Episode 3: The Great Australian Bake Off – Gingerbread

The important lesson here is that there is a difference between the lovely aromatic soft and chewy gingerbread biscuit you can make or buy form the store and the type of recipe required to construct a house, tower or multiple piece structure. I loved the idea of Monique’s “City of Churches” construction to say the least it would have been adorable had she used a different recipe. The gingerbread was too soft and she was unable to get the panels to hold up to the weight, coupled with the fact that it was a warm day and the chocolate that was smeared on the panels didn’t set completely and added no support, such a shame.

There is a difference!

Using the correct type of gingerbread recipe will produce pieces that after baked will have a dryer, brittle, crunchy texture and therefore you will need to use a template to cut out all the necessary pieces for your structure before baking. Then allow them to cool completely before beginning your construction.  Your gingerbread pieces will need to be bonded together and hold weight of other pieces or the addition of decorative items like lollies or chocolate etc.

It’s also important to note that just because the texture of the gingerbread is dryer, the flavour and heady smell of spices is still present. The joy of taking part in devouring the gingerbread loses none of its festive appeal, especially when its accompanied by a great cup of tea or coffee or just a little something sweet for morning tea.

These are some of the amazing gingerbread constructions I have come across in my travels. Each and everyone of them were constructed with multiple pieces and generous amounts of colourful sweets to entice a smile from your inner child. I wonder what Hansel and Gretel thought when confronted with these gingerbread houses!

My very first Gingerbread house

Although a very traditional construction the end result was confronted with two dilemmas, the house looked too cute to destroy and secondly, who was going to be the first to begin the destruction. As I had made the gingerbread house the task was put upon me. “Quick, we need a cup of tea please”.

Gingerbread Spices

The traditional spices used in gingerbread have always been:

Ground Ginger

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cloves

As every construction will need a different quantity its best to make smaller portions of the gingerbread dough and if you have any left over dough use a cookie cutter and make delicious biscuits. Just remember be mind full of the time as smaller pieces bake quicker than the larger ones.

This is a picture of the “Eiffel Tower in Bloom” the construction I made on episode 3 of “The Great Australian Bake Off”. Although I am still a little disappointed having to alter the overall look of the tower at the last minute. Im still very proud of the effort under such a trying environment……I would still happily sit bake with my favourite hot beverage and enjoy eating it!


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8 thoughts on “Episode 3: The Great Australian Bake Off – Gingerbread

  1. Lisa Ribeiro

    Hi maria with the ginger bread house could i make it chocolate my kids dont like ginger could i replace the ginger with chocolate ty maria

    • Maria Vella

      Hi Lisa, what a great question. I haven’t tried making it with chocolate but I would think that you could replace the same weight of the spices plus a tablespoon of the flour with unsweetened cacao powder (Not chocolate chips). Let me know how you go with it Im curious. Thanks for the question. 🙂

  2. 2paw

    I am really enjoying the baking show and I thought that Kerry was so kind when you were upset. Your tower was beautiful, Eiffel or not. I have read that you can use toffee to stick the gingerbread pieces together. I’ve never done it, but I am going to give it a try. I’ve always put a glaze on my gingerbread. I don;t know why!! I am looking forward to tarts this week.

    • Maria Vella

      Hi, Im so happy that you are enjoying the show. Yes at that moment I was happy that I could present a gingerbread structure but disappointed with myself that things had not gone as I planned, and the “HUG” was just what I needed and coming form Kerry even more special it almost felt as though my own mum was giving me a hug. Fingers crossed for tart week there are some spectacular bakes. What do you glaze your gingerbread with? 🙂

  3. 2paw

    Dear Maria, I use the good old Australia Women’s Weekly recipe from their gingerbread house. It is 2 tbspn caster sugar, 4 tbspn water and 1 tspn gelatine. You heat it all in the microwave for about half a minute and then stir it till smooth and dissolved and then paint it onto the still warm pieces. I use 4 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon. I can see you set yourself high standards!! I am definitely looking forward to all the tarts!!

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