“It’s Christmas time, if you hadn’t already noticed from the familiar jingles in packed shopping centres, and that means that it’s time to bring out those rusty ginger-bread making skills. Luckily Bacchus Pastry Chef Tammy Cole, the genius behind the Rydges South Bank giant gingerbread house, is here to help with this tried and tested recipe for crafting a gingerbread house that is good enough to eat.”
Bacchus Gingerbread House
200g Caster Sugar
750g Plain flour
2 tsp Bi-carbonate soda
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed spices
1 tsp Ground cloves
1 tsp Ground nutmeg
4 cups Icing sugar
3-4 Egg whites
- Preheat oven to 160 c. Mix butter and sugar until smooth; but not creamy. Add yolks and mix, then add honey. Mix dry ingredients together, add to mixture. Place a damp cloth over it so it doesn’t dry out. Leave to one side.
- Place a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll out some of the dough to about 0.5cm thick. Cut out one of the sections (see diagram). Slide the gingerbread, still on the baking paper, onto a baking tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Re-roll the trimmings until you have two of each panel.
- Any leftover dough can be cut into Christmas trees.
- Bake all the sections for about 15 minutes (or until firm and slightly darker on the edges). Leave to cool completely before assembling.
- Put icing sugar in bowl and gradually add egg whites. Beat well to incorporate the mix, it will be dry at the start but be patient, you want a really stiff, thick consistency.
Assembling the house:
- Pipe generous amounts of icing down the edges of the walls, one by one to join the walls together.
- Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside and allow time for icing to dry.
- Remove supporting bowl and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few minutes until the icing starts to dry. Allow icing to dry, (ideally a few hours).
- Now comes the fun part – decorating! You can decorate your house however you like, so get your creative juices flowing. There is no right or wrong way to decorate.
Now for some advice from the chef extraordinaire herself!
Tammy’s Decorating tips:
- Use a Flake as a chimney pipe, some icing on the walls, cut some liquorice allsorts into three and place lengthways up the walls to represent the logs of the house.
- Place some icing in a small piping bag and drape the icing along the roof to make icicles. Start with the nozzle at a 90 degree angle to the roof and squeeze out a pea-sized blob of icing. Keeping the pressure on, pull the nozzle down and then off. The icing will run down the edge
- Use all of your favourite lollies to decorate the house. Dust the roof with icing sugar for a snowy effect.
- Add gingerbread trees around the house use green icing to make leaves. Use freckles as a pathway to the house, and raspberries as flowers.
- Most important part is to have fun!