- 250 g butter
- 200 g treacle sugar
- 7 T golden syrup
- 600 g cake flour
- 2 t bicarbonate of soda
- 4 t ground ginger
- 2 free-range egg whites
- 300 g icing sugar
- 1 kg fondant icing
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 T gold powdered food colouring
- 2 t brandy (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger in a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. Knead for about 3 minutes.
Cut a gingerbread house template out of paper, keeping in mind that a smaller house is easier to assemble than a large one. You will need templates for 1 front wall, 1 side wall and 1 rectangular roof panel. Place a sheet of baking paper onto your work surface and roll out ¼ of the dough to a thickness of 5 mm on the baking paper. Cut out one of the sections using your template, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, reusing any excess pastry, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels.
Bake the panels for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and allow to cool completely before assembling the house.
Using an electric beater, whisk the egg whites until slightly frothy. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating continually, until a stiff icing forms.
Using the icing as glue, assemble the gingerbread house, using upturned bowls to help stabilise the structure if necessary. Do not attach the roof panels until they have been decorated with tiles as directed in the following steps.
To make the roof tiles, roll out the fondant icing to a thickness of 3 mm on a surface dusted with a generous amount of icing sugar. Cut 2 cm x 3 cm rectangles out of the icing. If you like, gently press a piece of lace onto each roof tile to emboss, then set aside the tiles to dry.
Using the leftover icing, stick the icing tiles onto the roof panels, allowing the bottom edge of each row to overlap slightly. Allow the icing to dry, then attach the roof panels to the gingerbread house.
Place the remaining icing into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and decorate the front of the roof to resemble snow.
Mix the food colouring and brandy and drizzle over the roof to decorate.