Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Gingerbread house


This is based on the gingerbread recipe from the Waitrose website with a few modifications, mainly in amounts to make a lot more gingerbread!

Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
8 tbsp golden syrup
650g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
6 tsp ground ginger
Icing sugar
Boiled sweets

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line baking trays with baking parchment, or use a silicon baking sheet. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
  2. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl and stir the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough.
  3. On a clean, flat surface, sprinkle some flour.
  4. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick, and cut the required shapes. You need two large rectangles to form the sides, and two equilateral triangles to form the front and back. The sides of the triangles need to be the same length as the short sides of the rectangles.
  5. If you want doors or windows in the house, now is the time to use a cookie cutter and cut the window shapes.
  6. To make "stained glass" windows, place the gingerbread on the baking sheet, then carefully smash up the boiled sweets into small pieces in a blender, and fill the window hole with broken up sweets.
  7. Bake the pieces in the over, individually if your oven isn't big enough, for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Once they're cooked, allow them to cool completely on a flat surface.
  8. Next you need to make the icing glue to stick it together. Put two tablespoons of icing sugar in a cup, and very slowly, one teaspoon full at a time, add cold water and stir. You want a thick consistency, but smooth with no lumps.
  9. You might need a helper with this to hold bits! Using the icing, stick the side of one of the rectangles, and the two triangles to the board. You should be able to lean them against each other and they'll be relatively stable. Now, carefully put icing down both top sides of the triangles, and rest the first rectangle against them.
  10. You should now be able to place the second rectangle in place, gluing it's base to the board with the icing. Don't worry if it all falls over, it might take a few attempts to get right, and any breakages can be fixed with the icing glue!
  11. At this point you need to leave the whole thing to set for about an hour in the cool.
  12. Once it's set, using more icing glue, you can decorate it however you like using any variety of sweets.
  13. Last of all, give the whole thing a sprinkle of icing sugar over the top to look like fresh snow.