Sunday, 11 December 2011

Gingerbread Stave Church

If you made the gingerbread house from last post, and fancy knocking things up a notch, why not put another couple of layers and some chocolate fingers on it and make a small stave church?  It's the perfect mix of Jesus and Vikings for the Christmas season, and you can even destroy it like a marauding pagan later.

Gingerbread (well, Pepparkakor) Stave Church
You Will Need:
Remaining pepparkakor dough; ruler, pencil, squared paper, scissors; greaseproof paper, baking trays, rolling pin; royal icing; dinner knife; small bowl, small amount of dark chocolate; 2-3 packets dark chocolate Cadbury's biscuit fingers; cake decorations of choice. 

1) Using your house pattern as a template, draw out another wall/roof layer, a tower and a pointed steeple onto squared paper, each about 3cm high.  The second layer should start about 4cm from the eaves of the first.
2) Retrieve your remaining dough, and roll it out to 3mm thick.  Cut out two of each wall, gable and roof, and four triangular steeple-pieces.  With the remaining scraps, make dragons, crosses and a weathercock to stick to the roof.
3) Make a batch of royal icing using 1 egg white and 8oz of icing sugar, and/or use any remaining from making the gingerbread house.
4) Stick the gable pieces to the roof of the house.  Add Wall 2 between the gables on each side, using skewers to prop up the bottom edge.  Allow to set for a good while before attempting Roof 2.  Glue everything together well with icing.  Allow to set.
5) Add the tower pieces to Roof 2. Complete with the steeple pieces.
6) While the steeple is setting, melt a little chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave on a low setting.  Use the chocolate to stick chocolate fingers to the large gable ends and walls of the church. Leave some space on one end for a door.
7) Spread more icing on the roof, and use to stick Shreddies, flaked almonds, jelly diamonds or other small tile-like sweetnesses on.  I only did a row per roof as I ran out of icing, but may do more later.  This is a good point to involve any small children you may have hanging about.
8) When you have finished decorating the walls and roof, add the dragons to each corner, crosses to each end, and weathercock on top of the steeple: Break the pointy end off a skewer to roughly the height of the triangular steeple, plus 2cm.  Insert the pointy end into the edge of the weathercock carefully, supporting with icing if necessary.  Post the blunt end through the top of the steeple, to rest on the top edge of Roof 2 inside the tower. 

9) Place the church in its final resting-place, and sift icing-sugar snow over the top if desired.  I did this to mine at the last minute before Christmas to prevent icing sugar getting everywhere in the meantime. 


  1. what's that penguin doing, lurking in the background?

  2. he is part of the tableau on that table.