December 27, 2009

DB Gingerbread House

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 love making a yearly gingerbread house. As it was the designated Daring Baker challenge I made changes to my typical gingerbread MO. I tried the recipe that came from Y of Lemonpi because it was less like the recipes I've tried in the past. I liked how sturdy the gingerbread was but found it got very brittle on the second day. This made for some breakage when I was assembling but I did my best to repair and move on. Instead of the little cottage design I normally make, I attempted to copy a house from a photo I found online that had a more complicated roof. I managed it but just barely. I think I need more than once a year practice to improve my technique. I glued the house together with sugar syrup and used the same syrup to form windows. Royal icing, some candy and I was done. I also made a couple of little dog houses and had my son Alex decorate them. This was a great challenge and I can't wait to get time to take a look at all the other Daring Baker houses.

-I used the recipe given by Y of Lemonpi which came from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice A. Ojakangas. Another option is the Spicy Gingerbread Dough recipe chosen by Anna of Very Small Anna. This recipe is available on Anna's blog as well as Good
-To glue the house together and make the windows I followed the directions for Martha Stewart's caramel syrup
-My house pattern was based (loosely) on this Victorian cottage photo from Flickr
-I purchase CK royal icing mix from Candyland Crafts. I need a kid safe icing and in the past have found that powdered egg whites either taste metallic or have a off color. This icing mix solves both problems and works perfectly for me every time.
-Challenge yourself in the new year by becoming a Daring Baker, now no blog needed! Visit the Daring Kitchen for more information. There you can also check out all the other gingerbread goodness made this month by browsing the Daring Baker Blogroll.
-Go here to see my gingerbread house from last year

2009's gingerbread house
Alex's gingerbread dog house, he insisted on colored frosting

My cardboard gingerbread house patterns