I admit I had never seen a gingerbread house recipe since about a month ago, when I watched an episode of Australian Masterchef TV series when two competitors had to bake and build a gingerbread house following a famous pastry chef recipe.
(By the way, I loved the harmony that comes from this version of Masterchef. Australians are cute amongst competitors and there’s such a professional and pleasant atmosphere comparing to US and Italian series).
A couple of days ago I saw an Italian gingerbread house recipe prepared with an Italian shortcrust recipe. So as Lisa, the Italian blogger who posted it, I called it gingerbread house because I didn’t know any other way to call these cute small biscuit houses prepared for Christmas.
As soon as I saw it, I felt like preparing it to a friend of mine who had her house devastated by an inundation last week. I prepared and dedicated it to Lina and her family and, even if it is supposed to be a hard work, it wasn’t.
Sure, you shouldn’t do it if you’re in a hurry, but even if takes some time to be built and decorated, it is such a pleasant task to do. Let the child inside you come out and forget the rules. I followed Lisa’s shortbread recipe, so as her molds for the house parts (perfect, thanks Lisa!). For the decoration, I didn’t make plans. I just bough M&Ms, 2 kinds of chocolate covered stick biscuits and let my child “talks”.
This first house of mine is far from being perfect. But, even for a perfectionist as me, it didn’t matter. To prepare and decorate a gingerbread house (even without ginger ;-)) is a kind of an inner process, you just have to let it flow.
Enjoy and have fun!
Here you have my step by step: I prepared the dough, let it rest 1 hour in the fridge, rolled it out and cut the parts of the house with a knife and a pizza cutter.
This big piece is the basis where I am going to place the house. Using a pizza cutter I adjusted the basis borders
The small parts are what I cut to form the windows – I cut it in two to form the opened windows. I completely forgot it, but you can put squashed candies into the windows holes. They will melt and look like glass
I then used a heart shaper biscuit cutter to make signs that I’d (lightly) follow with the snow (afterwards)
I prepared the snow-cement with an egg white and about 250gr of icing sugar. It has to be very consistent
Using a sac a poche with a thin hole I began to cement the walls
I then added the front and rear and the decoration I created for the front part
It becomes a house
I made the snow follow the roof lines (roughly)
I added M&Ms, chocolate stick biscuits, a pine tree shaped green biscuit …
I decided to cover the part outside the basis with the snow-cement. I put some chocolate biscuits cut in thirds to resemble wood pieces covered with snow.
- 130 g of flour
- 70 g of potato starch
- 1 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 100 g of butter
- 70 g of icing sugar
- 2 yolks
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- for cement:
- 1 egg white
- 250 g of icing sugar
- (these two ingredients may vary as it depends on the egg size)
- Mix the butter with the flour, the potato starch and cocoa.
- Add the sugar, the yolks and the lemon zest.
- Mix it until well combined (I used my hands) and let it rest one hour in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
- Roll it out and cut the parts of the house gently offered by Lisa with a knife and a pizza cutter.
- Place them on oven trays (2) covered with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 min.
- Let it cool and build the house using a mixture of egg white and icing sugar.
- Buon appetito and Merry Christmas!