I've previously written about the annual tradition in the Foodie Quine household of the creation of a festive Gingerbread House. You can get the full rundown of the previous four builds in my post last year - The evolution of the Gingerbread House 2010 - 2014. At this point I should reiterate that I have no input whatsoever to the process. It's all down to my sister (aka Auntie Adele), boy and girl. I merely provide the kitchen and take all the glory on social media ;-)
The plans decided upon were for a Farmhouse Gingerbread House and the gingerbread recipe used was Mary Berry's from her Baking Bible. The sections were baked for 8 minutes, then the windows/doors re-cut and crushed sweets added for glass. Back in the oven for a further 3 minutes then all sides trimmed to exact size using a metal ruler. Asbestos hands required as you must work quickly so as not to let the gingerbread cool as then it will crack as you cut it. In the past the cement has been caramel however this year the construction team opted for Royal Icing. The house was left to set propped up by assorted soup and baked bean cans before the decoration and landscaping could commence on Christmas Eve.
When it came to decor, as always there was an obligatory sprout in the chimney. New additions in landscaping were marzipan trees and flake log piles. The walls were kept minimalist with the majority of sweets adorning the roof. My particular favourites were the curly wurlies along the roof ridge, the jelly tot path and the tic-tac fairy lights.
Whilst I've washed my hands of the large house, for the past couple of years I've kept coming across super cute tiny wee gingerbread houses on Pinterest. Finally I got round to actually making some for myself. Clearly my architectural skills are somewhat lacking as I totally miscalculated how many of each piece I needed to build a house. Lots of spare roofs meant plenty to nibble on as I got stressed about about assembling them. They should perch beautifully on the edge of a cup of tea but mine were rather more on the chunky side. I actually had great fun making and decorating them and perhaps they too can evolve over the coming years. Apparently the three amigos are planning a Gingerbread Barn and Silo for 2016 so I may need to up my game.
I shared the Gingerbread Farmhouse on my Instagram and was delighted when it was chosen as one of the Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream #CrownYourPuds winners for December. It's in good company along with Supergolden Bakes stunning Festive Rosewater Pavlova with Syrup-soaked Figs and Pomegranate and Emily's Recipes & Review's super cute Christmas Pudding Macarons.
Not quite sure how I share the prize of a Cornishware Mug Set with my sister, son and daughter...