Nicole's Baking Blog » Christmas Gingerbread House 2015

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015

I’m a bit late adding this to my website, three months exactly, but here it is, my Christmas Gingerbread House. Last year I was looking for another Christmas baking challenge, so I decided to make a gingerbread house. However, this isn’t my first gingerbread project: I once made a haunted gingerbread house. So, when I saw all the Christmas gingerbread houses on the internet, I knew I wanted to make my own, especially as I do love gingerbread.

The first place I went to was my Great British Bake Off – How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers book. Inside this book, there is a gingerbread house template, which is used in the Winter Woodland Cottage gingerbread house recipe. Using greaseproof paper, I traced over the templates, cut them out, and stuck them onto cardboard. You can create your own templates – I did for my haunted house – but using a ready made template saves time and stress.

With my template sorted, I then did some research on Christmas gingerbread houses to get some inspiration for the design of my house. I came up with the design below.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - my sketch

For the gingerbread dough, I used the recipe from the Great British Bake Off book. I’m not sure why, but the butter oozed out of the dough when I rubbed everything together. So before I could cut out the house pieces, I chilled the dough for a couple of hours. This fixed the issue. I also chilled the cut-out gingerbread pieces to limit the spreading while cooking.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - gingerbread dough

I wanted glass windows, so I crushed yellow boiled sweets and sprinkled them in the window holes. I used yellow to make it look like the lights were on inside. You could add different colours to make a stained glass window.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - boiled sweets for window

Once I cooked the gingerbread pieces, I had to trim them back to size. I did this while the pieces were still warm to avoid the pieces cracking.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - cut out after cooking

As well as the house pieces, I also created footpath pieces, trees, and a snowman. In the end, I only used one footpath piece and one tree because the other pieces couldn’t fit on the board.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - cooked and trimmed pieces

I coloured some of the gingerbread pieces, such as the trees, with chocolate. For the roof, I used dark chocolate, and for the trees, I used white chocolate which I coloured green.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - pieces covered in chocolate

I built the house on top of a cake board wrapped in greaseproof paper. I used royal icing to stick the pieces together. First, I stuck the front and side pieces together, and I used bowls to hold the pieces up while the royal icing set.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - building the house

With the front, sides and back secure, I stuck marshmallows down the sides of the house. I then attached the door. For the door, I piped on a Christmas wreath using royal icing, and I used a black coloured flowerpaste for the door handle. I then piped around all the windows in red royal icing.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - building the house

Once I was sure that the house was sturdy and dry, I then had the difficult task of attaching the roofs. I used a lot of royal icing for this, and I had to hold the roofs in place while the royal icing dried – many times the roof pieces slid down and out of place.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - adding icing to board

I added marshmallows along the join when the roofs were set, and I stuck snowflake pieces onto the roof. I used flowerpaste and a piping nozzle to make the snowflake pieces. I had some spare snowflakes left, so I stuck them on to the house side, front, and back. To finish the roof, I piped some royal icing along the edges to make it look like snow, and I then dusted it with icing sugar to make it look like snow had fallen.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - dusting roof with icing sugar

To finish the house, I added swirls of royal icing on the board, for snow, and stuck the tree, snowman, and footpath in place.

Christmas Gingerbread House 2015 - adding the final touches

Overall, I was pleased with the house, especially the snow detail that I added. The gingerbread was tasty, and it was fun to pull pieces off to eat it. I do love building with gingerbread, and I can’t wait for my next gingerbread project – a boat maybe.

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