It’s Christmassss! When the trees are up, the house decorated, a wreath made, presents bought and mulled wine drunk… there’s only really one festivity missing. The challenge of assembling your DIY gingerbread house.
This year, the challenge was set by *Tiger Sheds, who also joined in on the fun. With the ultimate starter kit for the house, the walls, roof and doors were thankfully pre-shaped, and came with all the necessary edible furnishings. All that was left to do was build. And of course fix the gingerbricks of a bashed side wall and mend a slightly crushed chimney. This year, the icing was on my side. The key is, which I’ve learnt this time, little water and a lot of icing. Just a few drops extra can seriously ruin the lot. In Ikea’s instructions, it suggests to use 250g of icing sugar, one egg white and ml lemon juice. I’d have loved to have tried this, but have neither of the last two ingredients sadly.
We also rebelled against normal piping rules and just used a sandwich bag with a cut-off corner. It did the job. Not as neat as I’d assume a piping bag would get you, but piping in general is not my forte, so I was thrilled with the handiwork. Having built the foundations of this edible home, and one that was impressively sturdy if I do say so myself, it was time for the decorations.
I wanted a German twist to this little house, and iced onto the roof Germany’s traditional ‘gebrannte mandeln’. Sugared almonds, which apparently in English are known as Garrapinyades. That’s a first. I’m sure you’ve seen these before at Christmas markets though, you know the delicious sweet, shiny, crunchy almonds. The ones you hate sharing with others. Too heavenly.
Candy canes, random parma violets, chocolate filled balls halved and chocolate gnomes. You know the drill. That’s the beauty of a gingerbread house. No decoration is too weird or misplaced. You could over-ice, cram the roof with sweet laces, fill the inside with smarties and decorate the side with jelly beans, and it will still look marvellous. And taste darn good too.
With one final touch missing, and one to add to that German twist, was a grand finale of of my favourite German drink drizzled across the creation. Advocaat! Yeah, you heard right. Christmas isn’t quite the same without a glass of Eierlikör to warm from the inside. Merry Christmas you lovelies, have a magical festive celebration, and here’s to a marvellous 2017.
Lots of love,