There is a fair amount of work in this giant skeleton gingerbread, but he’s pretty cool so worth every bit of effort. Originally, he was intended to hang but is quite heavy, so we didn’t try.
The .pdf template has been tweaked a little from the one we made for the video, addressing any weak spots that may cause issues. If you can get him (or her) to hang, or even sit up, then brilliant (go you) but just lying down he makes an excellent centerpiece.
Guests can simply pull off a limb as they pass. Unless you have a Tupperware the size of a small coffin (the skeleton stands at about 35 in.) the gingerbread will soften by the time you get to eat it. The ginger taste is so good, and the dough crumbly, that it really does not matter.
If you want to shrink it down a bit then just resize on a photocopier, just take care not to go so small that the smaller bones are too fiddly to work with!
This recipe is courtesy of the Chefs at Rattan Direct.
You Will Need The Following:
- Greaseproof paper
- Colored writing icing
- Black writing icing
- Baking sheet
- Small sharp knife
- Strawberry laces
- Black gel food coloring
- Red gel food coloring
- Green gel food coloring
- Skeleton template downloads
For the Gingerbread
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 1 cup soft brown sugar
- 7 tablespoons corn syrup
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
For the Royal Icing
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 1.Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. TIP if using a squeezy bottle of syrup, apply even pressure and count slowly to 7. That will give you your 7 tbsp.
- 2 Mix the flour with the bicarb and ginger.
- 3 Mix the butter mix into the flour mix and stir until it comes together. Add a few drops of water if it seems dry.
- 4 Put the dough in a plastic bag to cool slightly. It does roll better when still slightly warm.
- 5 Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- 6 Divide the dough in half.
- 7 On a sheet of greaseproof that will fit your tray, roll out the dough to ½ cm.
- 8 Place the template pieces to fit, with space in between, and cut around. Lift off the excess dough.
- 9 Make holes where marked, and also score where the mouth nose and eyes will be.
- 10 Bake for 12 minutes, and leave to cool completely on a rack before handling.
- 11 Repeat until all the parts are cooked and cooled.
- 12 First, you need to create the outlines in black. There must be no gaps, or the next stage of icing won’t work. Let the icing guide you, not the other way around. Don’t forget to go around the holes. Leave to dry for 2 hours.
- 13 Make the royal icing by combining the ingredients in a food processor. That way, you don’t need to sieve the icing sugar. It should be runny enough to flow slightly if left to its own devices, but not so fast that you can’t control it easily. See the video if unsure.
- 14 The next technique is known as flooding. Although coaxing may be a better term, especially for a beginner. Lay a little of the icing in between the black outlines and use the tip of an icing tube to coax it up to the line. Let the icing do the work, just encourage it where it needs to go. Do all the white first.
- 15 Mix a few drops of food gel into the royal icing to make the coloured parts. A tiny bit of green for the bow tie, and a larger amount of black for the hat and holes on the skull.
- 16 Leave to set for 2 hours.
- 17 Create a red outline, and fill with red royal icing for the hat band, once the black layer has dried.
- 18 If you want to, decorate with colored lines and squiggles to create a day of the dead styling. Again, leave to dry for 2 hours.
- 19 Push a skewer through the holes to smooth them out, and tie all the parts together with strawberry laces.
- 20 Job done.