The Festival of Trees in Edmonton is celebrating their 35th year this year and I am so grateful to be able to be a part of it. The passion put into each of these festivals to kick off the Christmas season is evident the moment you step into the building. This will be my second time participating in the Festival of Trees in Edmonton. And wildly enough, this will be my 10th Festival gingerbread build in the 13 years I have been working with these big cookies.
The theme for the Festival this year is The Night Before Christmas. Some years I try and stay within the idea of the theme and other years I just freestyle. I designed my build to stick with theme and titled my entry Not A Creature Was Stirring. I had visions of mice messing with the Reindeer Snacks that were set out for later that night.
The house was a simple design, the original colour was supposed to be burgandy. After unsuccessfully being able to achieve the tone I was wanting and the fondant getting softer after each addition it went into the bin. A quick google search confirmed my suspicions, burgundy fondant is the most difficult colour to create. My next choice was blue. With the black of the roof, fireplace and window boxes I knew the blue would really pop.
I experimented with a new recipe this season to create cool gelatin glass for my windows. With a simple recipe of water, gelatin and colouring you can create a very thin sheet of gelatin with extreme flexibility, like fine paper or go with a thicker sheet that gets very rigid. You can really play with the thickness depending on the planned application for the finished gelatin sheets. The possibilities of what I want to create with this is endless and I am looking forward to playing more with it.
- food colouring
- food scale
- Using a scale measure out 7 grams of gelatin.
- For every 7 grams of gelatin use 3 tablespoons of water.
- Add food colouring to achieve the desired colour.
- Simmer over medium high heat, gently stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour onto a silpat or plastic lined cookie sheet.
- Tilt pan to spread out to desired thickness.
- The mixture dries quickly so if you want to spread it you have to work fast or risk messing up the surface.
- Allow to dry overnight.
- The thinness of the plastic determines the amount of flexibility the final product will have.
- For the most flexible plastic pour the gelatin as thin as possible.
I love the glow that comes from the windows, it looks especially beautiful at night. It almost makes me wish I had one on display in my home. But with 100’s of hours that goes into just one build I would have a hard time just finding the extra time to make one for my family.
In total I made 5 batches of gingerbread, 3 batches of fondant and 6 batches of royal icing. The windows were a lot of trial and error and I ended up making 6 batches until I had the right consistency for the windows.
In numbers of ingredients it looks like:
- 42 cups icing sugar
- 25 cups of flour
- 34 eggs
- 5 cups of molasses
- 5 cups of granulated sugar
- 42 grams of gelatin
- 9 different colours
- 4 types of sprinkles
- 6 ounces of kirsch
- 30 ounces of marshmallows
This years build is valued at $700.00. I am so proud of the thousands of dollars I have raised over the past ten charity builds. It is a passion I will never lose. It’s been suggested I hold a gingerbread class and I think that I would love that. It is definitely under consideration. I look forward to what the next 10 gingerbread builds look like. I was even joking about another go around on the Food Network. That could be fun!
Ten Years of Gingerbread:
This piece was my very first just to learn the craft : Precision Well Servicing Rig #1 2005