Merry Christmas Eve everybody!

Now, a short while ago I cut out a gingerbread house recipe from a newspaper (and now I cannot remember which newspaper it was) as I thought it may come in handy. The newspaper says the recipe is from ‘MyRecipes’ so don’t even begin to imagine that I created this myself. Anyway, if you find that the recipe I gave you earlier on takes way too long, is way too complicated and you don’t understand it at all, then here’s another one.

I have attached pictures of the gingerbread house template and the result.

Apparently this is an extract from Summer Food, by Serge Dansereau. Published by ABC Books, $39.99.

So:

“For the House:

The Template:

Base: 20 x 18cm, 1 piece

Side Walls: 12 x 13cm, 2 pieces

Roof: 12 x 13cm, 2 pieces

Back and Front Walls: 12 x 21cm, 2 pieces

Negative spaces (there are two windows of equal size at the front and an arched door):

Windows: 3 x 4cm

Door: Height – 5.5cm
Width – 4cm

The height from the base to the beginning of the roof is 12cm.

Gingerbread Dough Ingredients:

-800g plain flour
-4 tablespoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-3 teaspoons mixed spice
-1 teaspoon salt
-100g butter
-200g honey
-180g brown sugar
-4-5 free-range eggs
-Zest of 2 lemons
-Half cup/125mL milk

Royal Icing:

-Egg white, at room temperature
-2 cups/300g icing sugar, sifted
-2 drops lemon juice
-Half cup almonds
-1 glace cherry
-3 pistachio nuts, halved

METHOD:

To prepare the gingerbread dough, sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt together and set aside. Melt the butter, honey and brown sugar gently in a saucepan, until just melted. Cool.

Mix the honey mixture with the dry ingredients and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer set with a paddle attachment. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. After adding four eggs, assess the dough; if it feels wet enough, do not add the last egg. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

On a flat, clean surface, roll out the gingerbread dough to 1cm thick. Cut out all the required shapes using the templates as a guide. Remove the door and windows in the front house panel. Cut the windows to create shutters. Put all the shapes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with the milk to give the gingerbread a nice gloss.

Decorate the panels with the cherry, almonds and pistachios, as in the picture.

Bake the shapes for 15 mins, then leave to cool and harden overnight. If the gingerbread is still too soft, place on a kitchen rack and dry for 24hrs. The panels need to be firm otherwise they will collapse later.

To prepare the royal icing, beat the egg white in a bowl and add two teaspoons of sugar until combined. Continue beating, adding one teaspoon of sugar at a time. Halfway through, add a drop of lemon juice. Add the last drop of lemon juice, then the balance of the icing sugar, and mix. The dough should be firm. Wrap in a plastic wrap and reserve until ready to use.

Pictures of the gingerbread house result:

When ready to build the house, put the icing in a piping bag with a small nozzle. Place the back panel of the house on the base and then place one side panel on the base (you will need help to hold the panels). Pipe some icing along the bottom inside and bottom outside edges to “glue” the panels together. Do the same with the other side panels. Let this set for one hour.

To set the roof, pipe some icing on the top leading edges of the wall panels, gently placing the two roof pieces on top, one at a time. Pipe more icing along the top and outside edges to glue well. Let this set for one hour.

Using the icing, attach the door and the window shutters in an open position, then pipe snow along the windowsills and the top of the roof. THe house will need to dry for 24 hours before it can be removed.”

Ok, this recipe certainly doesn’t look too short and quick… but you have to admit, the pictures make it look DELICIOUS. Tell me how it works out! 😛

BUTTERBEER

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