... I wanted to make something different to anything I’d made before. I found this shop on Etsy selling cutters to make the cutest little gingerbread houses and I fell in love! (Etsy is an incredible site; I know it gets some stick for some of the weird stuff you can find on it but I challenge anyone to spend 20 minutes or so browsing the site without finding something they want!)
The houses are a bit of work but can be made in stages, as gingerbread keeps very well for days and days in an airtight tin. I always prefer piping on a flat surface so decorate all the panels and let the icing set, before assembling the houses. As these are small they don’t require much icing to hold them together.
To provide a bit of scale, here’s a house next to my favourite mug (I dread to think how many cups of tea this cup has held!):
I’m not much of a decorator and – weak and pathetic as it sounds – get hand cramps if I do too much piping, so my houses are minimalist, but, if you’re better at that sort of thing you could really go to town.
The gingerbread was lovely – it was somewhere between ginger biscuit and the softer, more cakey, gingerbread. It puffed up while cooking giving a nice smooth finish and the taste had just enough fire to it. I don’t think it’s been a very exciting year for cookery books but this recipe came from one book that did capture my interest – Gingerbread Wonderland by Mima Sinclair.
200g soft light brown sugar
200g unsalted butter
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
500g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt