Recipe

Gingerbread birdhouse

  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 20 Item
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Ingredients

Gingerbread birdhouse
  • 90 gram butter
  • 1 cup (200g firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) honey
  • 2 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 5 cup (750g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 quantities royal icing
  • 1/2 quantity butter cream
  • 100 gram packet musk lollies
  • 12 x 26g nerd ropes
  • 2 x 160g packets rainbow sour straps
  • 5 centimetre (2-inch) piece red strawberry sour string
  • 1 yellow fruit wheel
  • 2 mint leaves
Royal icing (1 quantity)
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar approximatel
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Butter cream ( 1 quantity)
  • 125 gram softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cup (240g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk

Method

Gingerbread birdhouse
  • 1
    Make gingerbread dough. Combine butter, sugar and honey in medium saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in rind, eggs and sifted dry ingredients. Turn dough onto a floured surface, knead gently until mixture loses its stickiness, cover, refrigerate 1 hour.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). Grease oven trays.
  • 3
    Roll out gingerbread dough between sheets of baking paper until 1cm thick. Using pattern from pattern sheet, cut out the following shapes ½ cm larger than the pattern, cut 1 x base, 2 x side walls, 2 x front/back walls and 2 x roof panels from dough, re-rolling dough as necessary. Carefully transfer shapes to oven trays. Using heart cutter, cut heart from one of the front/back walls (this will be the front wall).
  • 4
    Bake gingerbread about 10 minutes or until firm. Lay pattern on top of warm gingerbread, trim and neaten edges of the gingerbread with a sharp knife to the size of the pattern. Stand gingerbread on trays 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.
  • 5
    To make royal icing, sift icing sugar through a fine sieve. Lightly beat the egg white into a small bowl until mixture is just broken up (do not whip into peaks). Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Using a wooden spoon mix in the lemon juice.
  • 6
    Spoon royal icing into piping bag. Pipe a thick line of royal icing along walls and base of gingerbread. Assemble birdhouse on cake board (position a couple of glasses up against the walls to hold them in place). Stand at room temperature until set.
  • 7
    Using picture as a guide, secure musk lollies around edge of heart cut-out with royal icing. Trim nerd ropes to outline edges of front and back walls and roof, secure with royal icing. Cover roof panels with sour straps, overlapping slightly, secure to roof with a little butter cream. Make flower using red sour string, fruit wheel and mint leaves, as pictured, secure to front wall with a little royal icing.

Notes

EQUIPMENT Oven trays 6cm heart cutter paper piping bag 30cm square or round cake board The gingerbread house can be assembled 3 days ahead. Bake gingerbread a day before it's required and store in an airtight container. Secure the roof panels to the birdhouse with royal icing; hold in place until set. Secure the walls to the base with a little royal icing. Stand a glass up against the walls to hold them in place while they're setting.