- December 2015
- Makes 3 houses
- Hands-on time 2 hours, oven time up to 1 hour, plus cooling and setting
Impress your guests with Mima Sinclair’s stunning Christmas centrepiece, or go the extra mile and make these gingerbread houses as an edible gift for someone special.
- Print or trace the templates onto stiff paper or card and cut out. Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Cut a large piece of baking paper and roll out the gingerbread on it to 5mm thick.
- Using the templates to guide you, cut out the house pieces and carefully transfer, on the baking paper (to prevent it from becoming misshapen while you move it), onto a baking sheet.
- Freeze for 5 minutes until hard, then bake in batches for 10-12 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
- Add a little water to the royal icing to reach soft peak consistency. Spoon one third of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. To assemble the houses, pipe the icing along the side edges of the wall pieces and stick to the front and back pieces. Pipe icing where the walls join each other on the inside of the house to give more support. Pipe icing onto the top edges of the side panels and front/back pieces where the roof pieces will rest. Stick on the roofs and hold in place for a minute until the icing starts to set. Pipe decorations onto the houses, then position them as though in a street.
- Unroll the liquorice. Using icing or caramel glue, stick the colourful sweets to the liquorice and leave to set. Once set, stick to the front of the houses to look like festive lights.
- Add a little extra water to the remaining icing to make flood icing. Spoon over the roof ridges and allow to drip down the sides. Leave to set for 2 hours or overnight.
This recipe is from Mima Sinclair’s book Gingerbread Wonderland (£8.99, Amazon)
The dough will spread a little during baking, so you may need to trim the biscuits to straighten the edges, allowing them to join together neatly. Use a sharp knife and a ruler, and trim while still warm.
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