Feeling amazingly inspired and in a confident mood, I set about making a Gingerbread House.
Lollies and chocolates for decoration (I used Jaffas, freckles and lollies)
3 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
185g butter, chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup pure icing sugar
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 cups of pure icing
Cardboard cut-outs – Two 13cm x 19cm rectangles (roof), Two 11.5cm x 16cm rectangles (side walls), Two 16cm x 19cm rectangles (front and back), each trimmed at 1 short end to form two 10cm-high gables
Combine flours, ginger, cinnamon, sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk golden syrup and eggs together in a jug. With the motor running, add egg mixture and process until dough just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Cut dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until well chilled.
Roll dough, 1 portion at a time, between 2 sheets baking paper until 5mm thick. Remove top layer baking paper. Using cardboard cut-outs as a guide, cut shapes from dough (see tip). Place gingerbread in a single layer on trays. Freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Place gingerbread on trays. Bake, 2 trays at a time, for 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on trays.
Make royal icing: Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar, beating constantly until thick.
Use icing to join walls together, placing unopened cans of food to support walls until icing dries. Use icing to attach roof to walls, using cans to support roof (to prevent it fom slipping off walls) until icing dries completely.
Spoon 1/2 cup remaining icing into a snap-lock bag. Trim 1 corner of bag and pipe windows and doors on house and frost on roof edges. Allow to dry. Spoon remaining icing into snap-lock bag. Pipe a little icing on the back of each lolly and attach to house to decorate. Dust roof with icing sugar.