I always thought...gingerbread house - wow it's beautiful but gosh it must be hard! I made the flat pack Ikea gingerbread house one Christmas and that was pretty easy so I thought... why not give it a shot?
And yes I know, mine doesn't look like the BBC Food one, all glamorous and beautiful and frosted. But - I am a real person not a chef!
And my kids helped me make it! So yes, it has imperfections, the icing melted faster in the hot Spanish heat than I could pipe it on. And yes the kids put some lollies on wonky. And yes the kitchen was a MESS at the end.
But I love it, my kids love it, and it truly wasn't that hard!
So if you're bored at home with the kids and looking for some fun cooking - why not give it a go?
Heat oven to 180C. Melt butter, sugar & syrup in a pan.
Mix flour, bicarb & ground ginger in a decent size bowl.
Mix the wet & dry ingredients. Get your hands dirty & really squish it together.
Using the template (click to download) roll out the mix on baking paper and cut out the template sections. Mixture should be approx. 1/2cm thick.
When you are rolling the dough, the gingerbread mix can be a bit crumbly, so keep squishing the cracks together & roll with light pressure. Keep squishing the mixture into the general shape you want around the edges so that the edges aren't cracked.
Bake the sections for 14mins - should be just a little bit darker around the edges. Rest for a few mins and then recut each piece to your template to get perfect edges as the mixture grows when it bakes. Don't wait too long or it will be too firm to cut nicely!
Glue the front, back & side walls together with icing mixture (egg white & icing). Use a piping bag.
It's a good idea to use a cup or bowl to support inside while the icing glue is setting. Leave it an hour or so to set nicely.
Use your icing to glue the roof on. It should overhang a bit on all sides but don't stress if not - icing and decorations can cover all your little cracks and crumbles!
Now the fun bit; get your kids and decorate like crazy! Lashings of icing & sweets everywhere. And enjoy serving and eating your very own kids made gingerbread house.
I made my gingerbread house with a 3yr old & 6yr old. It can get a little intense! I recommend younger kids help you only with the mixing and decorating. Save any leftover dough mixture and let them roll out cookie cutter shapes to decorate as well. Stars, teddy bears, any cutter shape you have for cookies or even playdough.
Older kids can make the whole house with a little help & guidance.