Stuck on what to do with the kids this Christmas holidays? Or simply looking for something to do over the holiday period? Why not try this recipe to make the perfect gingerbread house! If you keep reading, we will also tell you how to make a festive drink to accompany your creations.
You will need...
250g unsalted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar 7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger
2 egg whites
500g icing sugar
A selection of small sweets
1. To prepare, heat the oven
to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Print out a template on paper from www.arborfieldmagazine.co.uk/ gingerbread.
2. Melt the syrup, sugar and butter in a pan. Mix the bicarbonate of soda, flour and ground ginger into a bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a dough. Add a small amount of water if needed.
3. Put a sheet of baking paper on the work surface and knead-out one quarter of the dough, 6cm thick. Do not roll it out as dough may become sticky. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Leftover dough can be made into extra, freehand decorations.
4. Bake all the sections for 12 mins or until firm and just a little darker at the edges. Leave to cool for a few mins to firm up, then trim around the templates again to give clean, sharp edges. Leave to cool completely.
5. Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag. Pipe generous lines of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally for a few hours.
6. Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to dry. Dry completely, ideally overnight.
7. Using the icing, stick sweets around the house. Dust the roof with icing sugar for a snowy effect. Your gingerbread house will be edible for about a week so get making, and more importantly... get eating!