Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 Gingerbread Project - Victorian Splendor

So, it's that time of year when we start thinking of the holidays.  This year the holiday baking has begun even earlier for me as I was talked into donating a Gingerbread House to the Orlando Museum for their Festival of Trees event.  The event is held each year and Gingerbread houses are donated and then bid on with the proceeds going to fund different events throughout the year.  I attended the Festival of Trees last year and thought the Gingerbread houses were great and voiced a thought out loud that I thought I could probably do that some day.....well that day is here.  I have exactly 1 month from today to finish this project so the pressure is on.  My best friend Rich Scott is a designer and he wanted us to do this project he doesn't bake or decorate so his contribution is the design of the house.  I expressed my thoughts to him and he came up with the pattern.  The process began with thoughts and drawings and then the mock up started Friday is what we hope the framed up house will look like.

Now of course, the idea is that is will be sitting on a base and hopefully will be lighted....yeah, that's the designer's job, not mine....I bake and decorate, he's in charge of all the "technical" stuff. LOL   So, of course the next thing I'm going to need is of course, gingerbread.  I made 2 batches, thinking it would be plenty.  I can tell you now that all the pieces have been cut out, that it was JUST enough, so after cutting out all the pieces and baking them, I made another batch....just in case something breaks or something else is needed.
Here's one batch:

So I started the cutting and baking of the pieces, choosing what I felt would be the most difficult piece to make....the "round room".  The first try, I had it draped across a big can ( it actually was a metal bucket with a handle that I'd gotten with goodies some time ago) covered in foil and lined with a piece of parchment was almost ready to go in the over and it slipped off and tore.....had to start again.  The second time, I taped the parchment paper down, and tried to use silverware to keep the can from rolling.

I was pretty psyched that it went in the oven and didn't fall.  When the buzzer rang in 13 minutes I was so excited.....I pulled it out and it looked perfect.....and I was about to do a little dance, when my assistant......(the kill joy....just kidding, he did try to soften the blow)...pointed out that the back side had had a little it is:

So, at this point, I stood there and thought, well.....huh, what to do......I decided I would think about it later.  I thought about it as I was cutting out all the other pieces....and there were a lot and they were know how designers are, it has to be big and spectacular! LOL  Anyway, the thought came to me to make the room smaller by cutting off that edge with the dremmel tool.....didn't use power tool with last's years project, but this year it looks like it's going to be necessary.  The outside walls are not ALL going to be the same.  Some will have a brick look and the others a stone look.  To start the look on the brick walls, the gingerbread was scored a bit so when I "draw" the lines on it with the icing, it would be easier to line up.

After all the pieces were baked, I needed to make sure that the right piece ends up being put together in the right place so I used an edible food marker to make the back of all the pieces so hopefully it will eliminate confusion later when the house actually starts going together.

And here are all the pieces all baked and cooling and getting really hard so that they can be put together to make a beautiful Victorian Gingerbread house.

 I will make the royal icing later or tomorrow evening and the real fun will begin.  I hope you'll stay with me through this journey.  I've never made anything that would be up for "bidding" and I have to say, it's adds a huge YIKES factor to the whole project for me.  I'm excited and scared to death all at the same time.  I'm not sure if we are just really so arrogant, that we think we can pull this off, or we are just really stupid and crazy!!!  LOL  Time will tell.  I do know it will be fun and it will be edible, should someone want to eventually eat it.

So, following along with me over the next month while it all comes together.

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