I love to bake gingerbread and make it into little houses at Christmas time and this year was no exception.I decided to use a different recipe this year as I had found one in a magazine which looked nice and had a better quantity of mixture.
They worked very well and the decoration was fun too!! Construction of gingerbread houses is always a challenge but I seemed to master a decent technique. It took my sister a little longer to get hers to stand up properly but it did work eventually!
This amount of ingredients will make 32 houses
100g light muscavado sugar
75g dark muscavado sugar (or use all of one sort if you don’t have both!)
85g golden syrup
100g salted butter
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
350g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1/2 orange, zested (optional)
- Put the sugar, syrup and butter in a pan and melt over a medium heat; bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes once the ingredients have melted.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda so that the mixture expands. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- Sift the flour and spices into a bowl then add the syrup mixture. Stir in along with the milk and orange zest, if using.
- Knead the dough into a ball then tip it onto a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth.
- Wrap the dough in Clingfilm or return it to the bowl and chill for 20 to 30 minutes till it is a bit firmer.
- When the dough has chilled, cut it in half.
- Also, set the oven to heat to 180 C.
- Roll out one half till it is about 3mm thick and a rectangular shape.
- I used cookie cutters, a rectangle and a pentagon, to make the sides and edges of the houses but you can draw them freehand if you feel confident enough. (The rectangles are approximately 3cm by 7cm whilst the pentagons are 3cm on each side.) For each house you need four rectangles and two pentagons.
- Cut out the shapes you need for the houses and place on a greased baking tray.
- They will take about 4-5 minutes to bake as they are so small and thin, make sure you keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn.
- Once they have cooled down you can decorate the houses and assemble them.
- Some white icing and a range of sweets, chocolate and other decorations will be fine to decorate them.
- It is best to find your own way to assemble the houses as, from experience, it seems that different methods work for different people.
- I prefer to put an edge and a side together, then the other edge and side, before joining the sides together. The roof will go on slightly later once the sides have dried and gained a little strength to support the roof.
- The key is to be patient but, if you are really struggling, then eating them will be fine too!