I am quite the seasoned gingerbread-house builder, having constructed quite a number over the years. However, I’ve always wanted to progress to using a different medium: chocolate.
So when the lovely Emily of Babkalicious said she had been given a huge block of chocolate, and what should she do with it, I immediately knew what had to be done. One cold and rainy Sunday a few weeks later, we spent a fabulous afternoon building our very own chocolate house.
And here’s how:
You will need at least 500g chocolate, though more is better (the bigger your chocolate house, the better, right?). We used about 650g.
Temper the chocolate and spread on a large piece of parchment paper like so:
After about 20 minutes, once it has set, heat a large, straight-edged knife, and carefully cut out your house shapes using a template (I used this one, but there are hundreds out there). You may need to keep re-heating your knife – if you use water to heat it, make sure it is totally dry when near the chocolate. You could also use the hob or something like a hairdryer.
Once you have all your pieces cut out in chocolate, it’s time for assembly. Choose a plate and start with one side piece and the back of the house. To stick the pieces together, warm an empty saucepan over the stove. Remove it from the heat and turn it upside down. Gently melt the edges of your house pieces on the bottom of the pan, stick together and hold for a minute or two until they are secure. Repeat with all pieces of your chocolate house, leaving the roof pieces until last.
Don’t forget to stick on the door! You could go wild and decorate your house, but we decided that less was more with ours. Try to build your house in a cool room – otherwise it can be easy to mark up your chocolate house with fingerprints (excuse ours – the excitement of it all was too much!).
Overall, a very successful and fairly sturdy, not to mention delicious, building.
Next step: Project Chocolate Castle. With turrets and everything. Oh yes.