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’m beginning to think that my Daring Bakers motto should be “best laid plans” because this was another month of shenanigans. I was very excited when I saw the challenge and started planning a very Aussie Christmas Gingerbread House i.e. backyard cricket, dry grass, tin roof. There were plans and engineering meetings and decoration conferences in the confectionery aisle of the supermarket.
And then . . .
I chose Y’s dough because I had all the ingredients in my cupboard and I liked the spices that were involved but I had a few issues with the dough - it came together easily enough but after chilling overnight, it did not roll, it crumbled. So, I stood there smushing it back together to try and get a flat enough thin to cut my wall out of. Finally, I had all my pieces and they had a cooled and it was time for the simple syrup.
Let's consider this for a moment. Me + molten sugar + pretty decorationing + tiredness = me burning myself with said molten sugar. And then Esther burning herself on the syrup. So I thought "oh well, I won't decorate it as nicely as I wanted to. I mainly just want to put it together!"
So I did. And, holy mackerel, it was ugly. SO UGLY! SO UGLY THERE AREN'T ANY PICTURES!
There's another reason why there aren't any pictures.
I smashed it. With my rolling pin. A lot.
I snapped and had had enough of this ugly gingerbread house - all the time and energy that had gone into the construction for an UGLY outcome was too much for me - it was smashing time.
At first, it wasn't very carthatic but then I hit my smashing stride and I felt a lot better.
The problem, of course, was that now there was no gingerbread house for the challenge at all. Esther to the rescue! We cut some slices off the (ample) excess dough and made some tiny gingerbread houses.
And, if i say so myself, they are about 10000 times cuter than I could have ever imagined. And so adorably cute! They are living on our coffee table and it is pretty funny watching our cats walk next to them as they look like huge panthers attacking the tiny village.
So, all in all, a less than successful challenge but I got to work some anger out. The challenge was certainly there and I'm glad that I had a go! Thanks, Anna and Y!