Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gingerbread House

I have never made a gingerbread house but I couldn't resist trying out the Wilton Gingerbread Mold. To make things a little easier for myself I used the Wilton Gingerbread Mix and the Wilton Frosty White Icing Mix.  Wilton is an American company so the directions on the gingerbread mix say to add 1/2 cup vegetable shortening and 1/2 cup water to the mix. I compromised and used 110g of margarine and 120ml water. The mix is so easy to use. I just threw everything into the Kitchenaid and within a minute it had combined to a soft cookie dough. 
The mold itself is very heavy duty aluminium and the mold pieces are on both sides so it means that you have to bake a total of 3 batches. I simply spread a little Wilton cake release with some kitchen roll over the mold and pressed the dough into the shapes (no need to roll out the dough but I did run the roller over the dough once it was in the mold to get it kind-of level) This picture shows one side that has a roof piece, side piece, the chimney, footpath and 2 little gingerbread men. You need to use this side twice, and the other side just once.(2nd side = front and back of house, santa sign, tree, large gingerbread man and 2 candy canes) 
The gingerbread dough pressed into the mould

All the pieces before construction
One of my Facebook friends recommended that I decorate the pieces before the construction and this definitely made things a lot simpler. Using the white icing I outlined the windows and the candy canes on the sides of the house and filled in the door. A put a jelly tot wreath above the door and put a few red stripes on the candy canes were added and I filled in the faces on the gingerbread men, and traced the 'North Pole' sign. I covered a square cake board in white fondant and then left everything overnight for the icing to harden off. Next day I mixed another batch of white icing (about the texture of stiff toothpaste) and generously spread on the edges of the front and sides of the house and stuck then in place with plenty of icing under the house. Miraculously they held in place and I was able to attach the back wall without the need of any props. I left the house to settle for an hour before I attempted the roof pieces and luckily that fitted like a charm! Having left it another while to settle, I then attached the chimney and added the finishing touches of 'snow' and sweets, the tree, sign  and gingerbread men. I love the detail of the tiles on the roof and the footpath and a light dusting of icing sugar really highlights them. All in all I was very happy with my creation and would definitely do another. Admittedly, the mold is an investment, but could easily be shared between friends and family and would last a lifetime. Something to hand down through the generations....