For the House:
115g caster sugar
125g brown sugar
125g golden syrup
100g dark treacle
725g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice Icing
175g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons hot water/lemon juice/orange juice
Few drops of food colouring (optional)
100g caster sugar
3 tbsp water
Lots of coloured sweets, jellies, m&ms, chocolate buttons, sugar balls, sprinkles etc
Entered by Annisa Muchtar on 19/11/2013
A delightful Christmas ornament and tasty treat that will last you until the new year: in Scandinavia every household (especially ones with children!) will take great care in building and decorating their Pepperkakehus (Gingerbread House) together. Their decorated house will have place of pride in the house when fully decorate, and will sit happily for up to two weeks without refrigeration. On Boxing Day, the children arm themselves with rolling pins (of just their hands) and smash the house up - everyone enjoys the biscuit/confection until it all disappears!
- Preheat oven to 180 ºC.
- Melt butter, sugar and syrups in a large saucepan.
- Sift flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add the butter and sugar mixture and make a sticky dough.
- Press the dough flat until 2 cm thick. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Make templates of paper. The front and back side of the house is 12,7 x 17,7 cm. The two sides are 12,7 x 15,2 cm. Two roof panels are 11,4 x 17,7 cm. Draw your own or download from the Internet. A sample: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/articles/gingerbread-house-template .
- Put a piece of greaseproof paper on the table. Sprinkle flour and roll out a fourth of the remaining dough to 5 mm thickness. Place paper templates on top of the dough and cut out parts with a sharp knife. Repeat with all templates.
- Move the parts carefully to the baking tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes - make sure not to overbake, or the biscuits will be very brittle. Take the trays out and leave them for a few minutes to harden - if the shapes need trimming do so before they cool completely. Cut out a door on the front wall and windows on the side walls and put these parts aside. Let cool.
Glue for the house:
- On a gentle heat, melt sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When thick, turn heat to minimum while you construct the frame. Use the glue to assemble the house, taking care as the caramel can be hot.
- Put glue on the vertical edges of the walls. Use a bowl to support the walls from the inside. Keep the walls carefully in place until the icing hardens. Let the house stand for 30 minutes or until caramel is completely cool and secure before putting on the roof.
- Take out the bowl you used for support. Put glue along the edges and the upper edge of the walls. Squeeze the two roof parts together and put them on top of the house. Let it dry for 30 minutes.
- Decorate house with icing (you can add food colouring if you want to 'paint' the house, or leave white to make icicles). You can use a palate knife or a paintbrush for finer detail. Use icing to attach sweets, chocolate buttons, sprinkles to the house - the more the merrier!