For all those getting their bake on over the festive period, below is a Smiley take on the classic gingerbread house recipe.
Make everyone smile with this happy, delicious cake and get into the spirit with your friends and family!
For the gingerbread
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- 7 tbsp golden syrup
- 600g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 50g giant chocolate buttons
- 3 egg whites
- 750g icing sugar
- 125g pack mini chocolate fingers
- 500g of Yellow M&Ms (Three 165g packs) or 300g Smarties
- Yellow and black decorating icing (optional)
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If it won’t quite come together, add a tiny splash of water.
- Cut out the template (see below – save and print). Put a sheet of baking paper on your work surface and roll about one quarter of the dough to the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out one of the sections, then slide the gingerbread, still on its baking paper, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling the trimmings, until you have two side walls, a front and back wall and two roof panels. Any leftover dough can be cut into circles for extra Smiley World faces.
- Bake all the sections for 12 mins or until firm and just a little darker at the edges. Leave to cool for a few mins to firm up, then trim around the templates again to give clean, sharp edges. Leave to cool completely.
- Put the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium nozzle. Pipe generous snakes of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally for a few hours.
- Again using bits of the icing sugar, stick the yellow M&Ms or Smarties into the roof sections to look like roof tiles. Stick a Smiley face into the roof using chocolate buttons.
- Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few mins until the icing starts to dry. Dry completely, ideally overnight. To decorate, pipe a little icing along the length of 20 mini chocolate fingers and stick these lengthways onto the side walls of the house. Use three, upright, for the door.
- Using the icing, stick more yellow M&Ms or Smarties around the door and on the front of the house. If you’ve made gingerbread SmileyWorld faces, decorate these now too with any extra yellow chocolates you have or the yellow and black decorating icing. Here’s some inspiration from our website http://www.smiley.com/emoticons for these faces. Kids can bring their house to life with these fun characters who live inside!
Eat and enjoy over the next week!