I remember making these when I was a teenager. There was not much of a point, they take a lot of effort and we couldn’t eat it. My template used to be a huge cake, given by my bake teacher. I had thought it was in my file all these years until yesterday. I realized it was already gone probably years ago.
So I set up to redraw the template. The key thing here is to make them really simple, and draw all the parts in one piece of paper, so that in the event a big house is required, all you need to do is print this one piece on a big piece of paper.
There is no rule in decorating and making a ginger bread house. I have made the dough a lot harder by using very little baking powder. It is almost too hard to eat. Secondly, the use of shortening vs butter as it will spread less in the oven.
This is almost a failproof recipe.
It was surprising to me that my husband did not know that I make gingerbread house. It means for all these years that I was married to him, all these years that the kids were growing up, we did not spend time making these at all. It is kind of sad. It makes me feel that I missed the opportunity to play with my kids.
This reminds me that tradition in a family is so important. Even though Christmas is not really in our tradition, we are Asians, we do celebrate Christmas as well. Hopefully, this rude shock today will wake me up, to treasure the moments in this family and to pass the valuable traditions on to my kids. Maybe not Christmas traditions, but our Asian, Singaporean, Chinese, South east Asian traditions.
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g butter or shortening (shortening preferred), softened
150g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 Tbsp water
90g egg whites
400g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or lemon juice
Print this on any size paper according to your preferred house size
Candies, Lollies, chocolates, biscuits, anything you like... even savoury stuff???
- Heat the oven to 170degree Celsius.
- Mix the wet ingredients except the egg in a saucepan and then bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the egg, then the dry ingredients.
- Knead to a dough and spread half to 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut out the shapes from the template. Transfer the design to a hard cardboard.
- Using the hard cardboard, cut out the house's shape on the ginger bread dough using a sharp knife.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar till the egg white is frothy.
- Add the icing sugar, then beat until the icing becomes glue-like.
- Using this as the glue to stick the house together.
- If the royal icing becomes too hard, add a bit of water.
- If too much water is added to the icing, add icing sugar to firm it again.