Halloween Gingerbread Tree


A while ago, I made some sugar diamonds for fun. I told my assistant that I didn’t know what to do with them and she suggested using them as leaves. And that was how this gingerbread tree came to being.

I decided to let a spider live in the tree, and his name is Alexander. Because I couldn’t think of any other names that rhymed with spider.

Halloween Gingerbread Tree

Gingerbread Tree

Ingredients and Equipment (for one tree)

Gingerbread Tree Template (click link to acquire)
70g butter
50g brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
150g plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
  2. Cut tree template out and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together until it becomes a thick sauce. Add flour and ginger and mix until it forms a dough.
  4. Roll dough out immediately in between two non-stick baking sheets and place template on top of dough.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the outline of the tree and remove all the surplus dough. Do not transfer tree cutout. The tree should be baked on the very same sheet it was cut on to reduce any distortion. Repeat with second tree template.
  6. Place baking sheet on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm and slightly brown. Leave to cool before removing from tray.

Royal Icing

Ingredients

1 egg white (not all will be used)
100g icing sugar
Food colouring of choice

Method

  1. Add food colouring to icing sugar and using a teaspoon, gradually add a little egg white at a time while mixing until the desired consistency is achieved.

Ombre Sugar Diamonds

I will be doing a separate post on this later this week so stay tuned for that!

Chocolate Decorations

Gingerbread Tree Close Up

Equipment and Ingredients

25g dark chocolate, melted
5g white chocolate, melted
Black food colouring
Cocktail stick
Waxed paper

Method

  1. Pipe chocolate on waxed paper into the shape of a spider’s web. I did it free-hand but if you would prefer to have a template one is easily available by doing a Google Image Search.
  2. For the spider, pipe a round circle and then draw out 8 legs out from the body. Leave to set. Then, use white chocolate to pipe the eyes of the spider. Dip the tip of a cocktail stick into some black colouring and dot the eyes on.

Assembly

The video at the top of the page outlines the assembly of the tree. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Photography

Gingerbread Tree 5

I didn’t do anything special for the photography this time – just cardboard as the background and light coming from the right hand side of the image.

Settings

ISO:100
f: 2.8
Lens: 60mm 2.8f
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: 1/50 seconds
Temperature: 6000K

This was my very first Halloween project. In Australia, it isn’t a very big thing so nobody really goes all out but I have to say that I enjoyed it and might try to squeeze another one in before October ends. Maybe. Can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year!

Advertisements

Gingerbread Eiffel Tower

Image

Every year I embark on a gingerbread project and this year I decided to make something a little more complex than the usual house that I churned out every year. After some browsing of what was out there in the internet I decided to take on the Eiffel Tower.

First things first – you need a template. I downloaded one from here. The author of that website made his in 4 pieces but I decided to do mine in 12 by sectioning the Eiffel tower into 3 portions – top, center and bottom. Then, I traced it onto cardboard.

Next, you need to make the gingerbread. I have been using the gingerbread recipe from here for my last few gingerbread houses very successfully – just eliminate the bicarbonate soda from the recipe so that the biscuit does not spread and retains its shape beautifully. You will only need half a recipe to make this gingerbread Eiffel Tower but the excess can always be used to make cookies for eating – I don’t imagine you’d want to eat your tower immediately!

Now, you need to cut out the Eiffel Tower shapes – you will need 4 pieces of the top, 4 pieces of the center and 4 of the bottom – making it a total of 12 pieces. Use your cardboard templates to make sure they are all the same size and go around them with a sharp knife. Bake them off – below is a photograph of my baked pieces.

ImageAfter baking comes the decorating! I used a no.2 round tip and royal icing for all the piping of the decorations. For the design, I copied the template as closely as I could, simplying the really tricky portions. For tips on royal piping, visit Sweetopia – there is a comprehensive and detailed list of tutorials there that you can read up on to learn all the tips and tricks of creating beautiful piped work.

Image

Image

Then comes the challenging part – the assembly! I highly recommend that you have somebody to help you with this because it is very fiddly. Using royal icing, glue the gingerbread pieces together starting with the bottom layer, leaving it to dry for at least a couple of hours in between the layers. Continue on with the center pieces and lastly, the top. Below are photographs of it halfway through and then me at the final stage, supposedly smiling but the reality is I was holding the entire structure up with my finger inside the Eiffel Tower very gingerly. What do you think of my makeshift scaffolding?

Image Image

Finally, I did a shell border around all the seems to hide them and then it was all done! It took me the whole day from start to finish, but the results were worth it. It was not too difficult, just very time consuming – if you have made a gingerbread house before it shouldn’t be difficult at all. Below are photographs of it – Eiffel Tower by Day as well as Night. Hopefully this was helpful if you are looking to embark on this challenge!

ImageImage

Personalised Gingerbread Hearts

I decided to do more piping on more gingerbread hearts and here’s the results!Image

Gingerbread recipe from here. I omitted the bicarbonate soda to reduce the spreading for a very clean shape.

The piping was done with a Wilton size 2 round tip.

Gingerbread Hearts

I found this mug a few days ago and decided to make something to pair with it. After much thought, decided to give gingerbread hearts with a notch cut out a whirl.Image

Gingerbread recipe from here. To make the hearts, I cut it with a heart cookie cutter and then used a knife to cut a notch off the side – you may need to experiment a little to get the right size, but I’d say about 0.7cm would be about right. Too wide and it will flop around and too narrrow the biscuit won’t slide down completely (as illustrated in this photo).