The Daring Bakers. The enthusiasm is contagious and then I feel like I should join in. We have a bit of freedom. We can make any type of house that strikes our fancy. I have decided that my personal challenge will be to make this house from ingredients already in my pantry or house or outdoors.
I had already purchased the extra long cinnamon sticks for $3. All of the batter ingredients were in my pantry. I used my homemade Raincoast Crisps for the roof tiles. I used my own candied fruit for decorations. Dried cranberries and lots of green cardamom pods were in my kitchen. And I used carmelized sugar to glue the whole thing together. I further carmelized until almost burnt and used the coloured sugar syrup to give glitter to the roof and trees. All in all, this cost me about $6.
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.
Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas http://astore.amazon.com/thedarkit-20/detail/0816634963
1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]
2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney, etc. out of cardboard.
3. Roll the dough to about 3/8" thick and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.
1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. 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.
1/4 cup (200g) water
1 cup (200g) sugar
Combine in a small saucepan and heat until you reach the hard ball stage. Dredge or brush the edges of the pieces to glue them together. If the syrup crystallizes, reboil it.