Monday, 3 December 2012

Day 3: Gingerbread House

Day 3 
This morning, we got out of the fridge the gingerbread dough I kneaded yesterday evening and chilled overnight.  I made my first gingerbread house with my mum and sister when I was 12 years old, and this is one tradition I like to follow at Christmas. A house made from yummy cake and sweeties, who can argue with that?

I adapted the recipe from the BBC Good Food website to make it gluten-free, by substituting the self-raising flour with Dove's gluten-free bread flour and baking powder. I didn't bother adding xantham gum, which a lot of gluten-free recipes on the web seem to have, and got away with it. I considered trying to adapt the recipe to make it sugar-free too, but then I thought that I probably wouldn't be eating it anyway, so I stuck with the black treacle (how strange is that stuff by the way?) and unrefined brown cane sugar.

The dough turned out really well and was fairly easy to roll out. I rolled it out thinner than in the recipe (to the thickness of only one £1 piece instead of two). Lilo helped cut the walls and roof for the gingerbread house from the printable templates provided on the recipe site.

Cutting out the templates in the rolled out gingerbread dough
  Then Lilo cut out some gingerbread men, but mostly ate the leftover dough, which he really enjoyed the taste of (cinnamon and ginger plus lots of sugar - who can blame him?).

We baked everything for 10 minutes only as we had rolled the dough out thinner and the great news is that the shapes didn't swell or distort.
Unbaked front and baked walls and roofs with some fence pickets
Gingerbread men after baking
So we let the components of the gingerbread house cool down until the afternoon, and made royal icing by whisking together 500g icing sugar, 2 egg whites and 1/2 lemon juice. Then I started sticking the walls together with icing, adding the roof  parts at the end.
Gingerbread house is ready to get its roof panels on
So the boys got sticking, adding sweets to the roof panels, the walls, the seams, and simultaneously ingesting more sugar than is allowable for a child's weekly serving. The sugar rush allowed them to be most efficient though and they were very enthusiastic about adding more sweets on.
Lilo sticks a sweetie on the roof
Ju adds sweets to the seams of the house
 We added more snowy icing,  two gingerbread men, some mini-Christmas trees, even more snowy icing and a fence covered in snowy icing... et voila!

Ju says: "This is the best house"
Lilo would like to live here
As a final touch, Ju made a see-saw for the garden out of a mini-marshmallow and a leftover fence post
Close-up of our snowy gingerbread delight


  1. What a fun project. And very brave of you! Thanks for linking it up with Eco-Kids Tuesday!

  2. Amazing! I am featuring this on Eco Kids.