The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of "Very Small Anna" and Y of "Lemonpi" who 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.
Making a "Gingerbread House" was a big first for me. Although I love baking, I'm not too keen on decorating cakes or cookies. The reason is that I'm not skilled in that domain and lack experience. It is my weak point, yet I'd love to learn how to decorate baked goods and the like. Anything having to do with being an artist when it comes to food sends shivers down my spine and scares me to the highest point...
Anyway, I was not going to let myself get impressed by the task and started the job without thinking about the challenge that was awaiting me. I made my gingerbread dough using Beatrice Ojakangas' recipe, rolled it, cut it in the desired shapes and baked it. Then, I decorated each part and built the house as best as I could.
I really put all my heart to the task and it showed. The final result was rather stunning and it filled me up with pride. My house actually looked like a house and was pretty enough to be exposed right next to my miniature Chritsmas tree!
I wish to thank Anna and Y for having chosen such a great recipe! I really enjoyed making that "Gingerbread House" and was so happy to have proved myself capable of having certain decorating skills...
~ Gingerbread House ~
Adapted from "The Great Scandinavian Baking Book" by Beatrice Ojakangas.
5-10 minutes to mix the dough
2 hours to chill
5 minutes to roll
10 to cut 15 minutes to bake
Estimated 4-7 hours from start to finish including chilling
Stand or handheld electric mixer (not required but it will make mixing the dough a lot easier and faster)
Cardboard cake board or sheet of thick cardboard
Foil, if desired
Small pastry brush (optional)
Piping bag with small round tip, or paper cornets if you're comfortable with them.
1 Cup 8226g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Cup (220g) Light brown sugar, well packed
2 Tbs Ground cinnamon
4 Tsps Ground ginger
3 Tsps Ground cloves
2 Tsps Baking soda
1/2 Cup boiling water
5 Cups (875g) All-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.
2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.
3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place (I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick - which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked-, cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end).
4. Preheat the oven to 375'F (190'C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet
1 Large egg white
220g Powdered sugar
1 Tsp Almond extract
1. Beat egg white until frothy, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency.
2. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling (If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time).
2 Cups Sugar
1. Place in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling and the sugar dissolves.
2. Dredge or brush the edges of the pieces to glue them together (If the syrup crystallizes, remake it).
***************Etant donné la longueur du texte original, je n'ai malheureusement pas pu faire une traduction française de ce billet et je m'en excuse auprès de tous mes amis lecteurs et blogueurs francophones!
C'est pourquoi je vous suggère de vous rendre sur le blog mentionné ci-dessous. Vous y trouverez cette recette en version française.
Chez Isa de "Les Gourmandises d'Isa" (Canada)