There’s something about the wit and whimsy of a gingerbread house that I just love. I started my “house” career when my son was born. I was all inspired by Diane at craftypod, and overflowing with new mother hormones, I wanted to start a little Christmas tradition. In typical moi fashion, it has turned into an epic baking event each year.
My first gingerbread house was very modest, but I had an absolute ball making it in my “I have a 6 week old baby” sleep deprived haze. It’s the little details like the lollie trees, star anise and cinnamon logs that I love creating.
The second house, also known as the “ikea” had to be baked and then flat packed to be transported to our family Christmas in Melbourne and assembled on-site. I seem to recall that was the year of disastrous royal icing which sets like concrete on my in-laws pristine new kitchen bench. Joy to the world.
The third house – my all time favourite, was the mid-century modern interpretation. Oh the fifties!
The fourth house I decided needed a swimming pool – well it is the middle of summer here in Australia! It was based on the Rose Seidler House in Sydney and was technically quite the construction to undertake.
I’m moving to Hong Kong in 10 days time and I honestly don’t know if I’ll get to make a gingerbread house this year. I don’t even know if I’ll have an oven when we get there! Although looking back through all these piccies I desperately want to! Do you make gingerbread?
You can find my gingerbread recipe here:
Merry Xmas to all, and to all a good night…
As promised to many, here’s my gingerbread recipe. It’s been lovingly tweaked and tested over the years and works really well for houses and biccies like the Reindeer cookie above (inspiration from Meet the Dubiens via pinterest). These were devoured at work when I took them in, thanks Lizi for the photo!
180 g Unsalted butter
210 g Caster sugar ( 1 cup)
300 g Golden syrup (almost one cup, 220mls)
1.5 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tsp Ground ginger
1 Tsp Ground nutmeg
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Bi-Carb Soda
620 g Plain flour (4.5 cups)
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely dissolved then remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and bi-carb soda in an electric mixer bowl and add the cooled butter/sugar mix. Combine.
If you have one, use the dough hook on the mixer. Using a medium speed, add the flour to the other ingredients. Mix until well combined. If you don’t have a dough hook, use beater attachments until the dough becomes too heavy at which point bring the dough together by hand.
Roll out between two sheets of baking paper until it’s around 8mm (1/4 inch) thick. Cut out desired shapes and bake in an oven at 180 degrees for between 8-20 minutes depending on size of pieces. I find 8 minutes for biscuits, around 15 for larger house pieces works well.
Gingerbread dough can be used immediately or can be frozen (wrap tightly in cling film and put in a zip-lock bag).
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and lots of pressies.
My mod gingerbread house was a success – not that it was all smooth sailing. I completely forgot to bake the back wall so had to do an extra batch of gingerbread at the last minute and I was not at all confident that the lifesaver besser block wall would hold, but it did! Hooray! That royal icing is amazing stuff. I was very restrained on the lollies and adornments this year. For some reason I just wanted to keep it simple and putting all the extra marshmallows and lollies all over the house just seemed to go against the whole mid-century modern theme. But the rocky road chimney was very well received and I’ve made a little habit of using the star anise over the door of my houses. So without further ado here is the making of and the finished Mod Gingerbread house.
It’s gingerbread house time! I’m having to flat pack the gingerbread house this year as we’re off to Victoria. I’ve baked all the individual pieces, wrapped them up ready for transport and decoration on xmas eve in Woodend. I like to think of it as gingerbread pre-fab! This is bound to have it’s difficulties but I’m up for the challenge. Last year’s gingerbread house was all about red and pink lollies with white chocolate drops covering the roof, not sure about this year, maybe we’ll go for blue…
I got all inspired by the craftypod gingerbread house post and took on the task this year. I have to say the construction phase was quite tricky and a couple of the pieces were a little overdone in the oven (OK… they were quite burnt). It was great fun though!
I used white chocolate drops for roof tiles, an ice cream cone decorated with musk life savers and rasberries to make the tree, pineapple lumps for the door, star anise for the window, cinnamon for the logs and sugar crystals for the path. The gingerbread recipe came from the ABC and I got lots of inspiration from Martha Stewart.