1 Dec 2010

Om Nom Nom... More Inspiration for the Holidays!

A few days of blog silence usually means the novel is going well, and I'm glad to say it is. After a few weeks of rethinking backstory, plot and final outcome, I'm finally writing again. It took some perseverance, but the end result, if I dare say, will be much better for it.

In the past few days, my street, house and garden have turned into a gorgeous cotton candy Winter Wonderland. The darkest time of the year is near, and you can see and feel it everywhere. To compensate, I allow myself a bit of comfort food while I'm huddled up with my laptop in our warm and cosy living room, surrounded by lots of candles.

The sweet treat that - to me - is most typical for this season is gingerbread, in all its forms: there's our Belgian variety called 'peperkoek', there's the French 'pain d'épices' or the German 'Lebkuchen', each with its own particular texture, flavour and aromas.

I actually love the scent of gingerbread more than its taste, and I tend to use the typical spices in many other dishes: apple crumble, nut bread and several types of hot drinks, like tea, hot chocolate and of course mulled wine. It's a great way to make sugar-free (or sugar-reduced) desserts seem just that little bit sweeter.

A few days ago, I found the best gingerbread shape I've ever seen. Seriously, how cute is this:

Photo credit: Megan of notmartha.org

These gingerbread houses were made by Megan of http://www.notmartha.org/, and you can find the full instructions + more gorgeous photographs here.

She's also come up with several variations, like these, with tiny chimneys on snowy rooftops:

Photo credit: Megan of notmartha.org

I'm sure they will require some practice before they'll be anything like the ones on the pictures, but looking at the instructions, it actually looks feasible! And there are so many ways in which you can add your own touch, in the recipe as well as the decorations.

Actually, you can probably make these to fit on a glass of sweet wine as well. Gingerbread would be a great match for a sweet Muscat, a Sauternes, a dessert Riesling or a Macvin du Jura!

My heartfelt thanks to Megan for this great idea and the kind photo permission.
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  1. Wonderful, love the pics of gingerbread houses, you could do them in chocolate...forget I said that...

  2. You know, that was my first thought as well. The chocolate ones would melt on a hot mug, but I bet most wouldn't last long enough to do so.
    Or you could put them on a glass of cold milk =)

    I was thinking the gingerbread houses would look (and taste) really nice with a layer of lemon meringue on the roof. Like an alpine chalet. And the lemon would taste great with the ginger & spices.


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