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Ever since I was little, gingerbread houses have held a fascination for me. I saw them in movies and in books and was transfixed every time. Tall, icing covered gingerbread houses covered in all kinds of sweets…
Once, on a holiday in Fiji, I saw a massive gingerbread house in the lobby of the resort we stayed in. It was as big as a small cubby house! I wanted to tear little bits off and eat it, but my Dad said “Cockroaches must be walking all over it at night!” Of course, I think he was lying (as usual) but the idea of the gingerbread house stuck in my mind.
When I saw chefs on TV, showing how to create these towers of magic, I was surprised to see it look so easy. I decided to give it a try. It turned out fantastic – but just a bit disappointing!
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The fun baking process
Making the dough and baking the walls and roof was easy. The gingerbread was delicious and smelled beautiful around the house. I had to force my family not to devour it!
When it was cool, we got to the fun part: decorating. I followed the instructions and added my own twist and it all worked out beautifully.
The walls were up and it was time to attach the roof. I raised the two inclines gently and got mum to hold them in place while I piped the icing mixture (the ‘cement’). It stayed in place and I smoothened it all out. The chimney went on and it was complete.
Then we did the ‘landscaping’. We used M&Ms for roof tiles, desiccated coconut for snow, cocoa powder for the path leading to the door, green sprinkles for some grass and blue for the pool. I also used edible icing flowers which looked great!
Then the house was ‘open for inspection’ and everybody ooohed and ahhhed! Mum put it in the formal dining room. But then she made a serious mistake. She didn’t photograph it! I was too tired to do it myself – my back and shoulders were sore after all this baking…
The next morning, disaster! The roof had caved in. We tried to resurrect it, but the weight of all the M&Ms and glue was too much for the gingerbread slabs. Ultimately, the roof collapsed into pieces. It was like the three piggys’ fairytale.
Nevertheless, two days later on Christmas, we ate the remains of the house. It was dee-licious!
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Make your own Gingerbread House by checking out this Donna Hay recipe.
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