Hansel and Gretel would be knocking on the door of this finished Gingerbread House and I promise you won’t need Nick Knowles and his team of builders to help you either. The Biscuiteers’ beautiful tin box has all you need to make your very own house including pre-built gingerbread walls, icing cement and sugar additions to make the perfect Christmas centrepiece.
If you’ve not experienced The Biscuiteers before you’re in for a real treat. I first met their co-founder Harriet Hastings when invited to look around the biscuit factory in South East London where her team of icing elves were constructing biscuits and chocolate for Christmas – here’s my blog entry. Their products are wonderful and I gush each time I hear the name mentioned. They sell biscuits and chocolates for every occasion and the beautiful hand-piped works of art are a treat to receive and scoff, they even create bespoke orders. Their DIY icing kits are great gifts and I gave the Gingerbread House a go in the run up to Christmas.
I just couldn’t resist adding more bling to mine and raided my storecupboard to find more embellishment.
You begin by checking the pieces are intact and, because of the tin and corrugated packing, mine are all fine. There are two long wall pieces, two short house front and back and two plain roofing sections. You’ll find icing, silver baubles, red sugar balls and brightly coloured chocolate beans. There are icing bags to make sure you get a great pipe all round – I used just the one – but there’s nothing to stop you mixing up different coloured icing with the other bags.
This would be a perfect kit to make with kids although I had as much fun doing it alone. Start to decorate each piece with the icing you mix up with egg whites – full instructions included.
The icing sugar mix needs to be covered with cling wrap when not being used – it’s both glue and decoration and once you stick coloured balls or beans with it – they’re really not going anywhere unless knocked.
Even if you’re no real whizz with the icing bag (I’m not either) you can still do a pretty decent job – you can see the roof piping went a little off piste but I soon recovered by gently scraping it off and starting again. Try not to be too clever if you’re only just getting used to piping. You can always practice on a silicone sheet or some greaseproof paper (weighted down) to get your technique up to speed. I used a small nozzle (which doesn’t come with the kit) although it’s really not a necessity, just a nice to have.
The green and blue beans and the chocolate ‘timber’ chunks weren’t included in the kit, neither was the silver spray I added to the roof – they’re all from Waitrose. That said, there’s plenty of sugary pieces in the kit to make your house look fabulous, I wanted to use up some of my accumulated sugar jewels.
Constructing the house was a little tricky and if you’re working with kids you may need to explain this is something you’ll need to do to stop the bling from pinging off. Be generous with the icing and don’t rush it, my suggestion is to do one piece at a time, wait for the icing to set, then move on to the next section. As you’ll see I’m no Richard Rogers but I was pretty chuffed with my rendering, albeit if it is a little on the sloppy side.
When it comes to the roof, make sure you have a little overhang and slather the icing generously on the apex to look like it’s snowed heavily and to cover up any spaces.
Did it go down well? I took it into the office and my colleagues didn’t want to destroy it – once one piece had been snaffled – it didn’t take long for it to be demolished in minutes.
The Biscuiteers Gingerbread House can be ordered here £35.00.
Thanks to the Biscuiteers for giving me the opportunity to be a house-builder for the day.