Forget the premade kit and make this homemade cottage style gingerbread house instead.
Ingredients For the gingerbread :
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g brown sugar
- 5 tbsp molasses
- 7 tbsp golden syrup
- 600g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground ginger
Ingredients Royal icing :
- 2 egg whites
- 500g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
Ingredients To decorate :
- 200g bag flaked almonds
- 125g pack mini chocolate fingers
- generous selection of sweets of your choice, choose your own colour theme
- 1 mini chocolate roll or a dipped chocolate flake
- few edible silver balls
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Add the butter, sugar and both syrups to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, mixing each time until melted and smooth. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
- Cut out the template (download ontastemade.com). Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about one quarter of the dough to the thickness of two $1 coins. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels. Any leftover dough can be cut into Christmas trees, if you like.
- Pick out the most intact flaked almonds and gently poke them into the roof sections, pointy-end first, to look like roof tiles. Bake all the sections for 12 mins or until firm and just a little darker at the edges. Leave to cool for a few mins to firm up, then trim around the templates again to give clean, sharp edges. Leave to cool completely.
Royal Icing :
- Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to
make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe generous snakes of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally for a few hours.
- Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to dry. I used some cups that happened to be the perfect height to help hold them up. Much easier.. Dry completely, ideally overnight.
- When it comes to decorating, I hopped on Pinterest and looked up gingerbread houses and took some ideas from the ones I liked and mashed them together. I went for a simple cottage theme, but you can nuts with candy using the royal icing to stick everything to the house.