The gingerbread house has grown in popularity in recent years with DIY kits popping up in supermarkets across the UK but there is nothing like baking your own, from scratch. Baltzersen’s head baker Mary-Jane Walker shares her festive recipe for the perfect authentically Scandinavian gingerbread dwelling.
Gingerbread HouseMakes one gingerbread house, with trimmings left over to make biscuits. This recipe uses a lot of cloves so use the lower quantity if you prefer a gentler flavour. You can buy gingerbread house cutters from Lakeland, priced £4.99, but there are templates for gingerbread houses online. The dough is very soft, so it is best to make it the day before and chill overnight before rolling. Ingredients:
- 300ml black treacle
- 3tsp ground cinnamon
- 3tsp ground ginger
- 1-3tsp ground cloves
- 200g butter, softened
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 500g plain flour
- 300g icing sugar, sweets and pretzels
- For the dough: in a food mixer, or by hand, mix all the ingredients except the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix again to make a smooth dough. Chill overnight in the fridge before rolling.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, about as thick as a pound coin.
- Cut out the pieces to make the walls and roof of the house, rerolling the scraps as necessary. Cut out windows and doors. Lay the pieces on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 15minutes until just beginning to darken. Cool on a wire rack.
- Pipe any icing decoration that you want on the walls now, as it’s easier to do before the house is put together. Allow to dry before continuing.
- To assemble the house, mix up icing sugar and water to make an icing the consistency of toothpaste. Spoon into a piping bag with a narrow nozzle.
- Pipe icing along the base and sides of an end wall. Stand on your cake board, using a mug to keep it upright. Continue with the other three walls.
- Pipe icing on the sloping edges of the end walls and lay the roof on top, propping it up with a cup under the eaves. Leave to set.
- Decorate the house with sweets, using the icing to stick them on. Make icing icicles and a pretzel fence if you like.
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