First of all, I took to my sketchbook to do a few doodles about what I'd like my gingerbread house to look like. This is the first step I take for pretty much anything, even birthday cakes. I start drawing and let my imagination take me in whatever direction it pleases.
Here are the pages of my sketchbook that I dedicated to my design:
On the left are some generic putting-ideas-down drawings (including some designs for a completely different gingerbread skeleton idea I had based on the teddies holding sweets biscuits I did for my Picnic Afternoon Tea Party).
On the right is a more concrete concept for the front of the house, showing the front of the house and one side of the chimney.
These two pages are some actual teasing out how it will be made sketches. My first concept for the roof slates was to make two royal icing run outs (plaques), but then I decided to use dark chocolate decorated with royal icing instead.
The next step was to turn the sketches, doodles, and scribbles into reality. To do this, I traced the drawing that I did of the front of the house onto some card, and used that to guide me in making the other parts of the template: the two walls and the individual parts of the chimney.
I used a ruler to measure the two sides of the front of the house and used the measurements to judge the height of the two walls. I then I chose how deep I'd make the house (I decided about 4 inches (10 centimetres) would be enough) and used this to measure the width of the walls. I used a similar process to design the chimney templates.
I designed the roof template after I had baked and assembled the walls of the house. Once I had assembled the house with royal icing, I folded a piece of paper in half and draped it over where I would like the roof to be, and traced around where the gingerbread touched the paper. I then extended the edges by about about half an inch (a centimetre) to give the roof a nice overhang.
To make sure I knew how to put it together, I drew little guidelines and indicators on the edges of the templates. This way I'd know which way around everything had to be.
I apologise for not having more pictures to show you the process in detail! I was so busy doing the actual project that I didn't think ahead to writing about it. But, when I get round to making my Christmas gingerbread house, I'll be a little more thorough.
For how to bake and assemble the house,
keep an eye on Monday's upload CLICK HERE!
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THIS TIME IN 2013: Confectionery Failures and New Job (thus Temporary Pause in Blogging)!