After winning the BBC Good Food Gingerbread House competition we were inspired to make something different this year – a gingerbread bakery!
To make your own gingerbread house make up a batch of your favourite gingerbread and leave in the fridge overnight or until cold and firm – this stops it spreading so much in the oven. There is a recipe and a template on the Good Food Website -the template is at the bottom of the post.
Then roll it out and cut out using the templates – we used skewers either side of the dough as guides, keep your rolling pin on these and the dough will be rolled evenly. Pop in the oven, and if you need to cut windows, take it out after five minutes. Cut your windows, and then place a clear boiled sweet in the hole to create ‘glass’. (Top tip – Cutting the windows after the gingerbread has started cooking stops the windows closing up when the gingerbread rises during cooking.) Continue cooking until ready.
You can make up your icing while you wait.
150 ml egg whites
1 kg icing sugar
Lemon juice to taste
Beat together until well mixed, then separate and add colours as necessary.
If you’re planning on intricate piping, it’s easier to pipe whilst the shapes are flat – before you put your house together. We like these little bottles that keep the icing moist and make it easy to pipe – you can get them from www.cakescookiesandcraftsshop.co.uk.
Using your icing as glue, construct your house. You may need to hold it together at each level for a few mins until it sticks. We put some battery t lights inside the house to give it a nice glow, although they don’t last that long!
We made some little pink flowers and made window boxes using matchstick makers, then stuck on the flowers using icing, and piped on some leaves.
Add roof tiles if you wish to – use icing as glue and hold in place for a moment.
We used candy canes as support for the porch – and made a little door, letting it set before putting in place.
Lastly we added all the decorations – a striped porch roof, an ‘A’ board, a path, fence and snowy topiary!