So, Gingerbread houses then…bit of a Scandinavian thing perhaps? Well, if so, it’s definitely pervaded into the UK Christmas culture over the last 20 years if you ask me.
What is confusing to me though is, are you supposed to eat it?
I’ve never got an answer to that, and we’ve never eaten ours because it sits out gathering dust and sundry insects for a couple of weeks over Christmas. For me, it’s the fact it’s a fresh decoration, that is unique every year and makes the house smell lovely, there is nothing finer than getting in from work to the gingerbread house smell, it’s an automatic mood-improver!
Now, I’m sure some people have an idea how to do this already, and some just go to Ikea or M&S and buy a ready made one, which is just cheating, but if you feel up to it, here’s the one Mrs Mince Pie made up herself:
- Grab yourself some graph paper and plan out the house. Make sure all of the sides are the right size and just remember, the bigger you make it the more ingredients you need to actually MAKE it!
- Here are the ingredients you need (and this is a photo from a few years back, funnily enough we don’t take photos of this bit every year):
For reference based on what we’ve made:
250g Unsalted Butter
200g Dark Muscovado Sugar
7 tblsp Golden Syrup
600g Plain Flour
2 tsps Bicarbonate Soda
4 tblsp Ground Ginger (or more if you’re after more aroma)
- To decorate the house, you need loads of sweets including things like dolly mixtures, chocolate fingers, smarties and royal icing sugar for snow. Just buy loads of this stuff.
- Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar together in a pan:
- Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger together in a bowl:
- Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix like crazy.
- Enjoy the massive poo-shaped thing you’ve just made. This is the gingerbread:
- Knead it:
- Roll it (don’t forget the greaseproof paper):
- Use the templates you made earlier and cut them out of the gingerbread:
- Cut each bit onto it’s own bit of greaseproof paper and bake for 10 minutes or so. Then leave to cool and harden.
Now it’s time to actually build this thing.
- Melt some sugar into a pan, this will be the glue that holds the house together.
- Begin stitching the house together piece by piece, exactly how you planned it:
- You should end up with a house similar to this. Don’t worry it might look a bit wobbly or plain and rubbish, you’ve not decorated it yet!
- Add sweets and icing sugar and basically, go to town on it:
- And you’re done!
- Here’s a couple more we’ve made: