Now let me put you straight, I'm not baking the gingerbread, I'm not at that stage quite yet (maybe next year... Ah who am I kidding) but I do buy my gingerbread house, sorry excuse me, I do buy my Pepparkaka Hus from ikea for the incredible sum of £2.45 I mean, come on, I couldn't buy the ingredients for that much and it tastes really good. Ikea do really great gingerbread and so for the time being, I'm happy buying the kit and spending the time decorating it instead.
This year I went for simple. Well, that was my original angle, and well it turned out a little more complex than I first intended. I used strawberry laces, strawberry cables and bubblegum foam mushrooms which were absolutely yummy. All from Asda for £1.
I stuck my house and decorated it with royal icing. The recipe is really simple.
- 1 egg - white only
- 250g icing sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
I put the egg and lemon in my stand mixer with a whisk attachment and let the mix get fluffy. Then slowly added the icing sugar until it was all mixed in. Once incorporated I then turned up the speed and left it for 5 mins until the mixture became fuller and silky.
Once the mixture was ready I put a few layers of cling film on my work surface and loaded the middle with the icing. I then rolled up the cling film to make a sausage and twisted the ends as if you were making an icing sausage. You can then put this in your piping bag, pull one twisted end through a coupler and snip off the excess, pop on your tip and cover and you have yourself a clean way to reuse a piping bag. This is a great tip if you only have one bag and several colours of icing to pipe. It keeps the inside of your bag clean if you're careful with the cling film and its quick to clean up afterwards with just your tip to wash.
Here's my finished gingerbread house...