Homemade Gingerbread House

Key Details

  • Serves: lots
  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Ingredients

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp treacle
  • 625g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and mixed spice 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. If it’s very sticky, dust it with flour, then wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out to about 5mm thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut out pieces for your house. You’ll need six pieces, in three different shapes measuring: sides: 20cm x 14cm; roof: 21cm x 7cm; gable ends: 10cm (base) x 14cm (outer sides) x 18cm (apex). Any scraps can be pressed together and rolled out for the next pieces.

Place your house pieces onto the baking tray, leaving a 1cm gap between them as they will rise a little in the oven. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden and slightly darker around the edges.

Let the gingerbread cool completely before icing.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then, while whisking, gradually mix in the icing sugar till you have a dense stiff meringue. Use this to glue your gingerbread pieces together. You can also use this mixture to attach decorations to your beautiful house. Don’t forget to dust with icing sugar for a final flourish!

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