Introduction: Gingerbread House Decorating
This was my first ever attempt at decorating a gingerbread house and although I didn't take pictures of the process, I was so happy with the finished product that I snapped a couple of shots.
Im sure most people have a tried and true gingerbread recipe and there are loads of templates available online so I'm not even going to try and go there. Basically, I used melted white chocolate to hold the house together and royal icing to pipe the detailing. Chocolate freckles made great roof tiles and a healthy dusting of icing sugar just completes the snowy effect.
Royal icing is NOT good for holding the house together! It is way too fragile and doesn't set quickly enough to hold the house up while you continue to build it. White chocolate is fantastic for this as it sets quickly, is very strong, looks like snow and tastes great!
Piping patterns on an upright surface is quite tricky. Thankfully I decided to lay the pieces out flat first and pipe the main detailing onto them. Remember to allow an hour or so for the icing to set before trying to assemble the house. Any small knocks or bumps can easily crush your delicate piping and you don't want to have to try and fix it once you have the house standing. Try practicing on a piece pf parchment paper before piping directly onto the gingerbread. I found it quite difficult to get a clean clear line of piping and I'm sure it takes plenty of practice to get good at it!
Anyway, my gingerbread house was so admired at the work Christmas party that everybody refused to break it! In the end I brought it back home and it stayed on display until my family devoured it at Christmas.