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
Five - Recipe
Here's the basic gingerbread mix if you fancy having a go.
450g golden syrup
2 tblsp ground ginger
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps ground cloves
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. Voilà!! Easily said!!
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.
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