Gingerbread houses are one of those Christmas traditions I've never embarked on. Largely cause I seldom like the taste of gingerbread. That's what happens when you're solely exposed to the store-bought variety: it's just never a true representation of what the fresh baked stuff tastes like. So I decided it was high time I gave it a go.
I'd wanted to try something more elaborate, but decided that instead of setting the bar too high, I should attempt a simpler design first. Turns out, these babies are easier to make than I'd imagined and lots of fun!
As I was making another gingerbread treat for the guests I made this one chocolate gingerbread to make it a little different.
I gave the front section a heart-shaped owl hole inspired by this lovely barn owl conservation measure. The roof was covered in shortbread and I used wafers and maltesers to decorate the rest of the roof.
I used crushed lollies for the windows ala last years stained glass cookies.
While I never decorated the inside as first planned, I still decided on including a really simple but effective technique to mimic a presence inside the house: tea light candles.
The light flickered on the windows as though there was a fire burning inside.
The photos really don't show this off well enough, so here's a quick video to show you what it looks like.
After bon bons, my boyfriend decided it would be a good idea to adorn the house in the crappy toys from inside.
Demolition time! The best part.
|250g butter, softened
1 cup (200g, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) golden syrup
2 eggs, seperated
4 1/2 cups (675g) plain flour
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (300g) pure icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 eggwhite, lightly whisked
Boiled lollies (such as barley sugar or fruit drops)
Desired chocolates, lollies and biscuits for decorating.
NB: You will need a stencil of the house you plan to make cut out on baking paper. For mine, I cut roughly a 18x28cm rectangle for the walls, 18x18cm square for the front and back plus the triangle dome. The roof was roughly 12x30cm and the chimney pieces were about 5 cm.