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anyone tried making a big gingerbread house?

(17 Posts)
satinandsilk Fri 30-Nov-12 14:10:59

Inspired by the gorgeous ones I've seen in the shops, I want to try my hand at making a big gingerbread house for a christening party..probably more for decorative purposes than because it will necessarily taste nice (presumably the gingerbread has to be pretty hard to stay in a house shape..) Just wondering if anyone has any tips or experience? got visions of it all collapsing/cracking/breaking if I don't cook the gingerbread for exactly the right amount of time, which could be tricky to judge if it's in huge slabs....

Babybeargrylls Fri 30-Nov-12 15:01:14

There was a recipe and template in the bbc good food magazine last month. Maybe online still?? I'm going to try it as recipe and instructions look really clear.

satinandsilk Fri 30-Nov-12 17:56:59

think I've found it - I may try to do a big version as the template is very small. I'll let you know how I get on!

Durab Fri 30-Nov-12 18:05:37

Hi satin. We make one every year and have done everything from individual sized ones for a cake sale to massive depending on the number of people around.

They are most definitely for eating!! The gingerbread doesn't need to be hard, but the icing for sticking it all together does. Use royal icing made with egg whites and make it very stiff.

DS has to make a Bailey & Motte castle for his history homework next week and the plan is to make it from gingerbread....

I use an old Delia (1970s) recipe for the gingerbread and make card templates the size we need.

satinandsilk Fri 30-Nov-12 22:06:44

thanks Durab - I've made the templates tonight. First attempt will be an experiment - really looking forward to the challenge!

Lafaminute Fri 14-Dec-12 22:37:51

I made one a few years ago - followed a Rachel Allen recipe and after hours of tedious effort and many tears I binned the lot. I made the gingerbread, cut out the templates and baked but the g'bread walls warped and wouldn't meet up when I tried to join them together. I've never heard of this happening to anyone else so maybe I'm just not cut out for gingerbread architecture!!

proofreader Fri 14-Dec-12 22:40:05

I made one,once, with the old-fashioned gingerbread recipe in Mrs. Beeton, the one that involves black treacle, it made fab firm slabs. Cocktail sticks are your friend.

sooperdooper Fri 14-Dec-12 22:40:34

I did one a couple of years ago, I can't remember where I got a template from, I might have made it myself? I was quite time consuming but great fun, make sure you make the icing really thick to put it all together and the more sweets to decorate the better!

lolalotta Thu 20-Dec-12 18:46:50

Laf it's NOT YOU!!! My friend attempted the Rachel Allen house last year and it didn't fit together, the template in the book has a printing error!!! grin

Onlyaphase Thu 20-Dec-12 18:50:55

I made one today using the Sainsburys kit.

All the sections expanded in the oven and so I had to use a lot of royal icing to make the ends meet. And then the weight of the chimney covered with sweets by DD made the whole thing collapse into a gingerbread prefab building site.

Tasted great though. And filled in a wet morning when we are housebound with colds.

wonkylegs Thu 20-Dec-12 18:56:10

I always stick mine with molten sugar, you have to be careful as it's easy to burn yourself but it sticks like glue no matter how big / heavy your Gingerbread & if you have patience you can also make 'glass' for the windows from leftover sugar.
Ours this year also had GB snowman & trees outside.

swooosh Thu 20-Dec-12 19:00:37

I use the good food template. The trick is to cut the shape AFTER its cooked to get the edges straight and even

MaureenMLove Thu 20-Dec-12 19:01:28

I made 3 at the weekend! I used a recipe from BBC Food. I cut out my own template and re-cut the shapes once they were cooked and just out of the oven. It gave them all uniform and sharp edges again, because it does expand when cooking.

The icing was 2 egg whites and 500g icing sugar. It was perfect glue and with the help of tins of beans to support all round whilst they were drying, they all look fab. The recipe suggested letting it set over night, but it wa solid as rock within half an hour.

If it works, I may have just attached one to show you!

MaureenMLove Thu 20-Dec-12 19:04:28

I like this one better!

SpeckleDust Thu 20-Dec-12 19:14:52

I made one last year using the BBC recipe and template. The baked pieces do tend to spread a little bit , but you can trim them when they come out of the oven if you are quick enough (before the gingerbread cools and hardens up). We also did the stained glass windows using crushed boiled sweets.

I used royal icing to join the pieces together - I might try the sugar mixture next time as the icing takes a while to set and has a tendency to allow the house to collapse unless supported. The DDs then had free rein to decorate it with sweets etc

Battlefront Thu 20-Dec-12 19:22:28

I do one every year with DCs. I find if you make the icing thick enough (royal icing with egg whites) there is a lot of room for pieces to not quite fit and the pieces support themselves while the icing sets, so need for the cocktail sticks etc.

this year DS1 wants to make this Gulp!

shoppingbagsundereyes Fri 21-Dec-12 06:59:17

I used the good food recipe and Lakeland cutters. Recipe is fab. The house is lovely but my piping is pants so I have a lot of dribbly snow dripping off the house. Kids delighted though

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