Hello from Inn at Laurel Point , a.k.a. Gingerbread Central, over here in beautiful Victoria, BC.
You keep asking about tips and tricks on gingerbread house creating so I have asked our award-winning pastry chef, April Iverson, to give up some for us home chefs to take a crack at.
Here are her top three…that a home chef like me could manage:
- Life Saver stained glass windows – sprinkle the inside of your design with with crushed life savers and bake. So simple and the effect is so cool. I have also read that Jolly Ranchers work for this as well. Bake for 6-9 minutes at 350 or until the candy has melted. Be sure to wait until the it has thoroughly cooled before moving off your tray, giving the candy time to set. Consider using silicone backing pads or parchment paper to remove once cooled.
- Easy to make trees - bake star shaped cookies and stack them in an offset manner to create a stunning tree. Alternatively try inverted ice cream cones (the sugar kind) and cover them with piped royal icing. If your feeling really brave, break out the fondant and cut out some stars and stick those all over the cones – looks really awesome.
- Fondant – the “F” word. Sounds way worse than it is. April’s advice is buy and treat it like play dough, just have fun! Fondant is basically a sugar dough, you can roll it, shape it, stamp it, colour it and even buy it already coloured. It’s great to give a nice clean finish to what ever you are covering in it. Just give it a go – you’ll be glad you did. Check out this little beauty from this year’s entry from the COHO Ferry – this my friends is fondant heaven!
So there you have it. Maybe you have some great tips – feel free to let us know. And if you like me have way too many holiday parties to attend, forget all this baking business and come down and check out over 20 creations that will blow your mind, right here in our Victoria, BC waterfront hotel lobby. After all it’s only Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase …no big deal
Happy holidays everyone, we are wishing you a peaceful Holiday Season!