Friday 22 December 2023

The 2023 Gingerbread Houses

I must admit that every year I approach the annual gingerbread house with some trepidation. But I've been making at least one house every year for about ten years now and I've now got it down to a fine art. This year's was the easiest yet!

A few years back I bought some gingerbread house cutters, and they are brilliant. I've been using the same gingerbread recipe for years which is an old recipe from Tesco, it's not even online anymore. I've simplified it, and also worked out the exact quantities that I need to make two houses from my cutters with a small amount left over.

Here's the recipe that I use for two houses. Melt together the wet ingredients (375g butter, 300g muscovado sugar, 9 tbsp golden syrup) then add to the dry ingredients (940g plain flour, 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 3 tsp ground ginger, 3tsp mixed spice) and mix together into a dough. 

I roll the gingerbread out directly onto baking paper, cut out the piece, and then lift the paper straight onto the baking tray so that the pieces keep their shape. This year I remembered to start with the largest pieces first, because it's easier to cut out the smaller pieces towards the end when you don't have as much dough left. The pieces bake in the oven at 180 for about 9 minutes. I make the gingerbread a couple of days before I assemble the houses so that they have time to harden a little.

To assemble the houses I use royal icing sugar and an icing syringe and nozzles set. First I put the walls together, making sure to put plenty of icing under the pieces on the base. Then I leave for a few minutes before putting on the roof and holding in place with plenty of icing. Finally it's time to decorate with more icing and sweets. 

Here are this year's efforts, decorated by the children!

Family gingerbread houses 2023

I make two houses because then the children have one each to decorate. This does however mean that I only get to do the building of the houses and not the fun part of decorating, so I think that next year I may make three houses so that I get one to decorate too! The gingerbread keeps for ages, certainly as long as we need it to, and after a couple of days I break the houses up and put them into cake tins.

I always say that I'll make gingerbread houses throughout the year for different occasions like Easter but when it comes to it I can never face it. Maybe this will be the year, as they are delicious if I say so myself! 

1 comment:

  1. Well done! They look fantastic!
    For 2 days we've been meaning to decorate our gingerbread houses, I cheated and bought the ready made kits that you just stick together with icing. My youngest and fella can do them tomorrow. x


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