I did a gingerbread house this year. Placed is on a Lazy Susan and on one side it had a modern scene with a tree and star. On the other side it had a manger scene and the star for the modern scene and the nativity were the same.
The Nativity Side
The Modern Day Side
The family this was made for has a set of triplets with one older brother.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan (see Variation), line with parchment paper and oil the parchment.
Stir together honey, oil, egg yolks, zest, juice and 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger in a medium bowl. Sift whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high in another medium bowl until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir the honey mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until they are well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool completely.
Just before serving, sift sugar evenly over the top of the cake and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Serve with Spiced Orange Compote on the side. Variation: You can use a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe, but you will get a thinner cake. Reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes. You can find 8-inch cake pans at well-stocked kitchenware stores or online at surlatable.com.
To bring an egg to room temperature, either set it out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
Spiced Orange Compote Ingredients
8small oranges, preferably seedless
Use a 5-hole zester to remove zest from oranges into long, thin, spindly strips (see Variation). Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the zest to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small strainer (reserve the cooking liquid). Rinse with cold water; separate and drain on a paper towel.
Stir sugar into the reserved cooking liquid; bring to a simmer. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the sugar water and add the pod along with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Continue to simmer until the sauce reduces to 1/2 cup and thickens slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, slice off an end of each orange so they stand upright steadily. In careful sculpting slices, remove all the remaining peel and white pith from the oranges with a very sharp knife. Slice the peeled oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Remove any extraneous pith or rind and any stray seeds.
Discard the vanilla pod and whole spices. Stir the zest into the sauce. Layer the orange slices in a serving bowl, spooning the sauce between layers to distribute the zest evenly throughout. Variation: If you donâ€™t have a 5-hole zester, use a vegetable peeler to remove long strips of the outer skin (zest) of the orange. Cut the zest into thin slivers.
Wow it has been so long since I posted I'm having the refamiliarize myself with Blogger...not sure that I can even remember how to post a picture to my post here.
This idea originated with another site called "A Field Journal". I loved what I saw there.
But Christmas did findally arrive this year and I got the window decorated. I was really pleased with how it turned out. Here are the pictures: