Every year I like to make a gingerbread house to be on display for Christmas with my family. Most times no one eats it (except my niece) and it ends up sitting out for so long you probably wouldn't want to. But I love the tradition of baking and decorating a gingerbread house each year none the less!
My last gingerbread house I decided to make based on one of my favourite cake decorators at the moment, Katherine Sabbath. Her classic "drippy ganache" and flair for unusual design was just the look I had in mind.
Pink Whimsical Gingerbread House
3 cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
112g unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. cloves
¾ tsp. salt
½ cup treacle
3 Tbsp. meringue powder
4 cups icing sugar
5 -6 Tbsp. lukewarm water
Meringues (I used the Meringue Girls recipe)
- Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar until lighter in colour and fluffy.
- Add spices, salt, egg and treacle to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, approx. 1 hour.
- Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface and cut into desired shapes, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and freeze until firm, approx. 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.
- Bake cookies until slightly crisp, approx. 12-14 minutes (baking time will depend on the size of your cookies). Leave on baking tray for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Sift icing sugar and combine with meringue powder in a large bowl.
- Add water and mix on medium for 7-10 minutes, until icing loses its sheen.
- To prevent drying out, keep the bowl and icing tips covered with a damp tea towel.
- Will keep for two weeks stored in the fridge.
- Pipe royal icing along the edges of the wall pieces and attach one at a time, making sure to hold in place for a few minutes each time.
- Once the walls are sturdy, pipe more icing along the top and attach the roof pieces. Hold in place for several minutes until fully set.
- Attach gingerbread house to a cake board using royal icing.
- Roll out fondant and cut to desired shape. Attach to the sides of the gingerbread house with corn/glucose syrup or a little royal icing.
- Tint royal icing desired colour (I went with Electric Blue) and add a few drops of water until icing is a runnier consistency. You don't want it too liquid as it still needs to set.
- Carefully drop icing on top of the house, making sure to clean up underneath once you're finished.
- Sprinkle silver cachous over top.
- Pipe decorations with royal icing and attach meringues and candy using royal icing as glue.
- Stuff candy floss inside chimney.
- Stand back and admire!