A gingerbread house – with its sweet, spice laden biscuit captures the spirit of Christmas for me! I’ve noticed lots of Gingerbread House kits in the supermarkets. Some like the one by Morrisons, are dairy free, but not all of them are vegan-friendly.
Here’s a vegan-friendly recipe to ensure everyone can enjoy that Christmas delight.
80g baking fat (choose a vegetable oil based fat like a sunflower spread) 100g dark brown sugar 60g caster sugar 50g black treacle 325g plain flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 50ml unsweetened almond milk 2 teaspoon oil
For the Royal Icing: 12 Tablespoon Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine) 800g icing sugar 3 teaspoon Glycerine (check the label to ensure the glycerin is made with vegetable fat not animal fat)
Preheat oven to 170C or Gas Mark 3.
In a blender (or by hand) cream the brown sugar, caster sugar and fat together until light and fluffy.
Add the black treacle and beat in.
Then sieve in all the dry ingredients along with the almond milk and oil. Beat hard until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin.
Now for the house template. On a sheet of paper, make a template of the pieces you will need.
This will be:
· a wall rectangle about 15x10cm
· a house shape about 20cm tall (the wall part should be about 10cm and the roof part about 10cm). If you want, you can cut out a door shape in one of these pieces – or you can draw on the door with icing later.
· a wider rectangle for the roof (12cm by 15cm).
You will need 2 of each of these 3 pieces cut out of your dough. With any leftover dough, you can make a chimney, a Christmas tree or some gingerbread people if you have a cutter.
Place the cut-out pieces on a well-greased baking tray and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking as they can burn very quickly.
Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, before removing to a wire rack.
Whilst they are cooling, you can make the icing. Beat the Aquafaba with a whisk until stiff.
Then add the icing sugar and Glycerine and beat until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag.
Pipe the icing along the edges to use as glue to stick the house together (make sure you get the roof and the walls the right way around). Hold in place until it feels solid (you might need someone to help you do this).
Once it feels solid, you can decorate the house with icing and vegan friendly sweets. Leave to dry overnight.