I was asked to make any kind of gingerbread house for a 12 year old boy who likes for example the children's band Hevisaurus which plays a little heavier music for children. This was just one of the things he likes on top of the color green, so I decided to make a castle for him and some Hevisauruses who live there.
I started by designing the walls by drawing and cutting them out of some paper. The previous day I had made a batch of my gingerbread dough which I then cut the walls and shapes out of using the paper shapes as a guide. To the walls I cut out some windows and other shapes. To some of the windows I crushed some hard candies green and yellow (I used some Moomin lollipops) before baking so they melted in the oven and formed sort of colored glass to the windows. I baked the walls on my silicon baking mat in 175 degrees celcius for about 5-7 mins. I used the silicon mat for baking so that I wouldn't have to move the cut out pieces since they could lose their shape. Straight after baking I put the paper pattern back on top of the pieces and cut out anything that was outside the pattern. This way I made sure the pieces would still fit together. It's easiest to do it while the gingerbread is still hot and soft. Also I found a good way to store my unfinished cookies. I'm living in an old building so there is this big "drawer" or a baking mat where I could hide my cookies and this way they didn't take too much space in my tiny kitchen.
I piped the walls and roofs with some royal icing and let them dry until the next day. Then I glued the castle pieces together with some molten sugar (careful not to burn it and yourself, it's about 180 degrees celcius so very hot). After that I piped some hot or Italian meringue in the seams and other places and let it dry until the next day. The Heavysauruses I piped with some royal icing and painted on the characters. I wrapped the whole thing up but left the sauruses not glued on the house so they can be moved around.
This is the house after putting the pieces together:
Here's the recipe for the Italian or hot meringue. I got it from Merja's blog.
- 0,6 dl water
- 340 g (or about 4 dl) sugar
- 2 dl wgg whites
- 160 g fine grained sugar (I used just normal sugar)
Whip the egg whites and the fine grained sugar into a stiff foam. Heat the normal sugar and water to 116 degrees celcius and pour it into the foam as a small stream constantly whipping. This way the hot liquid cooks the egg whites already and the meringues don't need to be baked in the oven. (I think I messed up the proportions while making this stuff a little bit (since I was trying to make a half batch but forgot it at some point) so mine turned out a little less stiff, but it didn't matter. It seemed to be ok for my gingerbread house piping anyway.
Here are some pictures of the castle:
And the sauruses aswell
Hevisaurus - Piparkakkulinna - Piparkakkutalo - Piparit - Joulupiparit - Kuumamarenki - Italialainen marenki - Pikeeri