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The Gingerbread House Topic


David Ross
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1 hour ago, kayb said:

I bought a kit, on a whim, from Target. We'll see how it goes.

 

 

It gives you a base and then customize with your own. I woud get a structural icing on board as well. Then "ready, set go"

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More of the details of my gingerbread house.  I didn't have a formal plan for this house, just bought things that caught my eye then got them home and started applying them..  The tree is a disaster.  It was a pre-made gingerbread tree but I thought I'd be unique and spray it with fake Christmas snow.  Of course being porous the snow never really stuck and I should have left the gingerbread in its natural state, just adding icing and decorations.  

 

Trees from the model railroad hobby store sprayed with fake Christmas snow-

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Farm animals from the toy section.  The "snow" around the house is coconut. I experimented with different ways to

glue down the coconut, but nothing worked too well so I just spread it around loose.

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The front walk path is Grape Nuts cereal.  Then I sprinkled on some clear cooking sprinkles to sort of look like

ice pebbles.

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The figurines came from the craft store.  To make the "ice rink" I cooked a simple syrup to the hard crack stage then

added a drop of blue food coloring.  Let dry until hard.

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The chimney is rock candy jelly beans then the smoke is cotton "snow".

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I am totally impressed!

 

When our first grandchild was born prematurely, her other grandmother sent the family a gingerbread house kit.    The new mother had no time for such, so it came to me to assemble.   I came close to coming as apart as the disparate house pieces.    I finally traded duties with the au pair, taking her hours of housework in exchange for her construction skills.

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eGullet member #80.

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  • 2 years later...
On 11/18/2019 at 9:19 PM, heidih said:

Oh the "glue" - I think Italian meringeis the preferred 'glue" .

this year it’s time to make a haunted gingerbread house for Halloween. I’ve always used egg white cement for the construction glue to hold the walls together.  Does a cooked frosting that is safer to eat even for the immunocompromised work as well? Is it is quick setting?

 

What is your favorite recipe for gluing/cementing the big pieces together?

 

and of course this is definitely going to be 100% edible.

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5 hours ago, Wholemeal Crank said:

this year it’s time to make a haunted gingerbread house for Halloween. I’ve always used egg white cement for the construction glue to hold the walls together.  Does a cooked frosting that is safer to eat even for the immunocompromised work as well? Is it is quick setting?

 

What is your favorite recipe for gluing/cementing the big pieces together?

 

and of course this is definitely going to be 100% edible.

 

I'm no expert on gingerbread house glue, but you could always pasteurize your eggs.  I pasteurize eggs 55C for two hours.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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10 hours ago, Wholemeal Crank said:

do you pasteurized them with a Sou vide set up?

 

Yes.  Not under vacuum though.  I put each egg (in its shell) in a plastic sandwich bag, and knot the bag.  That way if one cracks the tank is not contaminated.  I put all the eggs in their bags into a soft plastic thingy I learned about on eGullet.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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Perhaps I should post this in the Stupid Questions topic. But do people actually EAT gingerbread houses? It seems to me by the time you are ready to stop gawking at it, and all your friends and relations have already gawked at it, it's gone on to cardboard heaven. I made one once, when my daughter was little. Never again. And I certainly didn't find it edible.

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I make gingerbread houses out of gingerbread that I will actually enjoy eating. One of the joys of Gingerbread, the “real” kind, is that all of those spices really do help preserve the gingerbread. I make the houses just a few days before the holiday, so if they don’t sit around for weeks to be gawked at and go stale nevertheless.
 

 And whenever possible (when I’m making it for myself or friends, and not necessarily with the help of a small person who demands the brightest candies), I decorate mine with dried fruit and nuts and minimal frosting, so that actually is something I would like to eat, and when I do them this way, and share them with other people, they will eat them.  (Admittedly, the egg-white cement gets picked off most of the time....)
 

And though I use hard wheat for the flour when making construction ginger bread, I mostly make it fit for construction by baking it thick enough that it has some stability when cut and sat on the edge, but still has enough fat and leavening and sugar to be reasonably tender.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank
spelling corrections from dictation errors (log)
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use melted white chocolate

 

eta: or dark chocolate considering it's for Halloween!

 

Melting wafers aka compound chocolate will set faster; if you are so inclined you could also make modeling chocolate (aka chocolate plastique) and roll it into logs and press it between walls to hold them together.  IMHO the modeling chocolate is too much of a hassle. But  it's another alternative.....

Edited by JeanneCake (log)
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And....I found I had some powdered whites stuck in the back of a cabinet, and that worked great.  I put a sign on it stating it was for eating, but things went slowly until I ripped off a corner of the roof, and then people started to go for it.  It's now about 1/3 gone, a good start for something that keeps for days, and can sit in the conference room until it is gone. 

 

Dark chocolate sounds great but I'll have to be more on top of things than I normally am to make something far enough in advance to do the chocolate, since I'm assuming it needs to set for a few hours before it is well enough solidified for decorating.  Is that about right?

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melting wafers (compound chocolate) is meant to set up quickly.  Regular melted chocolate (chips you'd use for cookies, for example, or couveture before you temper it) will take longer to set up.  I usually put two sides together, with a can for support; then add another wall, then the fourth wall etc as you would with royal icing.  The melted chocolate is runnier, though so when you are applying it if you cut a tiny hole off the end of the piping bag you have to go over it a few times to build up some "thickness".  If you cut a bigger hole,  you risk a bunch of chocolate coming out where you don't want it ;)

 

if you go with modeling chocolate, (you can buy  it at some craft stores or online; ChocoPan is a popular brand name, it's  now made by Satin Ice) you just have to roll a rope out and go from there.  If you make your own modeling chocolate yes you  have to let it rest for a few hours before it's really easy to use.  The  key when making your own is to have the melted chocolate and the corn syrup at approximately the same temp when they are mixed together.

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