The DBGB Opera House and Season’s Greetings

Saturday, December 26, 2009

(DBGB = Daring Bakers Ginger Bread)

Hope you’re enjoying the holidays and good cheer. We’ve certainly had a wonderful time filled with family bonding and of course feasting.


Christmas lights  (not our own)

It’s been lots of fun, and so was this month’s Daring Bakers’ Gingerbread House challenge.

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.


I used Y’s recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking book by Beatrice Ojakangas because all the ingredients were on hand. I followed the challenge recipe with a couple of minor tweaks. After trawling the DB forums, it turned out that many bakers had issues with the dough being too dry. So I followed the recipe -weighing everything, except the flour, which was measured by guesstimation and level cups. Also, the challenge method called for adding the flour and hot water in together. Instead of this, I added the hot water to the creamed butter and sugar, stirred until everything was melted, then added the flour – a technique that my usual go-to gingerbread recipe recommends. The dough turned out fine and quite sturdy to work with. Flavourwise, it wasn’t as sweet as my usual gingerbread although still nice and “spicy”. The finished “house” ended up covered in so much royal icing anyway it was a good thing the dough wasn’t very sweet.

So here’s the finished house – it’s a slightly skewed gingerbread version of the Sydney Opera House (definitely not to scale).

I’ll let the pictures tell you the rest of the story :

The “sails” were baked on aluminium foil “moulds” held together by bamboo skewers.




The first attempt at creating the base ended up like this:



So I baked lots of “support” beams which ended up a bit skewed but they worked great once I doubled them up and added a fruit fizzer (lolly) to get the right height. I had to "borrow" a few of the lollies from MC junior's lolly stash, which ended up in a very thorough inquisition the next day. Finally managed to convince her she must have eaten the lollies then forgot about doing it!




Liberal application of royal icing and a few lollies later…


 
This is a reference to this event.

 

 




Once my gingerbread house was done and dusted, it was the kids’ turn. Technically they made speculaa houses because I’d used up all the gingerbread dough. The little 3 year old bossed me around instructed me on the placement of icing so that she could stick her lollies down, while the almost 7 year old handled her own icing blobbing and lolly placement. I had them decorate all the flat panels, then assembled it into a house for them.


 



After the grandparents had suitably admired them on Christmas Day, the kids partook in the most fun part of the whole activity.







Enjoy the hols!

30 comments:

zorra said...

Wow, terrific impressive work! Impressive!

pierre said...

Hi Shaz
you are amazing this is masterpiece congratulations !!
I wish you a happy celebration time
Pierre form Paris

Jill said...

I love your Opera gingerbread house!! So creative and I knew exactly what it was, when I saw it. :) Well done!!

Marcellina said...

Oh, I so thought about doing the Opera house but abandoned it due to the sheer logistics. Well done! And your kids gingerbread house are just adorable (so are they!). Merry Christmas!

Barbara Bakes said...

A most impressive feat of engineering! Love that you got the kids involved too!

Jeanne said...

Beautiful model of the Opera House! Very creative! I love the reference to the "No War" slogan too!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone!

Ellie said...

You and your opera house!!!! It's stunning!! Great fun you had with your gingerbread creations :)

Lauren said...

Woah! The opera house is unbelievably awesome! I love it so very much =D. Your kids ones are such fun as well - very cute!

s said...

Boy!! they are spectacular..loved loved loved the opera house

Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

I remember jokingly saying to a fellow Daring Baker, wouldn't be cool to do the Opera House? But we had no idea how to go about it!

You did an awesome job Shaz!

Ruth said...

Wow! How creative! I knew immediately that it was the Opera House and I've never been to Australia.
Congrats!

Trissa said...

Yay! Someone did the Opera House! So glad to see this. I also like the fact that you did a second house for your kids! Both look so cool!

Anh said...

WOw! just wow! I have not been cooking/baking anything for months now... And seeing this post makes my hands itchy!

All the best to you and your family in the years to come, Shaz!

Lesley said...

Love the opera house, fantastic job

Y said...

Wow, you did it! Amazing! I don't even know how I would have begun to approach this challenging design, if I had picked it. Haha to stealing candy from kids ;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love your opera house! Great job!

Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2010!

Cheers,

Rosa

shaz said...

Thanks again everyone.It really was great fun. Hope you're all having a great holiday season.

Barbara said...

What a great series of photos! You did a super job...I am so impressed. Actually, I think this is a one of the most fun challenges I've seen. I adore gingerbread houses.
Happy New Year to you and your family, Shaz!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow! What an undertaking! You did an amazing job.
Hope you had a merry Christmas
*kisses* HH

Snooky doodle said...

wow awesome! and the kids so cute!

Julia @Mélanger said...

OMG, what a fantastic gingerbread house. You did an amazing job. So detailed. Well done! :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oooh you deserve a standing ovation for this Shaz! Amazing job and I was just wondering if anyone would do an Australian themed house. Absolutely fabulous! :D

syrupandhoney said...

Amazing job and way to step outside the norm! Love it!

Hungry Dog said...

wow! Looks awesome. And of course delicious to eat!!

minisuperbias said...

Awesome, what a great idea! And it came out fabulous!

Erica said...

Nice house :) Happy new year!

shaz said...

Thanks again everyone!

Lisa Michelle said...

shaz, I am so impressed! To take on the Sydney Operar House is taking on a diffculty factor above and beyond most GB houses. It looks amzing! Also, your kid's GB houses are adorable :) Happy New Year!

betty said...

your opera house gingerbread house is so cool!!! super creative of you (are you like the only one who made it into an opera house i think? hehe)


and so cute with the eating and biting into the house (i went to my friends house and we all punched it down and then ate it haha)