Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gingerbread House

Daring Bakers December Challenge 2009

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

I choose Anna's recipe from Good housekeeping. I had never baked a gingerbread house before. I thank Anna and Y for giving us such a great challenge. It took three days for me to finish the gingerbread house. Decorating was the fun part in the entire challenge. Its been 10 days since i made the house and it still looks and smells great.

This is the template i used.

Here is the recipe..


2 1/2 cup(s), 450 g packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cup(s), 360 ml heavy cream or whipping cream
1 1/4 cup(s), 425 g light (mild) molasses
9 1/2 cup(s), 1200 g all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s), 30 g baking soda
1 tablespoon(s), 15 g ground ginger


In very large bowl, with wire whisk, beat brown sugar, cream, and molasses until sugar lumps dissolve and mixture is smooth. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and ginger. With spoon, stir flour mixture into cream mixture in 3 additions until dough is too stiff to stir, then knead with hands until flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions; flatten each into a disk to speed chilling. Wrap each disk well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to roll.

Grease and flour large cookie sheets (17-inch by 14-inch). Roll out dough, 1 disk at a time on each cookie sheet to about 3/16-inch thickness. (Placing 3/16-inch dowels or rulers on either side of dough to use as a guide will help roll dough to uniform thickness.)

Trim excess dough from cookie sheet; wrap and reserve in refrigerator. Chill rolled dough on cookie sheet in refrigerator or freezer at least 10 minutes or until firm enough to cut easily.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Use chilled rolled dough, floured poster board patterns, and sharp paring knife to cut all house pieces on cookie sheet, making sure to leave at least 1 1/4 inches between pieces because dough will expand slightly during baking. Wrap and reserve trimmings in refrigerator. Combine and use trimmings as necessary to complete house and other decorative pieces. Cut and bake large pieces and small pieces separately.

Brush house pieces lightly with water before baking. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until pieces are firm to the touch. Do not overbake; pieces will be too crisp to trim to proper size.

Remove cookie sheet from oven. While house pieces are still warm, place poster-board patterns on top and use them as guides to trim shapes to match if necessary. Cool pieces completely on cookie sheets before removing.

Royal Icing:

1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar ( i used 1/4 tsp cream of tarter)
1 teaspoon almond extract


Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren't using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.


Anna said...

Eep! It's so cute! I love the chimney especially though the whole thing is decorated perfectly. My grandmother used to do the same thing with her gingerbread houses - give them little chimneys with a wisp of cottony smoke. So sweet!

culinography said...

Such an adorable house! Very well done! Love the smoke drifting from the roof!

Sue Sparks said...

Your house is so darling!!! ALL of the details are so cute! I love the smoke coming from the chimney:) Fantastic job on the challenge!

Francijn Brouwer said...

Here we have someone who knows how to make a gingerbread house.... very impressive!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is such a pretty house! dreamlike and perfect!

Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2010!



Lauren said...

Oh my goodness, its amazing! The colours, the candies, the detail! Love it all =D.

silverrock said...

Oh wow! Picture perfect gingerbread houses and amazing photography... you totally owned this DB challenge :) Keep up the amazing bakes! Can't wait to see what the New Year has in store.

Jill said...

What a great house shape! I love the way you decorated the roof and the little snowman is adorable! :)

Yasmeen said...

Awesome work on icing and the structure looks perfect.Very well done :D

Parita said...

Wow Ramya, the house looks gorgeous so colorful and cute :-)

Priya said...

Wow wat a gorgeous gingerbread house Ramya..looks marvellous, can see ur efforts and the house looks beautiful and elegant..

MeetaK said...

looks colorful and fun! nice job!

Aparna said...

Absolutely lovely and colourful.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Y said...

Your house is super cute :) So great to hear you had a blast with this month's challenge. It's great to see that everyone has really gone-to-town with the decorations.

Gulmohar said...

Wow...The most colorful gingerbread house I've ever seen...Fabulous job !

Namratha said...

Wow, this is one beautifully done Gingerbread all the details.

Prathibha said...

This is the best ginger bread house I hv seen...loved that fumes creation over the chimney..looks gr8

San!!! said...

Excellent ginger bread house with extreme efforts n all the hard work has paid off with the end result.Nice space.Following you.

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