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Kouign Aman

Gingerbread for houses - do you have a good recipe?

43 posts in this topic

Part of my concern is that I have to transport this across town and want to it to stay in one solid piece. I'm doing some behind the scenes architecture as well to reinforce things.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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Are you looking for something with more flexibility than royal icing (to better absorb shocks) or something that sticks better? Do you remember what the issue had with it was?


Chris Hennes
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i just remember it not being a solid bond. I would use construction adhesive if I thought I could get away with it.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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I'm still thinking about what else might work. I've had gingerbread constructions that sat in an unheated porch through the rest of the winter and into spring when things get warm and more humid and were still solid just using royal icing so I'm not sure what would be stronger and more reliable and still remain in the food safe/edible range. Is food safe/edible a concern? I'm assuming so since you mentioned construction adhesive not being an option.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I don't anticipate it being eaten, but it should be food safe. I'm wondering about proportions of egg white to powdered sugar or anything that could be added to it, or maybe I just need to stop being a crybaby and make it.


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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On a TV show recently some of the contestants used caramel to glue the pieces together. 

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My wife does gingerbread houses every year with royal icing. We've transported for an hour+ in the car on Christmas Day and never had a problem. You can't actually break the royal icing off the structure, you have to tear the walls in half instead (ie., the gingerbread breaks before the royal icing). Maybe humidity has something to do with it???

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I have used royal icing for all the gingerbread construction that I have done (two houses and a train). All were transported by car to another location over an hour away... no structural problems. You do have to wait until the royal icing dries (and that may take a few hours) but once it is dry, no problems. As cyalexa mentions, I have also see people use molten sugar to "glue" the pieces together. Might make a prettier join but caramel would also have a humidity issue.

 

Good luck with your gingerbread house!

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What about plain chocolate?

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Sian

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy chocolate, and that's kinda the same thing really."

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I see you are already channeling St. Louis.  I think there is a house like that within walking distance of the ballpark.  Very cool little home!

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On 12/3/2015 at 2:53 AM, AnythingButPlainChocolate said:

What about plain chocolate?

 Chocolate tends to shrink when it is set, that's why it's easy to get out of molds. It's not a great glue, especially for larger construction parts because it doesn't grip and the shrinkage means that it pulls away from the parts instead of holding them together. Think of breaking a chunk of chocolate with nuts and how you see shiny cavities where the edges of the nuts were. Bark and such only work if there is enough chocolate to surround the chunks, things like nuts that are just placed on top invariably fall off.

 

Hot sugar is the best, if your area isn't humid, and royal icing is second best. (humidity will affect royal icing as well)

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So a note about my question above. My earlier question did play out on this project - the royal icing didn't adhere at one point. I think I figured out why - the surface may have had some loose flour. After that we took a damp towel and cleaned every piece before applying the icing and it worked like a charm including the bumpy drive across town with the house in the back of my SUV.

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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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It was a Mexican candy that was like flat tire treads. Both roofs then got sprayed with bronze cocoa butter.

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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

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Wow, Franci, they are gorgeous. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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