Iron Chef Shellie

Gingerbread House

Baking is the easy part, the assembly is the hard part!


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Gingerbread House
December 15, 2009

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Gingerbread House

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, my first ever attempt at the gingerbread construction industry.
It took me pretty much the good part of a day getting the architectural plans from Martha Stewart, the foundation mixture together from Donna Hay, and the exterior decorating and landscape gardening done.

After 2 rounds of putting the roof on, and the house collapsing, I made my cement (royal icing) a bit more runny, and eventually got everything to stay in place.

I wanted to stick on pretzels all around the sides to make it look like a log cabin, but after my epic cooking efforts on Saturday, and not having any pretzels in the house… there was a big case of the C.B.F.s

Mum wanted me to add more lollies to the side of the house, but I didn’t want one of those super tacky, over candied houses. I’m very happy with the end results. As to whether I’d do one again… I would say yes. But I would make sure I wasn’t planning on cooking 2 other things on the same day!

Gingerbread House
Donna Hay

1.2kg (7 1/2 cups) plain flour
3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted
1 1/2 cups (265g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger, sifted
375g butter
1 2/3 cups (580g) golden syrup

4 cups (640g) icing sugar, sifted
3 eggwhites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
assorted lollies to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 180Β°C or 160Β°C fan-forced. Place half the flour and bicarbonate of soda in the bowl of a food processor with half the sugar, ginger, butter and golden syrup. Process until dough just starts to come together, turn out and set aside. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

2. Combine both quantities of dough and knead to bring together. Divide dough into thirds. Lightly grease three 40cm x 30cm cookie trays (your trays should have a lip them). Divide dough between trays and press into tray, smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake, in batches, for 25-30 mintues or until dark golden. Turn out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. (I cut out my walls and windows instead of baking slab pre-casts).

3. To make the icing, place the sugar, eggwhites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 4-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Place the icing in a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle.

4. To assemble:
a) Use a large serrated knife and cut each gingerbread sheet in half. Use a ruler as a guide. Set aside four halves; two for the walls and two for the roof.
b) Use the serrated knife to cut two even-sized triangles from the top of the remaining two halves to create the side walls of the house and discard the triangles.
c) Secure one of the rectangular walls and one of the side walls to a cake board with the icing and allow to dry until firm. Support the walls against a tall jar until the icing is dry.

d) Secure the other rectangular wall and remaining side wall to the board and exisiting walls using the icing. Again, use some tall jars as support and allow the icing to dry completely before the next step.
e) Secure each of the roof pieces to the sides of the house suing the icing and allow to dry completely.

The roof on, before it collapsed for the first time.
f) Decorate with remaining icing and lollies.

Voila! Bon AppΓ©tit!


29 comments on “Gingerbread House
  1. Kyla

    Very Impressed – I've only ever made from a kit and that was enough of a challenge!

    December 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm
  2. mademoiselle dΓ©licieuse

    This is so adorable! I love how it doesn't have the usual licorice all-sorts plastered all over it, but that's just because I don't like eating them =p Love the open door and the trees which look like they're swaying in the breeze.

    December 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm
  3. Joanne

    What a fantastic house. It certainly deserves a feature in 'Gingerbread House & Garden':)Particularly love the detail of red and green smarties over the open door.

    December 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm
  4. muffinsareuglycupcakes

    a virgin attempt?! NO WAY.
    its awesomeeee!
    dont think i'll be able to make one this nice on my first attempt :S
    it'll probably be project demolition.
    hahaha! love how pretty and simple it looks.
    sounds like great fun!

    December 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm
  5. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Brilliant work Shellie! Love the decorations on the roof, it's so colourful and gorgeous πŸ™‚

    December 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm
  6. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Yay! It's awesome! I'm currently tossing up between the two different Martha Stewart templates so it's good to see one of them in action. Love the roof tiles πŸ™‚

    December 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm
  7. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi Kyla – Thanks =D I would imagine even a kit one is still a challenge!

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse – Thank you! Yes, I looked at the licorice all sorts and thought.. NO WAY!!

    Hi Joanne – Many thanks =D That would be hilarious if there was such a publication!!

    Hi Muffinsareuglycupcakes – Yes way! Thank you! I impressed myself πŸ˜›

    Hi Lorraine – Thank you! The roof is the sweetest πŸ˜‰

    Hi Conor – Thanks! Ah, Martha Stewart… what would we do without you?

    December 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm
  8. Rilsta @ My Food Trail

    Wow, that looks super impressive!! I love how you made the door open and you even thought of putting a door handle!! Too cute!!

