I have been really excited about sharing this one with you! This was made during my first year at university for my friends – it’s a fun sharing gift, because you can smash it open together and it’s filled with sweets! I remember going specially to buy the Pyrex bowl, the perfect size for my igloo structure. It was after I had this idea – can you cook gingerbread, as a hemi-sphere? Yes, I admit, normal people probably don’t have these type of thoughts. Or if they do, they probably don’t feel compelled to try it out.
In any case, I returned from Wilkinsons with the necessary equipment/ingredients, which include: a suitable oven-proof bowl, white chocolate buttons, the ingredients for both royal icing (which will be your ‘glue’) and gingerbread biscuits, and a box of varied sweets/chocolates. And jelly penguins of course.
How to Make It:
So find a recipe for gingerbread biscuits – the type that are crunchy and hold their shape, so you have a solid ‘house’, not the type that are chewy & spicier (which incidentally are my favourite!). Once you have made your mixture & refrigerated it, grease your bowl SO MUCH with butter (this is really important!) and roll out your gingerbread just thick enough so you think it will hold its shape and lay it over your bowl, cutting off the excess around the base. Cook.
The big challenge is getting the gingerbread off the bowl. Good luck. I managed it, but have sadly lost the photos of it in progress. I also cooked a few flat pieces to make the doorway, and cut away some of the hemisphere so that it could be filled with sweets! I believe that I even made a circular base for it. Finally you ‘glue’ it all together with Royal icing, as it sets, and decorate with white chocolate & royal icing “icicles.” Hope you enjoy this crazy idea! I loved it so much I’m tempted to make something similar this Christmas! Closer however, is Seb’s birthday, and thus a highly ambitious cake…