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Homemade Gingerbread House! All advice welcomed

(17 Posts)
Nuttybear Thu 09-Dec-10 12:38:21

I have the biscuit cut-outs smile
all the ingredients smile
scales smile
icing piping thingy smile
cake board smile
Now I need all YOUR Tips for the BEST GINGERBREAD HOUSE EVER grin grin grin
Swedish hairdresser told me to make melted sugar, I think carmel! and dip the sides in the hot sugar and this will stick the walls and roof together. Is she right! confused

abgirl Thu 09-Dec-10 13:05:40

I've always used icing to do my sticking, but caramel would probably work.

My biggest tip is to give yourself plenty of time to make it, preferably without any small helpers!

I also like making small trees with the left over gingerbread, icing them and sticking them round the house on the cakeboard, and an icing 'path' leading up to the house with a smartie border also looks v pretty.

Other bits of left over gingerbread can be cut into stars and trees, iced and then hung on ribbons on the christmas tree - makes the room smell lovely, and you will be officially a domestic goddess!!

lucysmam Thu 09-Dec-10 13:14:34

I always use icing. Have one all ready to make this evening. I second not having any small 'helpers', they're not usually very helpful grin & cause me much stress in the kitchen!

MakemineaGandT Thu 09-Dec-10 13:54:01

yes the caramel works but you also risk third degree burns in the process. I advise icing - but make sure it is royal icing (made with egg white) as this sets rock hard and makes great icicles from the roof.

SeriousWispaHabit Thu 09-Dec-10 14:08:36

Definitely use royal icing, preferably instant and turn any dodgy bits into icicles.

Waswondering Thu 09-Dec-10 14:11:42

We broke a plate once with the caramel - poured it onto the plate to dip the walls into, and crack!! The heat caused it to dramatically split.

So if doing caramel, have a suitable recepticle for it for dipping purposes!

Tikkabillajive Thu 09-Dec-10 14:17:58

We did our Ikea one last night and I made the critical error of involving the children before the house had been constructed - cue me getting a bit cross and covered in icing as the walls kept collapsing while they got impatient, fought loudly over which chair they were sitting on and ate most of the sweets. By the time it was erected they had disappeared off to watch a dvd, taking all the smarties with them.

The end result is a bit crap because I'd lost all enthusiasm for decorating it by that point! But the thing that saved it was giving the whole thing a dusting of icing sugar at the end - it looks like freshly fallen snow and is v pretty.

Think we will have to eat it this afternoon though - can't see it lasting much longer, most of the sweets have already been picked off!

shongololo Thu 09-Dec-10 14:23:28

use cocktail sticks and spaghetti to prop up the walls while you wait for it to dry.

Nuttybear Thu 09-Dec-10 15:14:16

So the big tip is don't allow children near the gingerbread house made for children! Ha! ha! ha! grin Have just dug out the camcorder from 5 years of non-use. This might be the time to watch Mummy blow a gasket with DS! smile So Royal icing better idea than carmel.
Waswondering Right if I do go the carmel path, really don't have DS around and use a big saucepan Cheers all [fmsile]

DoubleDegreeStudent Thu 09-Dec-10 15:27:33

I think you can get royal icing ready made in tubes which would make sticking walls together - I used a tub of the Betty Crocker american frosting (the white vanilla one) which dries hard.

Lay the pieces out on the board you're going to use so you know how big it will be and then find bottles/jars to go in each corner (or a wine bottle in opposite corners) to help prop them up when dry, and then when you've got it upright go around the outside with a roll of clingfilm (using it like a bandage to hold the walls together) - obviously this stops the air getting to the icing if you do it too tightly but the icing that ends up on the inside will dry quickly and then you can take the clingfilm off (if that makes sense) to let it dry thoroughly - leave it overnight before trying to add the roof if possible.

For the roof I build little struts out of spice jars wedged against the wall that hold one side of the roof up whilst I put the other one on, then hold them together for ten minutes or so to stop them sliding apart straight away.

Rather than making caramel, you can also melt down glacier mints in a little bowl made from tin foil sat in a pan (avoid wrecking bowl/plate)as these dry clear, but you have to move quickly. Just bash the mints up a bit first to help them melt quicker.

DoubleDegreeStudent Thu 09-Dec-10 15:27:59

*make sticking walls together easier

Habbibu Thu 09-Dec-10 16:02:52

Curly Wurlys make great fences, and a melted glacier mint makes a nice frozen pond in the garden. You can also make stained glass windows, by breaking boiled sweets into window holes, and sticking in the oven for a few minutes. After Eight type chocolates are good for roof tiles.

Nuttybear Fri 10-Dec-10 09:50:36

Thank you all Tried the W.I receipe for Gingerbread using treacle. Not the taste for us going to try something with just Golden Syrup next.
DoubleDegreeStudent Got Mum to hold the walls together last time. Ds still remembers the tis we had. Good tips.
Habbibu Lovely ideas, will use them.

MickyLee Fri 10-Dec-10 12:10:36

I bpught one yesterday from Ikea.. looked easy on the box but now i have read this, i'm not so sure!
Sounds like some of you are pro, with the litte trees and fences!
Ok very silly question. Once I have made it, can I leave in on the dining table as a decoration? or will it go bad?

Nuttybear Fri 10-Dec-10 12:35:25

MickyLee It's the only creative thing I do all year. I brought this last year. This should also save money every year! smile My home made one last 1 week can't say longer as Ds and his cousin ate it. smile

abgirl Fri 10-Dec-10 21:37:31

Look here for some amazing inspiration.

I think they generally last a week or so if you want to eat them - after that they taste a bit soggy. Never tried to keep one longer as a decoration but I think it would probably be fine for a while.

Nuttybear Fri 10-Dec-10 21:53:27

Wow! Love the Mod Gingerbread House by Apartment Therapy. When I retire I'll do that one for coctail parties grin

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