The Crazy Kitchen: Advent Gingerbread House

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Monday 10 November 2014

Advent Gingerbread House

"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, 
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.."

There's no denying it, in a little over a month Christmas will be upon us again. This past weekend marked the start of the Christmas countdown for many people as one by one the Christmas ads appeared on prime time tv. On my Facebook timeline three people were watching Polar Express and someone had put their Christmas tree up, as she does every year once the Christmas ads appear, as it's now their family tradition.

We have our own little Christmas Eve tradition of laying our Christmas plates and mugs out for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolf), leaving the magic key on the door and sprinkling magic reindeer food in the garden. A few years ago I started making gingerbread houses, which I've either decorated myself or have been a joint effort with the kids. This year Lindt sent us a hamper of their delicious Christmas chocolates to use to start a family Christmas tradition, so we decided to make an advent gingerbread house, with a Lindt chocolate figure for each day of advent. We can then save the house for a feast on New Years Eve!

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We started off by making a template for our house out of paper and then transferring it to our rolled out gingerbread before baking. Jack made leftover gingerbread into men and 'rocks'.

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The next stage is to assemble the house and make sure it's stable before you start to decorate. You can 'glue' the walls of the house together with a caramel, royal icing or chocolate. I prefer to use chocolate as it sets quite quickly and is also great tasting with the gingerbread (and you don't notice how messy I am as much).

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It's then best to leave the house overnight to set completely before decorating. We rolled some fondant icing onto a baking tray for our snowy scene, and then decorated the house with marshmallows glued on with more chocolate (we melted down a few mini Lindt gold bears for this).

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We dabbed a little melted chocolate onto the iced base to secure the Lindt chocolate figures (bears, reindeers, snowmen and santa) and then numbered the icing in front with numbers 1-24. This is best done with an edible pen but as I couldn't find mine we used an ink pen but will make sure we don't eat the icing!

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It's not perfect, but it's ours!

Gingerbread recipe

250g butter
200g light brown sugar
60g golden syrup
30g black treacle
625g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger

  • Heat the butter, sugar, syrup & treacle together in a saucepan until melted
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together the dry ingredients
  • With the motor running & flat beater attached pour the wet ingredients slowly into the dry until it starts to come together (you may not need all the liquid)
  • Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface
  • Cut into the desired shapes & bake in a preheated 180C oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges just start to brown

We received the following Lindt chocolate in our hamper. One of my favourite items has to be the chocolate gift tags, which as just £2 for 5 is cheaper than many paper ones!

Festive Chocolate with Lindt

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