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Posted: 1/2/2022 at 5:56 PM
I thought I would do something Sylestia-based this time :)
Those who know me well may remember me saying that I do not kill the enemies I merely knock them out. After all, they always seem to come back. If we can recover then why shouldn't they? Anyway, as something of a pacifist, I am very concerned about their spouses and their children. And when we run off with their clothes where do they keep their spare outfits?
It only stands to reason that they must have houses somewhere in Sylestia - a safe place where we can't go. So this year I am making a small village or hamlet where Captains, Menders and Brigands etc. live when they are not fighting. It is hidden somewhere in the Lost Grove.
First I gathered all of the ingredients:-
Cutting out some of the pieces ready for baking :-
First house in place - looks bigger than I thought. This may end up as a small section of the village rather than the whole settlement! It was not the best place to take the picture but the royal icing had not hardened so I didn't dare move it.
First house almost finished and ground floor of the second in position.
Three buildings, four homes :)
More to follow
Edited By Falkinsey on 1/12/2022 at 4:40 PM.
Posted: 1/5/2022 at 3:39 PM
i love your house
Posted: 1/5/2022 at 3:45 PM
Thank you so much! ^^ I just need to find time to add the finishing touches :")))
Posted: 1/9/2022 at 10:34 PM
Posting attempt 2, lets see if i remember to press post this time >.< Had a few designs I wanted to do, but at the end of the day had to tell myself 'Keep it simple, stupid', and decided to go with The Howling Pass house design. Fun Fact - this is actually the first Gingerbread house I've ever made! It's just not an Australian thing to do, it being summer and all.
Ingredients mixed and into the fridge it goes!
Next day - dough rolled, pieces cut, now into the oven! Rolled in cocoa powder on the chimney pieces to make them darker
Oops! Nearly burned but they are okay!
Waiting for the decoration to dry before assembly
Disaster strikes! A roof piece broke so had to quickly bake a new one while I built the rest. At least I had something to nibble on while I worked
Finished piece with all the decorations in place! My real life lupora Saber seems to approve, sorry pupper but I don't think all the sugar is good for you
Posted: 1/15/2022 at 11:07 AM
Gingerbread House 2021: "Fairy Christmas To You"
Hello once again, my dear friends! This year I decided to bring to life my favorite in-game location: Fungus Grove! Brightly-colored mushroom homes of the (mostly) friendly fairykind. What could go wrong?
This year's process begins with organizing the supplies I've gradually accumulated, and also buying new ones. Can you ever have too many types of sprinkles? I think not.
Every home should have a good foundation. this years' is a nice sturdy posterboard with some layering of foam and cardboard for bonus terrain variation. It's all smoothed down with tissue paper.
Shoutout to my happy little helper here. He likes boxes.
I decided to actually make gingerbread for the first time.. ever! in my life! Well, sort of. This recipe swaps out the molasses and brown sugar for honey. I guess that makes it honey bread?
I ended up making two batches, one with molasses (but not the brown sugar) and one with honey; to test which would be more stable after baking. These are the base structures for mushroom houses. The dome shape is dough that had been rolled flat and draped over a very oiled bowl and it's meant to be the top of a house, and the two cylindrical shapes are stems.
I found the honey dough to be slightly easier to work with, and made the rest of the mushroom house parts out of it. The round, flat things are "flooring" between mushroom stem and cap. At this point, I don't remember why I cut extra holes in them, as they didn't really serve any purpose. Maybe I meant for them to be extra entrances/exits. These had to be rather thick so they could support the weight of the mushroom caps, and sized just smaller than the widest part of the caps.
Here's a good reason to have different-colored doughs: fancy fairy doors! Three houses, three doors!
While the house-shapes baked, I made an edible glue. It's Tylose powder boiled in water. The result is a slightly sticky gel that will eventually dry hard.
That gel glue won't be strong enough to keep my houses together, we need icing too! No real eggs this year - I found meringue powder!
Securing the mushroom stems to the base, and the doors/top-floors to the stems.
Painting the mushroom stems white with melted chocolate. A couple of layers gives a lovely texture.
I made an air-drying dough out of already-made cookies and xanthan gum to create non-structural embellishments - pretty leaves and some small mushroom tops. I didn't use the steak sauce, and didn't even know that was there until looking at this picture now.
More embellishments! These are the honey dough. It makes smoother-looking mushrooms. It's good to have both, I've seen both looks in real mushrooms!
There must be some magic in the air. Or in the dough. It's making the fondant fairies appear. You see her too, right?
