Welcome to Day 3 of the 12 days of Christmas on Ellie Bakes, where I will be sharing a festive recipe every day until Christmas Eve. I think Christmas is the best time of the year for baking, and I have lots of great recipes to share!
A gingerbread house is a great project for a grey December day, as it takes a while to make, assemble and decorate. It’s great fun to decorate, and is perfect for entertaining children during the holidays.
My sister and I made this one, and we decided to use flaked almonds for roof tiles, and pipe icicles made of royal icing to give it a snowy effect.
For the gingerbread:
- 1kg plain flour
- 2tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 300g butter
- 450g soft brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 225g golden syrup
For the icing:
- 500g icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Flaked almonds for the roof
- Colourful sweets to decorate
- Put the flour in a food processor with the butter and whizz until you can’t see any lumps of butter remaining. Mix in the spices and bicarb together with a pinch of salt.
- Tip the mixture into a big mixing bowl and stir in the sugar.
- Whisk the eggs with the golden syrup and stir into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Using your hands, knead together into a smooth dough.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll a quarter of the dough out at a time on a sheet of baking parchment, to the thickness of 2 x £1 coins. Use a small, sharp knife to cut around the house templates.
- Remove trimmings and lift the gingerbread, on its parchment, onto baking trays. Re-roll trimmings to cut out all the shapes you need.
- Bake the gingerbread one tray at a time on a high shelf in the oven for 8-10 mins, until a lovely, rich brown and firm to the touch.
- As soon as each tray is baked, carefully sit the templates back onto the relevant shapes and trim any edges to neaten. Use a cutter to stamp out any windows or cut away any doors with a small, sharp knife. Let all the biscuits cool completely.
- Meanwhile make the icing by whisking the egg whites until fluffy, then slowly adding the icing sugar. When it has been combined, whisk in the lemon juice until it forms peaks, then spoon into a piping bag.
- Assemble your house using the royal icing to stick it together. To make the roof, spread some icing over the roof pieces and sprinkle on the flaked almonds.
- Use the matchmakers to create a log pile, and then decorate with the sweets!