Recipe

Gingerbread house

  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 20, Makes 1 Item
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Ingredients

Gingerbread house
  • 2 1/4 cup (335g) self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 90 gram butter, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (90g) treacle
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 4 large_piece bamboo skewers
  • 1 1/4 cup (185g) milk chocolate melts, melted
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water cooking-oil spray
  • 2 tablespoon dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup (185g) white chocolate melts, melted
  • 35 centimetre round or square cake board
  • 3 cup (360g) whole pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup (120g) desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoon icing (confectioners') sugar

Method

Gingerbread house
  • 1
    Cut paper templates for gingerbread house: two 13cm x 17.5cm rectangles for the roof, two 10cm x 15.5cm rectangles for the side walls, and two 10cm x 18cm rectangles for the front and back walls. Trim front and back walls to make two 10cm gables. Cut two 3.5cm windows from each side wall. Cut door out of one side wall, reserving door cut-out piece. Cut out a 3.5cm square for window sills.
  • 2
    Process flour, spices and butter until crumbly. Add brown sugar, treacle and egg, process until combined. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 1 hour.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • 4
    Roll dough, in several batches, between sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Peel away top paper and use templates to cut shapes from dough. Remove excess dough. Slide baking paper with shapes onto oven trays.
  • 5
    Bake about 12 minutes or until shapes are barely firm (they become crisp when cool).
  • 6
    While shapes are still warm and soft, use the tip of a sharp knife to trim shapes to straighten sides. Cut square into four even lengths to form window sills. Transfer shapes to wire racks to cool.
  • 7
    Secure two crossed skewers to back of each roof piece with some of the milk chocolate. Allow to set.
  • 8
    Stir caster sugar and the water in small saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, boil, uncovered, until toffee turns golden brown. Remove from heat.
  • 9
    To make wreath, line an oven tray with baking paper. Position a 6cm round metal cutter on one side of tray. Place a smaller 2cm round metal cutter in centre of larger cutter, spray with oil. Pour a little toffee between cutters to form a ring. Drizzle a 2cm x 10cm long strip of toffee over tray. Sprinkle ring and strip of toffee with cranberries and pistachios, drizzle with a little more toffee if necessary. Pour remaining toffee over tray, cool.
  • 10
    Push centre out of wreath, discard. Break large piece of toffee into four large squares. Secure toffee to inside of windows with some of the milk chocolate.
  • 11
    Assemble house on board, securing roof and walls together with milk chocolate. Secure door to house with milk chocolate. Spread a little white chocolate over the back of pecans, layer, in rows, over roof. Secure wreath to side of house with a little milk chocolate. Secure window sills to window edges with white chocolate. Break toffee strip into pieces, secure to window sills with a little white chocolate. Decorate board around house with coconut to resemble snow. Dust house with sifted icing sugar.

Notes

Gingerbread can be made up to a week ahead, store in an airtight container. The house can be assembled 5 days ahead, keep covered in a cool dry place. In hot humid weather, the toffee should be made on the day of serving.

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