Friday, 11 December 2015

Five or So on Friday - Gingerbread Houses

Hello

Welcome to Five on Friday courtesy of Amy at Love Made My Home.

In our house, we have a tradition of making a gingerbread house at Christmas. It all started when my Dad brought one back from Ashbourne near Buxton in the Peak District when he was there for a work project over thirty years ago. We then started to make one every year instead of a fruit cake.  They don't necessarily look very professional but are covered in tasty decorations that everyone loves to eat.

They have evolved over the years, here are five-ish of them starting with last year's and then going back in time. I did make a church one year but can't find the photo.

One - 2014

A smaller house but accompanied by a large selection of biscuits.  The windows have boiled sweet stained glass windows.





Two - 2013

A big rush to finish this one on Christmas Eve!


Our Architect daughter wanted to make a contemporary version based on Dune House, Thorpness, so the gingerbread was cut out following her plan and template. Our son made a film of it as it was being constructed. It was even more tricky to assemble with all the small sections but we did it! Mr CK made some lights to go inside which were lovely but we had to take them out as they got quite warm and we were worried that it would melt the chocolate!


Three - 2009

This house is another special one - it's ours! Miss CK drew up the plans for this one too! Of course, we don't really have After Eight's on our roof or walnut whip trees!


Four - A few more straightforward ones






It's all a bit of fun. I've had one suggestion for a tardis this year from our son. I was hoping he was volunteering but it doesn't seem so.

Five - Recipe

Here's the basic gingerbread mix if you fancy having a go.

450g golden syrup
275g sugar
2 tblsp ground ginger
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps ground cloves
275g butter
2 eggs, beaten
1.25 kg plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For decoration - I glue the pieces together with milk and white chocolate as we think it tastes nicer than caramelised sugar, After Eights, sugar flowers, jelly diamonds, smarties, boiled sweets tubes of white/ green icing - basically anything to make it look nice.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7. Place the syrup, sugar and spices in a large pan, heat gently til the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and cool for 15 mins.

Add the eggs, flour and bicarbonate of soda dissolved in one tablespoon of water. Mix thoroughly leave to cool in a bowl.

Roll it out, cut to your design!

Place on baking tins covered with baking paper. Bake for 10 mins. Smash up boiled sweets in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Bring out the sections of gingerbread house with windows from the oven and place the smithereens in the windows and place back in the oven for a further 5 mins until the sweets have melted.

Remove from the oven, adjust any wonky sides and leave on a tray until cool.

Glue pieces together and decorate. VoilĂ !! Easily said!!



Good luck

The house usually lasts a couple of weeks, smelling rather gorgeous. We look at it until after Christmas but before New Year and then start breaking bits off.

Now Miss CK is carrying on the tradition in her own house.

Thanks so much for visiting and leaving messages, I really do appreciate you taking the time to do so.

26 comments:

  1. Your houses are fabulous!!!!!!! Really totally amazing! The house your daughter made is incredible and so is the video of it all, you certainly are a very talented family!!!! I adore that you have such a great tradition and have made so many great things, long may it continue! Thank you for joining Five on Friday. I hope that you have a great - gingerbreaddy! - weekend! xx

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    1. I'm glad you like them, I must get on with this year's, I've just about bought the ingredients now. Have a good weekend x

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  2. Gosh the patience you must have to make all those houses. I would be fine making and baking but think that I would have structural collapse within moments of assembling. Can't wait to see this year's! Have a lovely weekend

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    1. It's all a bit of a palaver and takes ages but everyone seems to enjoy it so it's worth it in the end. You too. :-)

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  3. I am so impressed with your beautiful Gingerbread houses, a wonderful tradition. Long may it continue.

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    1. Thanks very much, it's good to have a few traditions isn't it. :-)

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  4. This post makes the reader smile happily while admiring your fabulous gingerbread houses. They are gorgeous, even the contemporary one! ;)

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  5. We've made gingerbread houses most Christmases too! I love the fact that your daughter designed them and the short video is such fun! Mine aren't nearly as elaborate. I haven't seen walnut whips since my dad stopped traveling to England to see his parents (mouth is watering just looking at them). Have a happy weekend!
    Wendy

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    1. It's great fun isn't it. It's the only time of the year that we eat walnut whips, best to keep them for special occasions! You too. :-)

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  6. They all look like masterpieces! I loved seeing the varying designs and decor you used. Especially' the stained glass windows. This is such a special tradition you have made for your family. I wish you a very creative weekend, Pat

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    1. Thanks Pat, you are much too kind! Have a good weekend :-)

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  7. Oh they're all fabulous! They wouldn't last long with us especially with After Eights on the roof!
    Great five for Friday!

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    1. Ha ha the After Eights do smell wonderful too. :-)

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  8. I love love love this post. Made one many years ago as a child and several families in Norway do but it wasn't anything our family really did. But my goodness I live your, love this tradition they look brilliant. Love love love

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    1. Thank you so much, just like you I love the traditions and am pleased my daughter wants to carry them on. x

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  9. What wonderful houses and such a lovely tradition. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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  10. Oh my this is a fantastic tradition, they are all beautiful. However, the one of your house is just amazing, especially the walnut whip trees. I have tried to make a gingerbread house before and it was a disaster, so I am in awe of you and your talented family. Have a lovely weekend xx

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    1. So glad you like them. It's a bit tricky sticking the pieces together and it all looks a mess until it's finished! You too x

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  11. Great tradition. I bought a kit one year to make one and convinced my daughter to make it for me.

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  12. These are all very wonderful and creative! Love that your daughter has designed a few, too. A very nice tradition. So fun! x Karen

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  13. They are all just too wonderful! Love the architect daughter's contemporary version, but of course the more traditional ones are my faves! What fun!

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    1. How tactful!! Glad you enjoyed seeing them. Have a good weekend. :-)

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