We attempted our first-ever gingerbread house last Christmas. By ‘we’ I mean ‘me’. It was a rousing success given we were completely unprepared for just how finicky building a miniature house of dough is. We innocently underestimated the importance of measuring and cutting the sides and roof with extreme accuracy. The saving grace was the No More Gaps royal icing that secured its wobbly roof and wonky walls like a fortress.
I was inspired by these great modern interpretations and decided to up the ante this Christmas. This year’s house was going to have cut-out windows and front door! I thought I was being rather cunning when I came across a recipe that used toffee for a less in-your-face mortar. It would also have a chimney (had I remembered to assemble it).
Despite my ever-so-diligent measuring, rolling, cutting, baking and assembly the toffee mortar began to melt in the summer heat. In a silent ode to the Leaning Tower of Pisa the house gravitated towards the floor the very next day. Contributing factors were the giant choc button roof shingles and jellybean brickwork applied the only way a preschooler knows how – with maximum exuberance. Alas, the gingerbread house’s calamitous end occurred only one day later and it now currently resides flat-pack style in a lunchbox in the fridge.
Luckily its residents managed to flee the building with only minutes to spare.