Design Threads: Building a Gypsy Caravan Gingerbread House
Inspired by the incredible gingerbread creations at Ham Yard Hotel, we decided to try our hand at creating our very own gingerbread masterpiece at home. With no Christmas drinks or parties to attend, what better way to get into the festive spirit! Not only do you end up with something delicious, but also a beautiful, colourful centrepiece for your Christmas table.
Here is our step by step guide (with the help of Mary Berry!) to create your own at home. We hope you feel inspired to do the same. Tag us with #designthreads so we can see your creations and share our favourites…
Step 1. Draw a template for each piece of your gingerbread house.
Step 2. Make your gingerbread mix. We used Mary Berry’s recipe.
Step 3. Roll your dough out onto greaseproof paper or a silicone tray and cut out your pieces using your template.
Step 4. Cook for 7 minutes at gas mark 6 or in a fan oven at 180 Celsius.
Take it out of the oven and re-cut around your template where the mix has expanded. If you have windows we recommend using boiled sweets to create a stained glass window effect.
Crush the boiled sweets, place them in the window space and cook for a further 3 minutes until the sweets have melted. Leave to cool and the sweets will dry hard to create your glass!
Step 5. Leave all your pieces on a cooling rack overnight or until completely cool. As you will see from our original template, we’d hoped to make a rounded roof for our take on a gypsy caravan, but sadly the physics did not work in our favour so we reverted to the more traditional pitched gingerbread roof.
Step 6. Buy a silver cake tray as we have, or wrap a wooden board in tin foil for your base.
Step 7. Heat caster sugar in a pan until it caramelises to use as an adhesive to stick all your pieces together, reheating when necessary as it hardens. Be sure to stick the bottom edges to the board so that it doesn’t move around when you decorate.
Step 8. Let the construction and decorating begin!
Buy all your favourite childhood sweets and chocolates and make a Royal Icing for sticking them on.
Step 9. Decorate around your windows and your extra pieces with piped icing or cheat like we did with a shop bought decorating icing tube.
Step 10. Once the gingerbread house is decorated, why not make a garden with desiccated coconut for snow and a Curly Whirly fence to finish it off. We had so much fun seeing this come to life and really hope this post inspires you to get creative this Christmas, in the kitchen or elsewhere at home!
Here is our finished piece…