CEN­TRE OF AT­TEN­TION

Food - - Contents -

An ed­i­ble ta­ble cen­tre­piece

Ed­i­ble ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions not only look the part and pro­vide a talk­ing point, they have the added ad­van­tage of pro­vid­ing some­thing for your guests to nib­ble on if you are de­layed by a dis­as­ter in the kitchen. Our favourite fes­tive cen­tre­piece is this Ginger­bread For­est, which is sim­ple to make and some­thing you can in­volve the kids in cre­at­ing.

1

Use the dough in the recipe for our Ginger­bread House Cook­ies on page 70. Make it up to step 4, then roll out to 5mm thick. Lay 3D tree sten­sils on dough and cut around with a sharp knife. For the minis, use a cookie cut­ter, then trim off tree trunks and cut in half top to bot­tom. Place on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick pa­per and chill for 30 min­utes, be­fore bak­ing shapes in a pre­heated oven at 170ºc for 15 min­utes un­til golden and firm. While still warm, use a sharp knife to re­trim the slots in the large trees as there will be spread. Al­low to cool com­pletely.

2

Make frost­ing by whisk­ing 1 egg white un­til foamy but not stiff, then adding ¾ tea­spoon of cream of tar­tar; beat un­til stiff. Add 1-2 cups of ic­ing sugar, a lit­tle at a time, mix­ing well af­ter each ad­di­tion to make a stiff paste.

3

To as­sem­ble, slide the large 3D pan­els to­gether, shav­ing the slots with a sharp knife if tight. For the minis, join 2 cut edges to­gether with frost­ing, place a third at a right an­gle to the join. When firm, po­si­tion a fourth on the op­po­site side, se­cured with frost­ing. Brush edges of trees with liq­uid glu­cose or sugar syrup, and pour over sprin­kles. Spread frost­ing on plate to re­sem­ble snow, then dust with ic­ing sugar be­fore plac­ing trees in po­si­tion. Dec­o­rate with added lol­lies, if de­sired.

Snowy Ginger­bread For­est

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