My apologies. It is April, with Easter fast approaching and I am only now writing about the gingerbread house I made December last year!
Well, as they say, better late than never eh?
Anyway, this time around, I made the royal icing using meringue powder, and it didn't quite stiffen up very well. It ended up slightly runny and took ages to dry!! The year before, I used real egg whites and the royal icing turned out really good.
I'm not sure if it's the powder, or whether it's about time I got myself a proper Kitchen Aid or Kenwood standing mixer! Right now I'm still using my trusty ol' hand-held mixer....
Okay, for those who live in tropical climes like me, here are a few tips I learned the hard way!!
1. Do not stick on hard candy. They will melt and drip and make a mess all over! Use gummy sweets and candy coated chocolates instead, or sweets still wrapped in their wrappers (like plastic wrapped candy canes). Here I used gumpaste to make the candy canes and wreath. That seems to work best.
2. Do not use biscuits either! I used those wafer rolls once as pillars for the house and they just softened and shriveled up in the humidity!
3. Make sure your royal icing is really stiff! Otherwise your gingerbread house will be falling apart and you'll have to support it for ages while it takes it's sweet time hardening!
4. I know a nice sloping roof with a long overhang gives a quaint 'cottage-y' look, but beware! I did that and after a couple of days, the gingerbread softened in the humidity and bits of roof that extended beyond the wall started dropping off!!!! *horror*!!
So, as you can see, I have not yet perfected the art of gingerbread house-making (far from it in fact)... But I will let you know whenever I learn anything new!
I absolutely love food and I adore all things beautiful! So what else could possibly surpass gorgeously decorated cakes, cookies, pastries and such? They're beautiful, and even better, they're edible! Therefore, I have decided to teach myself baking and cake decorating and I shall document my attempts on this, my humble blog. Wish me luck!