Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Daring Bakers - Gingerbread House





The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Gingerbread houses are straight from the pages of Hansel & Gretel. I loved the idea of them as a child, although I am sure that I wouldn't have eaten them because I only became a gingerbread lover as a grownup. Also, I would have been terrified lest the wicked witch imprisoned me!

I had never made a gingerbread house before this challenge - in fact, my Donna Hay gingerbread house came after the Daring Bakers house, because the guy who bought the Daring Bakers house at a charity auction had an unfortunate incident where black ants got into the Daring Bakers house - so I made him a new one using a different recipe.

I used Y's Scandinavian gingerbread recipe - I kind of liked the woodgrain look it gave to the house. I obtained my template from this link, provided by Audax.

I used my learnings from making the Daring Bakers house to make the second house even better. While making the Daring Bakers house, I learned:

(a) Don't stick any candies on the house until it is constructed - they weigh down the pieces making them harder to stand, and make it difficult to get can/glasses etc flush against the walls to hold them up while the icing "glue" dries.

(b) Make sure that you leave a few hours in between putting up the walls and sticking on the roof, otherwise the whole thing goes skewiff.

The recipes given to us for Daring Bakers suggested sticking the house together with syrup, but I thought it was a safer bet to use the usual royal icing for construction.

Without further ado, here are the pieces of my house:


(I changed my mind about piping the roof tiles - it looked odd):


And here is the assembled house:





I used musk sticks, silver cachous, fruit jubes and Skittles:



Despite the slant to the walls, I kind of liked this house:




Sticking the candy cane on the back of the house BEFORE putting the house together was a mistake, as it made the back wall heavy and resilient to standing straight, and prevented me from propping it up well while it dried. I ended up taking it off and sticking it on again later:



There are some amazing gingerbread houses constructed by the Daring Bakers - do go visit them at the
Daring Bakers blogroll between 23 and 27 December.


Hope you all had a merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you all!!


31 comments:

Jennifer said...

I love your gingerbread house! Especially the heart shaped window...it's so precious! I know your house smells wonderful with all of the gingerbread baking!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, my new friend.:)

Gloria said...

WOW Cake law Your Gingerbread house is amazing and beautiful, I love this, I never made obe, maybe the next year thanks by the recipe, Have anice Christmas and a Happy New Year, huggss, gloria

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It's gorgeous! I love it and I agree it's best not to stick things on until afterwards (especially as I stuck on so many sweets lol). Hope your Christmas is a wonderful one with lots of love, laughter and joy (and inevitably gingerbread :P )! xxx

jillbert said...

It's cute! Nice job! It sure would be nice if you could put on all the candy before constructing the house, but it's never that easy, is it?

That's awful that ants got to your other house. I'm so used to having cold weather at Christmas that I would never think of bugs interfering with a gingerbread house.

Merry Christmas!

Flourchild said...

Cute cute cute...I love it cus it does not have tons of stuff on it! It's perfect!

TeaLady said...

That is a cute little house. You did a great job.

Y said...

What a pretty little house! I didn't decorate mine with too many sweets, so didn't realise there were things to note when attaching candies to the house. Will be handy to remember those for the next time I attempt another :)

Ellie said...

Merry Christmas and what a lovely gingerbread house!

Ivy said...

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays. Happy New year with good health to you and your family. The gingerbread looks beautiful.

Pontch said...

What a cute Gingerbread house
I love it !
Happy Holidays :)

NP said...

Ohhhh thats a cute one.Looks beautiful.Happy Holidays:)

Jill said...

Your house reminds me of how I envisioned Hansel & Gretal's house. :)
Love the heart shaped window and the pink door frame.
Merry Christmas!!

Morven said...

Well done - I love the heart theme - it's very pretty and girly.

Brenda said...

It's beautiful!! Great job!
I made a gingerbread train but I cheated and used a kit from Aldi hahahahaha!

Stef said...

wow! I feel lazy in comparison as I just assembled one from a kit.

Sheltie Girl said...

Beautiful house! I love all the pastel touches, it makes a lovely soft looking house.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Trissa said...

Thank you for the gingerbread house tips. I thought I would give it a skip this year as I was really busy with Christmas preparations but I might have to have a go next year or maybe celebrate Christmas again in July when it's nice and cold!

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a merry Christmas!

Anita said...

Cute gingerbread house! what a great challenge.

Anna said...

Your house is really cute! Yummy sparkly fruity chewy candy, pretty and delicious!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Hey, this look sweet! When I see these gorgeous gingerbread houses I want to shrink myself, go inside, and eat my way out.
*kisses* HH

natalia said...

Ciao ! i love you house ! i used syrup : it made things much easier !!

silverrock said...

Awww... love the hearts all over <3... and you can't go wrong with jujubes! Congrats on an amazingly completed DB challenge... can't wait to see what you bake up in the New Year!

Aparna said...

Looks quite cute. I had a tough time keeping the roof stuck onto my house. Needed a lot of support!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Miss High Heels said...

Great work with the gingerbread cake! This is the first year in along time that I decided to concentrate on baking biscuits instead. I have gingerbread house envy now.

Wic said...

what a cute little house. I adore that it is not perfect. amazing work.

Julia @Mélanger said...

Wow, two houses. Ambitious! I had trouble just keeping one together. :)

TeaLady said...

Cute little house. I wish, now I had made it. Did the gingerbread, but did not make house.

Erin said...

Your gingerbread house is adorable :)

P.S. Thank you for the Christmas Card and Chocolates. I received it in the mail the other day and was completely surprised and very excited.

Cakelaw said...

@ Erin - glad you liked them! Happy New Year.

Lisa said...

I can't believe I missed your GB house! Where was my head? Oh, the holiday fracas..lol

What a beautiful job, and it's so yummy and festive looking, not to mention neat, unlike myn mess of royal icing! Hope you had a wonderful holiday and New Year!