shapes and glue together with royal icing using a piping bag. Decorate and have fun!
Royal Icing

1 egg white
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Whisk all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Use quickly before the icing sets.

1 comment:

Simonetta said...

Looks like Hansel and Gretel House to me. Just unbelievable!
Have a Fab 2007 and keep up the good job!

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