I’ve built quite a few gingerbread houses over the years – my very first one was a gift sent by my cousins. It came in a beautiful big box with all the pieces already baked, little plastic containers filled with icing and all sorts of sweets and sprinkles for decorating. My brother, sisters and I spent an entire day engrossed in building the (what felt like) gigantic edible house. Now that I think about it, it was probably more of a gift to my mother, who must’ve relished an entire day without 4 holiday-bored kids annoying her! By reliving and building this childhood memory over the years, I’ve learnt two tricks to making a gingerbread house:
- Always cut your gingerbread pieces out AFTER baking. The raw pastry cutouts simply stretch or spread in the oven leaving you with a wonky house. Not ideal.
- Stick the house together using caramel – not royal icing. Caramel hardens quickly giving the perfect structure. You can then pipe on royal icing afterwards if you’re going to keep the house for a few days.