While most may think that this gingerbread house was done in the spirit of Christmas, it was not. Instead, my friend wanted to have a ‘Hans Christian Anderson’ themed birthday party, and the gingerbread house was supposed to reference the candy house in the story Hansel and Grettel. I have never made gingerbread before, so making a house was a very steep learning curve. Thankfully, I found this simple recipe online which didn’t require a resting time for the dough. (Just a side note: how do people choose online recipes? I make my selection based on how many ratings there are and how good the rating is. I find that to be quite reliable.)
This time I struck gold in the online lottery of recipes! The gingerbread pieces held their shape and were thin and brittle. We only wanted a small house (8cm x 8 cm base) to place on top of her birthday cake, so that may have made it easier as well. The only problem faced was making the royal icing which is the glue to the house pieces. I deviated from this recipe and used one from taste.com.au, but it was way too runny. However, after adding a whole heap more icing sugar, the mixture turned out really well and thick. I didn’t even need to hold up the roof to let it dry.
As you can see, my icing skills may need some improving…but at least the house is standing. The party preparation itself was crazily busy. We were also helping make food the whole day starting from 10 in the morning until the party at 6 and then continuing to serve and prepare food and clean up until 11. It was enjoyable, but as the night went on, my apprehension towards paying for catering decreased at a rapidly exponential rate. However, I have to say that I like spending time in the kitchen at parties, mainly because I am a bit awkward and too self-conscious trying to make small talk and be comfortable with many people at loud social events.. at least with cooking and serving food, it is something I can occupy myself with.