    Gingerbread houses are in my CBF basket! πŸ˜›

    December 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm
  9. Simon

    Nice work with the gingerbread house. Love the attention to detail that you put into it πŸ™‚

    Did you find it fiddley to assemble all the components (including scenery)?

    December 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm
  10. penny aka jeroxie

    I was looking forward to this! What a cute and edible looking house. Will you eat it? Yum Yum!

    Brilliant job.

    December 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm
  11. chocolatesuze

    dude i love the roof! chocolate freckles are win!

    December 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm
  12. B1 @ TwinPalates

    Looks gorgeous Shellie! Like something out of Gourmet magazine. What would possess you to even consider making one of those things from scratch!? Nice work.

    December 16, 2009 at 7:05 am
  13. Cath


    December 16, 2009 at 8:40 am
  14. A Girl Called E

    oh my god.
    i have never seen such a gorgeous gingerbread house before!
    not only that but you used my favourite goodies – white chocolate raspberry bullets! ahh they are my achilles heel.
    and coming in a close second for favourite are freckles and chocolate buds.
    yours is the first gingerbread house i actually want to eat as well as admire!
    mind if i post a link to it on my blawwwwg?

    December 16, 2009 at 10:18 am
  15. Vee - A Melbourne Munchkin.

    There are kits?!?! What a fantastic effort, and my favourite part is the door as well! Very reminiscent of the waffle house door in 50 First Dates!

    December 16, 2009 at 11:49 am
  16. Karen @ Citrus and Candy

    LOL I'm attempting my first gingerbread construction myself and hopefully it'll work out.

    But I love yours! It looks so good!

    December 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm
  17. Sarah

    Oh that is just tooo cute!

    Well done!

    xox Sarah

    December 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm
  18. Agnes

    That looks fantastic! Well done – I can't believe that's your first attempt.

    Will you eat it?

    December 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm
  19. ms s loveridge

    WOW! WOW! WOW! This is so cool!!!! Amazing. Love it love it love it. Please don't eat it! πŸ™‚

    December 17, 2009 at 12:13 am
  20. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi Rilsta – Thanks babe! hahaha I have a CBF basket too, but I pulled this one outta it πŸ˜›

    Hi Simon – Thank you! It's all about attention to detail πŸ˜‰ It was a bit fiddley… especially the sugar trees… tiny lollies and my fat fingers πŸ˜›

    Hi Penny – I MAY eat it if it isn't too stale πŸ˜› Thank you!!

    Hi Chocolatesuze – Thanks! You can't go wrong with chocolate freckles.. ever!

    Hi B1 – Thank you!! Oh you are too kind! I dunno what possessed me, but I do like a culinary challenge every now and then!

    Hi Cath – hahaha! Thank you =D

    Hi A Girl Called E – Oh thank you so much hun!! I'm glad I could smother it in your favorites! Of course you can post on your blog =D

    Hi Vee – Thank you! I really must watch that film, I have it on DVD at home and all πŸ˜›

    Hi Karen – Oh fingers are crossed for you! I can't wait to see yours!

    Hi Sarah – Many thanks babe! =D

    Hi Agnes – Thank you! Yes, I impressed myself πŸ˜› I might eat it, once I show all my friends on Sunday, and if it's not too stale πŸ˜›

    Hi Ms S Loveridge – *blush* Thank you! It hasn't been eaten yet… it might be too stale to eat now πŸ˜›

    December 17, 2009 at 11:18 am
  21. billy@atablefortwo

    this is so beautiful!! Bravo! I am making one myself too, but is soooooo difficult… πŸ™ wish mine look half as decent as yours!

    December 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  22. Forager

    That's awesome! I love the detail you added – don't know why but I love that you left the door open. So very inviting!

    December 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm
  23. Iron Chef

    Hi Billy – I'm sure your's will be OUT OF THIS WORLD… just like everything else you do!

    Hi Forager – Thank you! It is rather inviting, isn't it? πŸ˜‰

    December 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm
  24. Esz

    Wow so cool. I love it. But like, what do you do with it?? Do people actually eat them???


    December 18, 2009 at 11:57 am
  25. Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday)

    wow impressive. can you bear to eat it though?

    December 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm
  26. Adrian @ Food Rehab

    omg! I was in anticipation over this! Love how the little door is open and coated with candy!

    so umm…when's the taste test? LOL

    December 21, 2009 at 11:39 am
  27. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi Esz – People do eat them, but I'm not sure if I will… I think I will!

    Hi Kat – Thanks! I can now.. sick of looking at it πŸ˜›

    Hi Adrian – hehe Thanks. I've had the offcuts and they are soft and delicious!

    December 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  28. Cath

    Love the roof shellie! Great job – I love making gingerbread houses more than actually eating the gingerbread! Keep up the great work.

    July 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm
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