I love gingerbread and when put in house form with royal icing, it’s even better. Since making one a year at church Christmas events a number of years ago, I’ve tried to make one each year for our family. This year I happened to be in Ikea and checked their ingredients on their gingerbread house kits – no egg and no dairy! So I grabbed it – not having to make a house myself this year was very enticing!
[Please note that the tags for this post are to do with the royal icing not the house.]
The next issue was the royal icing – I love its lemon tang but it’s traditionally made with egg whites so I needed a replacement. I could have used No Egg but I wasn’t sure how it would go so I had a search online and found that someone else had done the experimenting for me. She decided that the glycerine worked better in the hardening factor – rather essential for a gingerbread house (less so for just decorating cookies) and since I had some in the cupboard, that’s what we went for. I did also look up whether or not it was safe to be eating something I’ve always just used in making homemade bubble mix or on dry skin but I guess if you can use it on your lips, it’s ok to ingest too!
Here’s the recipe:
The BBC’s egg free royal icing
500g / 1lb 2 oz icing sugar (You can use icing mixture too)
3 – 4 teaspoons glycerine
Sift the sugar into a the bowl of a mixer.
Juice and strain the lemons.
Beating continously, gradually add the juice and glyercine to the sugar
Originally sourced at:
www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/eggfreeroyalicing_77309.shtml (link now defunct)
I halved this recipe and had enough for my house and decorating with a little left over.
My main tips for construction are to build the walls and wait a while for them to set before putting the roof on. Ensure you’ve reinforced the inside corners with extra icing. Hold the roof pieces for a few minutes until you are sure they won’t slide.
Our decorations are dairy, egg, and nut free (and quite a few are wheat free too) – skittles, musk sticks, mint leaves, jelly babies, licorice (black and strawberry), marshmallows and edible glitter.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. I’ll have a blogging break until late January.