It seemed like a good idea while I was lying in bed one night. I was hosting Christmas and I would make a gingerbread village – a house for each of my family members. My bad luck that I’m the oldest of seven kids. I decided that my parents could share, so that was 8 houses, plus a mini one for Isabella. My projects can get a little ambitious just before I fall asleep. One more thing – I would make Mum and Dad a gingerbread version of their house, our childhood home.
I set about finding a few templates online, there is one on Good Food – the link to the template is at the bottom of the recipe, and there are also several here including a template for a church. I made up a few of them, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Mum and Dad’s was a bit more complicated, it took me a few days to draw out the template (definitely not to scale!). I began to wonder about the wisdom of so much gingerbread.
I made a big batch of gingerbread. I cut out all the shapes for two houses, complete with windows. To make windows, put a clear boiled sweet (foxes glacier fruits are perfect) into the hole that you’ve made for the window before you put the shape in the oven. It will melt during cooking a make a lovely sweetie window. I was already sick of gingerbread. I soldiered on, and after about a week (and at least 6 double batches of gingerbread) had all the shapes.
You need real royal icing which sets hard to glue the pieces together – the type with egg whites (150 ml egg white, 1 kg icing sugar, tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix until smooth, and add water/more lemon juice if it’s too thick).
Enough waffling. Here are the houses…
This is Mum and Dad’s. I put little battery operated tealights inside all the houses so the windows glowed and flickered in the dark.
The tiny one with the path and log pile was Isaballa’s. The other tiny one was Colin’s. Can you tell I’d got fed up by then ;-) The Christmas trees are cake pops!
This one was Lucy’s – she’s a student so the tiles are falling off the roof and it’s a bit of a mess. Very Lucy. Pretty but messy!
Lastly a santa hat cake pop. I started making cake pops last year after seeing Bakerella’s website and got slightly obsessed.
The last of the gingerbread has just been eaten. I think this year I might just make one house.