I had to stop for a bit to let the icing dry completely, but once it did, it was time to start the interior decorating for each of the three houses, using either colored icing or melted chocolate. This house is for napping on moss beds, with blankets made of fondant and crushed sprinkles for "sweet dreams". The stem part was also "glazed" with some of that tylose glue I made earlier, colored green, for an extra-mossy look.
I decided to fully embrace the rainbow and spend a silly amount of time plucking individual sprinkles out of a container with tweezers to make this carpet.
Oh! It seems to have been worth it.
I wonder if fairies get confused at all about the designs of human houses.
I went with a nice sky-theme for this mushroom house, and mixed some "dazzle dust" into the chocolate for extra sparkle.
Oh, hey there little guy! That house has an occupant, but I just finished the blue-sky mushroom house, how about moving into that one?
Look to the edge of the X-Acto knife to see some chocolate-on-fondant artwork. Super tiny, super cute.
Ah, there you go. Home sweet home.
Making the flat pieces on top of the three mushroom houses slightly smaller than their caps lets the edges of the caps slightly overlap and form a base for the gills, which i sculpted with the air-drying cookie dough and a hair tie.
Once I was sure the gills would hold the caps and cap-bases together and nothing would slip around, it was decorating time! Super magical mushroom houses must be super fancy. Blue mushroom house got a coating of chunky raw sugar and two kinds of sugar pearls. I decorated it section by section to make sure the icing would stay tacky enough to catch the sugar i sprinkled onto it.
Mossy mushroom house already looked a lot like a tree so I went for the Christmas flair.
I thought this mushroom had the shape of an ice cream scoop, and now it has the decorations to match. Each house-cap and house-stem has a little window in it so you can peek inside.
Terrain-building! Three colors of chocolate, butter cookie creekside crumbs, and a glossy glaze of tylose gel. It took a few days for the gel to fully dry.
Baking a few more mushroom caps, bits that will eventually make a bridge, and some fenceposts.
Fungus Grove demands by name, well, a fungus grove! I baked many a mushroom cap, and "glued" them to various stem materials (pretzels, spaghetti, rolled gingerbread) with melted chocolate. Some of them I had to hold until the chocolate hardened enough to keep shape. Slippery devils.
I also iced this arch. Can you tell what it says? If not, maybe you should brush up on your ancient faerune. :)
Mushrooms of many colors! Colors! Colors!!! Co- oh, what's this?
It's a.. rabbigator! I guess the fairies can share their homes with some very strange creatures. I wouldn't get too close, he might get "hopping mad".
Adding more color to the leaves with icing~
Mixed rice, tylose gel, and green food coloring together to make a layer of bright green grass.
I've never tried to bake icing before, but decided to give it a shot for a chance to make colorful butterflies and stepping stones.
Here's where those fenceposts ended up. I also painted the door with some of the icing. I had /so many paintbrushes/.
Rainbow doors invite rainbow plants. It's a baked gingerbread rose, dipped in sprinkles.
Peekaboo! Flashlight in one hand, camera in the other.
I can't not make at least one bread-based thing per project. These are bits of hotdog bun, shaped into sweet treats to entice more fairy visitors. I don't think I'm going to be able to explain to my family why one of the hotdog buns in the package is missing a piece, though.
Visitors in progress. They'll get outfits painted onto them with chocolate.
The stepping stones and butterflies are done baking! They ended up being about the texture of potato chips, but icing. Super fragile, but so pretty. The butterfly wings are held together by a "body" of piped black chocolate. They live in the mossy mushroom and bring creatures proper healing sleep.
I brought out the red and green fondant to make a few more mushrooms. I had to hold my X-Acto knife in the candle flame to cut up a long strip of piped white chocolate, to make their stems.
I saved part of the posterboard to use as a backdrop! The first layer is a flour and water mixture, colored blue and green, and the mushrooms are icing. It was fun channeling my inner Bob Ross.
Sugarwork! I got to try pulling sugar for the first time instead of just pouring it. I'm not sure why it turned green, though. I blame the magic.
Mushrooms need nice thick chunky dirt, so I baked the soul out of some brownie mix. I didn't need to add the oil or egg the recipe calls for, only water, so it was more the consistency of lava rocks. Crunchy.
More fairy friends!
I ended up adding sprinkles to the background mushrooms too. Sprinkles for all!
After such a very long time, the 2021 Gingerbread House: Fungus Grove Edition is complete! I had so much fun honing old skills and developing new ones as the complexity of my projects increases with each new year. Can't wait for the next one!
Rabbigator and Mooseshroom say goodbye!
Posted: 1/16/2022 at 12:26 AM
Aww look at Dimi's little paintings :D!! This is so cute, I would love to explore a Fungus Grove like this
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