The Gingerbread Challenge – and finally a church

Gingerbread church 1

It’s been a while coming, but here is the final (for now) post in the Gingerbread Challenge series. You may remember that I promised my LSH a gingerbread church for Christmas, despite never having made gingerbread men before let alone anything that needs to stand upright on its own. So after numerous gingerbread men, a small shed and a house with boiled sweets windows I was finally ready for the big one – the church.

Gingerbread cardboard template
So on a cold and windy December afternoon we set about creating his dream – a small church, with stained glass windows, a red roof and a small steeple. LSH made the templates along with a cardboard version and I set about mixing gingerbread dough and then baking all the parts. It was all a bit like an episode of Blue Peter in our kitchen as we made small stained glass windows and dyed icing for the mortar, snow and grass.

Gingerbread church 2 You may notice that the final edible version doesn’t have the porch that the model has – we did try to add one but it was quite small and fell apart as soon as it was added. And the steeple was not easy to put together – it was a two man job to try and get the triangles to meet and the whole thing needed a lot of icing to stay together and even then it looks like it needs a lot of scaffolding around it to stay upright.

Gingerbread church snowman 1

It was finished off with a fondant icing carpet of “snow”, chocolate paving slabs, some little snowmen (courtesy of LSH) and a light dusting of icing sugar. I’d left a little gap in the back wall so we could shine a torch in to illuminate the windows and voila – one winter Churchyard scene … in gingerbread.

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Only 77 baking days til Xmas…..

Gingerbread man 2I have somewhat rashly promised LSH a gingerbread church with stained glass windows for Christmas.

There are however a few problems with this:

1. I’ve never made a gingerbread church in fact
2. I’ve never even attempted a gingerbread house or indeed
3. Even baked a gingerbread man and
4. I’ve never iced anything or attempted much in the way of decoration.

So just a bit of pressure then! Thankfully the Great British Bake Off book Showstoppers has a series of gingerbread recipes building up to a decorated house. My aim is to follow these and then take it up a notch.

So here is the first go – a mini batch of (nude/ undecorated) gingerbread men. Not the most exciting looking of bakes but tasty. Next step is learning how to use an icing bag and giving them a bit of dignity….

Gingerbread man 1