© David Loftus
Home sweet home - Gingerbread house
Add a fairytale touch to Christmas with a gingerbread house. Kids will love to help roll out the dough and, most of all, decorate it with snowy icing, sweets and glitter.
Put a small saucepan on a low heat, add the maple syrup, treacle, sugar, ginger and cinnamon with 4 tablespoons of water and combine with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the mixture boils.
Carefully take the pan off the heat and add the butter, saving 1 piece. Let it all melt in, stirring to combine, then grate in the orange zest.
Stir in the flour and baking powder until everything comes together as a dough. If its very sticky, dust it with flour, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out to about 5mm thick. Using a sharp knife, cut out pieces for your house.
Youll need six pieces, in three different shapes (see page 34) measuring: sides: 20cm x 14cm; roof: 21cm x 7cm; gable ends: 10cm (base) x 14cm (outer sides) x 18cm (apex). Any scraps can be pressed together and rolled out for the next pieces.
Grease a baking tray with your reserved butter. Place your house pieces on the tray, leaving a 1cm gap between them. Bake in the oven for 1215 minutes, or until golden and slightly darker around the edges.
Let the gingerbread cool completely before icing. Whisk your egg whites to stiff peaks then, while whisking, gradually mix in the icing sugar till you have a dense stiff meringue. Use this to glue your gingerbread pieces together.
Decorate with sweets, using more of the icing as glue, then very lightly dust with glitter for sparkly snow.
Recipe © Georgie Socratous. From Jamie Magazine, issue 7, 2009.
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp treacle
160g muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
460g plain flour, plus extra
Ό tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
500g icing sugar
Sweets and edible glitter, to decorate