For me, nothing says Christmas more than the sight and smell of a Gingerbread House!
For years I thought they were a feat of great gingery skill ad dared not attempt one. Then one year I discovered flat pack gingerbread houses, in Ikea of all places. These ready made pieces came with instructions to build the house using melted sugar. For three years I made ,my Gingerbread House this way, losing many layers of skin on the molten sugar cement!!
This year I decided to put my skills to the test and build a house from scratch! Daunted? A little, but my confidence was built immeasurably when my friend Jenny asked me to help her make hers!
Guess what…..it was easy!!
I’ll tell you how to do it if you promise to send me photos of your gingerbread creations…deal?
You will need:
200g dark brown or muscavado sugar
100g light brown sugar
2oog black treacle (around half a tin)
50g golden syrup
850g plain flour
200g wholemeal flour (use plain flour if you prefer)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 / Gas Mark
- Cut templates from paper. You will need two roof panels, two short and long wall panels and two panels with a pitched roof shape.
- If you’re unsure, try selotaping your templates together first.
- In your largest mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and margarine
- Add the treacle and syrup
- Into this mixture, add the salt, baking powder and spices (I love ginger so my recipe contains alot!! Reduce the amount if you like)
- Measure out your flours into another bowl
- Bit by bit add and combine the water and the flour.
- The mixture becomes quite tough so give it some elbow grease!!
- When you have a firm dough, remove from the bowl and knead lightly on a floured surface.
- Cut the mixture in half
- Roll the first half. I found that a thickness of around 5mm worked best, i wouldn’t roll it any thicker.
- From your first half cut one roof piece, one side wall and one end wall.
- Repeat the process with the second half.
- If you would like open windows or doors, now is the time to cut them out. Try not to eat your door like Jenny did!!
- Bake for approximately 8 minutes – don’t get distracted because the gingerbread burns very, very easily!
- When you remove from the oven, allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, before transferring to a cooling wire. The mixture will still be soft so be careful!
- As the mixture cools, it hardens, please trust me and don’t put it back in the oven 🙂
- Use any left over gingerbread to make extra decorations or biscuits to eat now…..or do as I did and give them to a nine year old to make more shapes than I even knew we had cutters for!!