I thought it would be pretty easy, but I made a couple of slight mistakes which made assembling it a bit harder! So follow these tips to make yours easier:
1. Roll the dough out quite thick, mine was a bit too thin and caved a tiny bit when assembling with the icing.
2. Use LOTS of icing! Slather it on to make sure everything glues together.
3. Try not to spill icing onto the front of the gingerbread, it's almost impossible to get off once set and makes it look a little messy (like mine).
4. Don't stretch the dough too much when lifting onto the baking tray or it becomes warped.
5. If you need to cut any of the gingerbread, if it gets slightly bigger in the oven, cut it when it's just cool enough to touch before it gets too brittle.
6. If not confident, make 1 1/2 batches of the mix and leave the extra in the fridge in case it goes wrong, and if not then you have some to make cookies from!
125g soft unsalted butter
75g dark muscovado sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
100ml golden syrup
375g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
To decorate the house -
Bags of white chocolate buttons and white chocolate jazzies
3 disposable piping bags
2-3tsp coloured sugar sprinkles
1 x 500g pack royal icing sugar
white sugar balls
2 red strawberry pencil sweets, finely sliced
23 red chocolate beans/smarties/m&m's - at the moment m&m's have a festive pack of half red and half green so buy these instead of having to sieve out the red smarties
32 red Jelly Tots
3 red fruit pastilles
4-5 tbsp icing sugar, to sprinkle
|The dough before refrigerating.|
2. Meanwhile, make 3 paper templates for the house. (see the photo I've made on paint)
4. Bake the gingerbread in batches (and take in the Christmassy smell as they cook) for 12-15mins until firm and just starting to brown. Leave to cool.
5. Make up the royal icing according to pack instructions. Add about half to a disposable piping bag and snip a tiny piece at the end. Cover the remaining icing with a damp cloth until needed.
|Tins to help support|
Leave for 15mins until firm.
7. Then attach the roof, pipe icing along the top edge of the walls on one side of the house and position a roof panel on top. Hold for a few minutes until it feels firm, repeat with the other panel. Pipe icing along the join at the top of the roof, spreading it with your finger to fill any gaps. Then fill any other gaps on the joins to secure the whole structure. Leave to set for 1 hour.
|Sweets to decorate!|