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Gingerbread house

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There’s something about Christmastime that brings out the kid in me. One of my favourite activities was building a gingerbread house with my mother on Christmas Eve (and trying not to eat it until the next morning), and I always found it so sad that our little tradition stopped when I got older. Well, that was without a doubt the inspiration behind these cute little gingerbread houses — for children of all ages — but their size makes them just perfect for a nice hot drink laced with a little something special.

GINGERBREAD HOUSES

TIME: 2 hours | MAKES: 15 – 20 houses

INGREDIENTS

for the gingerbread houses

125 g (135 ml) butter
125 ml golden syrup
1 egg, beaten
375 g (670 ml) Snowflake Cake Flour
15 ml ground ginger
5 ml bicarbonate of soda
2 ml salt
200 g (250 ml) sugar
40 ml milk

for the royal icing

1 egg white
± 500 g icing sugar

METHOD

for the gingerbread houses

Heat the oven to 190 °C. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the golden syrup. Mix well and let this mixture cool. Add the egg and mix. Sieve the flour, ginger, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating between the milk, syrup and butter mixture. Mix well.
This is a wet dough, but it will harden after it has rested in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Wrap the dough in baking paper and place in the fridge. Roll the dough (in batches) between two sheets of baking paper – the bottom piece of baking paper must fit on your baking tray. Roll into an extremely thin layer of dough (about 1 mm). Place the bottom piece with the dough on a baking tray. Use the cutters and cut out the shapes. For one house you need press out two shapes from each cookie cutter.

Carefully remove the excess dough and keep to one side – the off cuts can be used again. Place in the oven for 8-10minutes. Take out and let it cool on the baking tray.

for the royal icing

Place the egg white in a mixing bowl. Sift your icing sugar. Lightly beat the egg white, then start adding the icing sugar and mix well after each addition. Add the icing sugar until you have a nice piping consistency. Fill the piping bag with the icing sugar and cut a very small tip of the bag.

Place your cool gingerbread house shapes on your work surface. Decorate your roof and the sides of the house with the icing sugar. Let it dry completely before you assemble the house.

Attach the sides of the house first with icing sugar and let it dry. Attach the rood with icing sugar and let it dry.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

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