The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.
In general, Mr Splorer and I don't seem to conform to gender stereotypes. He's the tidy one, for a start, getting exasperated when I get home and dump my stuff wherever it falls. And then there's the famous time when we decided not to celebrate Valentine's day, but he got annoyed when I went out drinking with my mates. But when it comes to gingerbread houses, I'm the one who makes pretty hearts out of Smarties, while Mr Splorer swaggers in like a builder, announcing that my walls need reinforcing and getting to work on some gingerbread 'beams' to strengthen the structure. Looks like you can't escape those stereotypes forever!
So, here is the finished house ...
... all of two minutes before the whole thing collapsed! Hardly surprising when you take a look at the other side:
Not pretty, eh? Even the smarties are trying to abandon ship.
Yes, despite Mr Splorer's best efforts, it collapsed almost immediately. But I feel I learnt a lot of lessons about making gingerbread houses, which I shall share with you here:
- Giant chocolate buttons, though clearly aesthetically ideal for roof tiles, are a tad too heavy for this sort of thing. I was intending to get normal buttons, but got carried away in the shop. As so often happens.
- A little last minute reinforcement of the basic structure may not be sufficient, and internal walls should possibly be considered in future.
- Gingerbread for houses should be pretty thick, except for the roof, which should be relatively thin. Rather than the other way around. (Doh!)
- Even if your gingerbread house collapses, there's always a bright side. Visiting friends will be delighted to take the ruins apart and eat them, especially the bits with giant chocolate buttons on.
- Men may be into the DIY aspects of the gingerbread, but they can also turn out to be talented at making French snowmen out of nothing more than a couple of white chocolate maltesers, a blue smartie and a bit of icing.
So, I feel I've learnt a lot and definitely want to have another go. But next time, I will give a lot more thought to how the bloody thing is going to stay up, as well as the decorative aspects. But it was a lot of fun as a joint project, so maybe the secret is to get Mr Splorer involved from the start.
And now I'm off on a tour of the country, with no internet access until God knows when, so I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!