You Will Need:
Pallet knife or piping bag
1 gingerbread house – purchase or make from recipe below
(Recipe adapted from Women’s Weekly The Christmas Book)
200g brown sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs, beaten lightly
750g plain flour
150g self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
2 egg whites
640g pure icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Place egg whites in bowl of a stand mixer and beat briefly until white is broken up and just frothy. Gradually beat in enough sifted icing sugar until icing forms soft peaks, stir in juice. Keep the surface of the icing covered with a damp tea towel to stop from drying out.
Combine butter and sugar and honey in medium pan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool 10 min. Transfer mixture to large bowl, stir in rind, eggs and sifted dry ingredients. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead gently until mixture loses it’s stickiness, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut paper patterns for gingerbread house: cut 2 rectangles each 20cmx 15cm for roof; 2 rectangles each 15cm x 10cm for sides and 1 rectangle for 16cm wide x 19cm high for front/back. Trim front/back rectangle so that sides are 10cm high.
Roll out dough on floured surface until 1cm think; cut shapes from dough using paper patterns, cut out windows or doors if desired from front or sides. Place shapes on oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake in moderately hot oven about 10 minutes or until firm. Stand on trays five minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
Spread thin layer of royal icing over foil to represent snow. Use royal icing and a pallet knife or piping bag to assemble gingerbread house on the board. Join walls first and then the roof on top. You can use pins to secure the house until the icing sets, but REMEMBER TO TAKE THEM OUT!
Decorate as desired with lollies. I used Nerd ropes and marshmallows for trimming, royal icing for the roof, sour straps to cover the sides, and marshmallow figures.
Lisa Thwaite is a brilliant baker whose gingerbread house will impress. Easy to follow instructions and ideas for decoration from our clever Christmas chef.