Gingerbread House for Kuthengo’s first Christmas

It’s Kuthengo’s first Chirstmas and the atmosphere is absolutely buzzing which has sparked a creative idea from Chef Dickson to make a ginger bread house to go along with the festive decorations. This task has proven to be a difficult one as it’s rather wet and humid around camp, but we still think we have done a brilliant job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As it’s our first Christmas we hope that this is one of many traditions for the years to come. Dickson has even written down the recipe for the ginger bread house for everyone to use and start your own Christmas tradition!

Gingerbread

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
For assemblage and decoration:
Melted white chocolate or Royal Icing, recipe follows
Jelly tots, Smarties, as desired

Royal Icing:
1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice

Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.

Directions
1. Gingerbread House: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C or gas 4.
3. Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template: Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house. Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof. Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom. Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway. And one piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway.
4. Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.
5. Bake at 190 C for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.
6. Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.
7. Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.
8. ‘Glue’ sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).
9. ‘Glue’ the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.
10. Continue decorating the house, gluing on Jelly tots and smarties, as desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy holidays from chef Dickson and the rest of the Kuthengo Team!

 

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