Thursday, 17 November 2011

Let's Make Christmas Three

Today has been a flurry of activity in between work.  Gingerbread cake was made before work this morning and then gingerbread and icing this evening, with lunch break spent shopping, and some blogs to put together it's no wonder that I am feeling a little tired, but so excited about meeting blogging friends tomorrow.

Anyway, over the years numerous Gingerbread Houses have been made for Christmas, I am not quite sure why we don't make them all year round but probably because of the white icing snow effect.  I shall have to think about this as really there is no reason not to use different coloured icing and therefore not have a snowy effect.  I don't remember Hansel and Gretel traipsing through the snow, and ending up in the witch's gingerbread house.  In fact the more I think about it the more I am sure they didn't because they dropped crumbs of stale bread to find their way back but of course the birds ate them.  Those crumbs wouldn't have shown up on snow.

However, I am digressing so back to Gingerbread Houses.  Now although I have normally made them with children in mind and have often put a surprise inside, there always seems to be adults tucking in as well.  Ginger is definitely a popular adult taste and my Mother always requests ginger goodies if asked what she would like for birthdays or Christmas.  So with this in mind I thought about creating a Gingerbread House for adults.  As we always seem to be worried about eating too many Christmas treats a small size won't make anyone feel too guilty!  Now I said that it is fun to have a surprise inside the houses and this one is of a very gingery sort.  The house is built around a gingerbread cake that has been cut in half and filled with a piece of stem ginger and then a ginger buttercream to hold it all together.  

Gingerbread Surprise House

Gingerbread Cake recipe from Good Housekeeping Cookery Book

450g  Plain Flour
5 ml  Salt
15 ml Ground Ginger
15 ml  Baking powder
5 ml  Bicarbonate of Soda
225g  Demerara Sugar
175g  Butter or margarine
175g Treacle
175g  Golden Syrup
250 ml  Milk
1 Egg, beaten 

Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin.  (I actually used individual square cake tins). Sift the flour, salt, ginger, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.  Warm the sugar, fat, treacle and syrup until melted, but do not allow to boil.  Mix in the milk and the egg.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and mix thoroughly.  

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven at 170C (Mark 3) for about one and half hours, or until firm to the touch.  Turn out to cool on a wire rack.

Gingerbread Biscuits

I have had this recipe for years written on a piece of notepaper, but I think it came from one of my sisters.  Another imperial measurement one! 

12 oz  Plain Flour
1  teaspoon  Bicarbonate of Soda
2  teaspoons Ground Ginger
4 oz Butter, diced
6 oz  Soft Light Brown Sugar or Muscovado Sugar
4 tablespoons  Golden Syrup
1 Egg, beaten

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger.  Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in the sugar.  Beat the syrup into the egg, then stir into the flour mix.  Mix together to form a smooth dough then knead until smooth.  

Divide the mixture into two and roll out half at a time on a floured surface until quarter inch thick.  Cut out shapes and place on greased baking sheets.  Bake at Gas 5 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Leave to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Having made the gingerbread cake I then cut templates to make my house.


  1. A lovely gingerbread house, too good to eat!

  2. How lovely. I adore ginger in any way, shape or form. Enjoy your meeting with the bloggers.

  3. Sue, it was lovely to meet you today, and I've signed on as a follower. I wish I'd known you were such an expert on gingerbread, I'd have crossed examined you, I have to make one as a prize for my daughter's school next wek!
    Lovely to have met you and to have found your delightful blog! Looking forward to future posts! Jude x

  4. I wasn't sure if you were on twitter but wanted to say a big thank you as I was lucky enough to select the ticket to allow me to take this beautiful gift home. It is absolutely gorgeous and smells delightful! I can't wait to try it but it also looks too good to eat!

  5. Oh my, how cute your little Gingerbread house is!...and scrummy looking too!! Thank you for your kind comments on my blog, hope you are having a good weekend :)

    Louise xx

  6. Oh your Blog is so lovely !! You 've been such an inspiration with your house I am going to have to make one now !!