I have been down a rabbit hole the entire weekend. I have been meticulously [and quite painfully I might add] baking and assembling a gingerbread castle for a charity even at my office tomorrow. Occasionally I have moments of madness when I decide to make some very extreme cake or confectionary artwork and this was one of those. I have told my husband that if I ever mention gingerbread castles again he is to lock me in the bedroom until the madness passes. My sons have both told me that, while the do like gingerbread, they are happy to do without it until next year.
The gingerbread castle serves two purposes. Firstly, I have filled the towers and keep with sweets and my work colleagues can buy a ticket and guess how many sweets are in the castle. The closest guess wins. Secondly, the castle will feature prominently in Silly Willy goes to England which I am busy writing for publication next year.
The castle was quite a big effort to make. I had to draw a template for the castle first which took me about three hours as I kept making mistakes and the pieces didn’t fit together perfectly. I then had to bake slabs of gingerbread and cut them to size using the template. Do you have any idea how many pieces there are in a castle? I was quite shocked to discover that there are 20 pieces for the 4 towers alone plus 12 pieces for the double walls and 5 pieces for the keep. I was mighty impressed with the result though [even if I didn’t take the time to count the pieces before I started and only realised how much baking was required half way through].
As my colleague, Donna, was unable to help me out with the second prize this time around, I made those too. A baked a small chocolate cake which I iced with chocolate icing and decorated with some daffodils I made from fondant. I also baked a vanilla cake and iced it with the chocolate icing and decorated it with a fondant chameleon.
The third prize is a copy of Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook.
The proceeds from this event will go towards the Gift of Sight fund.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series