This fun and festive tutorial is the perfect way to get the family together and create a fantastic gingerbread house filled with love and memories from the year! This is not a quick and easy make, however it's a perfect family project to get everyone involved and enjoy slowly eating through the Christmas period!
Cake artist: Karolina Andreasova
You will need:
200g dark brown sugar
2tbsp of black treacle
600g plain flour
100g icing sugar
2tsp ginger, cinnamon and
mixed spice (each)
300g sugarpaste: white
200g sugarpaste: red
paste colour: poppy red
royal icing: 200g icing sugar
and 1 egg white
20cm cake board
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
1 Melt the butter, black treacle and brown sugar.
2 Pour lukewarm wet ingredients over dry, sifted ingredients. Add milk and mix until combined – be careful to not overmix.
3 Leave the dough to rest wrapped in cling film, and chill for two hours. Trace the shapes from the template. Use baking sheets or ordinary paper for this.
4 Roll the dough on a non-stick mat. Place your templates over to neatly cut the shapes (please find the full-sized template download at the end of the tutorial).
5 Double check your shapes are neat before baking. Precision will be very important at the later stage! Don’t forget to cut out the windows and doors.
6 Bake at 150°C for ten to fifteen minutes or until they are firm to touch. Cool on a level surface.
PREPARE PIECES FOR PIPING:
7 Sharpen your pieces with a small knife. Be very careful not to break your pieces so do not apply too much pressure, especially on the corners.
8 Roll your red sugarpaste and moisten with vodka.
9 Press the roof piece onto sugarpaste and cut around it.
10 Neaten the pieces and cut windows out. Cut away any access on sides and leave to dry. Repeat this with the white sugarpaste.
PIPING WITH ROYAL ICING:
11 Prepare the icing by hand only. Gently mix 200g of sifted icing sugar with one egg white.
12 The icing has a right consistency if it's glossy and a dot on the tip of your finger forms a ball, not leaving a peak.
13 Using sandwich bags for the piping, use half of your icing in a bag, and knot. Snip a tiny corner off the bag with scissors, the smaller the hole the finer the string you will be able to pipe (or, pull).
14 Colour the second half of the royal icing with red food colour.
15 Using a ruler and cocktail skewer, mark a line where you want your icing grid to start.
16 Pull the icing to create a line. Let the gravity and pulling help you achieve a perfect line.
17 Add your second line 1mm apart from the first.
18 You will need at least thirteen long lines if you want to achieve a Norwegian stars pattern at the base of the roof pieces.
19 Once dry (leave to dry for ten minutes), pipe horizontal lines to create a neat grid.
20 Decorate the side of the grid with arches and teardrops, and just let your imagination flow.
21 Once the grids are dry, start with the needlepoint technique. Use this pattern as your reference (click the image to download).
22 Using the ruler, and counting the vertical lines, find the centre of your grid. You should be piping dots diagonally in fours, let them dry, then add another row (otherwise your dots will blend together).
23 Add patterns on the roof, this step will take some time to finish.
24 Add the same grid pattern around the windows then fill with dots.
25 Decorate walls in chosen folksy patterns.
26 Attach the chimney together with red icing, upside down. Once set, wrap in red sugarpaste, and trim the edge. Leave to dry.
27 Your pieces once prepared should look like this, ready to assemble. Using royal icing, place the back wall of the house onto the freshly iced 20cm square board. Press down into the sugarpaste, if you followed the steps above, the wall should be able to stand up on its own straight away.
28 Add the other walls, piping icing where the areas touch. Keep the walls in a rectangular shape, making sure they are standing upright at 90°.
29 Once the walls are up, secure with an appropriate size rubber band. You want a gentle grip, but not too tight, or your pieces will crack.
30 To apply the roof piece, pipe icing on the sides then stick the roof piece on, and hold for about four or five minutes. Do not jiggle or your piping will not stick.
31 Apply the second part of the roof, adding a sausage of white sugarpaste to fill in the gaps, if needed.
32 Add on the dried chimney. Decorate its top with a piece of white sugarpaste.
33 Decorate the top of the dried roof with a red sugarpaste rolled strip to blend the pieces. Pipe icicles of royal icing around the edge of the rooftop.
For more amazing tutorials, grab an issue of Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft magazine now!