So it’s the middle of November and…dare I say it, I’m feeling festive? My Christmas shopping is over 50% done – a record for me – and I’ve already purchased the wrapping paper and my Christmas baking has started in earnest. Last year, I did very little – I made a not-so great Christmas Cake and some mince pies and I would say that’s about it. This year, I knew I had to make more of an effort, so here I am, in November, putting ginger in everything.
These mini gingerbread houses are a triumph! Crunch gingerbread, with orange icing – make them just for a treat, as a cake topper or to sit on the edge of your cuppa.
250g plain flour
75g unsalted butter – cold and cubed
110g soft brown sugar
60g golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
100g royal icing sugar
2 tbsp water
splash of orange extract
Halve the flour. With your hands, rub one half of the flour and all of the butter together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the other half of the flour, mix it with the spices, the bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Combine the two flour mixtures together.
Whisk the egg and the golden syrup together and pour into the dry ingredients – bring together with a spoon to begin with, eventually forming into a dough with your hands.
Roll out between two sheets of greaseproof paper until about 3mm thick. Using the stencils, cut to shape and place on a baking try lined with greaseproof paper. Freeze for an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 200c and bake the gingerbread for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. You might need top trim the edges if they’ve expanded but freezing them before baking should keep this to a minimium. Leave to cool.
ICING & ASSEMBLY
Mix together the icing sugar, water and extract so it’s a thick, but pipe-able consistency. Once the gingerbread is completely cool, ice each piece how you wish to decorate it. Leave the decoration to set for about an hour before assembling the house.
- Take the front of the house and one of the side pieces. Pipe some icing on the edge of the side piece and attached it to the back of the front piece.
- Repeat with the second side piece.
- Pipe some icing on the opposite edge of each side piece [the edge that isn’t now attached] and attached it to the back of the back piece. Leave to set for an hour before attaching the roof.
- Pipe of every exposed edge of the attached house and attached each roof piece.
And you’re done!