Christmas Gingerbread House
If you have time, it is best to make the gingerbread the day before you build your house to give the biscuits time to firm up. Firstly, pop the water, dark brown sugar, treacle, golden syrup, ground ginger and cinnamon in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the butter until melted. Sieve over the flour and Bicarbonate of Soda and mix until combined, don’t worry your mixture will be quite runny.
Wrap your dough in greaseproof paper and then in cling film and pop into the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool and firm up.
Whilst your gingerbread dough is chilling cut out the house templates.
Once your dough is cool and has firmed up, preheat your oven to 180oC/160oC/Gas Mark 4 and line 3 baking trays.
Knead your biscuit dough on a floured surface and roll out to thickness approx. ½cm, use a sharp knife to cut out 2x front and back template, 2x roof, 2x walls and 1 x door. Keep kneading and re-rolling the dough as required, use the left over dough to cut out a few tree shapes. Pop your cut out dough onto the lined baking trays spaced well apart.
Bake your biscuits for 18-20 minutes until firm to touch. Once out of the oven, lay your templates over the biscuits and trim the edges of your biscuits to ensure they are straight and the correct size to build your house. Leave to cool and completely firm up.
Once you are ready to build your house firstly, make up the royal icing. Make up the egg white powder following the instructions on pack. Add the icing sugar to the egg white one tablespoon at a time and mix well. Repeat until all the icing sugar has been added and the icing is thick, smooth and white. Pop your icing into a piping bag and cut a small hole (0.5cm) in the end of piping bag.
Stick the sides to the front of the house, piping a thick line of royal icing down each side of the house and sticking to the front, hold for about 30-60 seconds to help secure in place, repeat sticking on the back of the house.
Pop the house onto a cake board, carefully cut the curved tops off the candy canes and stick a candy cane to each side of the house, this will help secure it. Leave the house to set for each 30 minutes and then stick on the roof.
Pipe a thin layer of royal icing over the roof and layer up the chocolate buttons to cover the roof.
Pipe a thick line of royal icing on the front of the roof, to look like a thick layer of snow.
Stick the door onto the front of the house and pipe a thin layer of royal icing around the edge of the door.
Use the White and Gold Decorating Icings to add the windows and details to the front and sides of the house.
Pipe the remaining royal icing over the cake board your house is sitting on and use a palette knife or the back of a spoon t0 smooth and cover the board but also add some texture to look like snow.
Add the chocolate buttons to make a path and use the curved pieces of the candy canes to edge the path.
Pipe the edging and detail onto the trees using the white and gold decorating icings and then pop into the royal icing around the house, use more icing t0 secure in place if needed.
Add a dusting of icing sugar over the top of your house and trees to create a beautiful snowy scene, sit back and admire your masterpiece!