Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Comes to WhoVille

Now that competition season is over, I’m here to offer you an insight into the makings of our “Christmas Came to WhoVille” house.  My lovely partners had a hilarious night of “brainstorming” on the theme of our first competition: WhoVille.  I, unfortunately, left my phone at my sister’s the night before and missed every message regarding the “brainstorming” evening (mostly just drinking wine and eating cheeses).  SOOOO, the creative credit really must go to those two. They wanted an alternative to the boring, overdone though adorable, traditional scene from WhoVille, and came up with a play on words that I absolutely love. We split the houses for baking this year. Steph baked the “Who Dey” house using the humidity proof gingerbread recipe. 

Erin baked “The Who Chalet” using her traditional gingerbread recipe. 

I used the humidity proof recipe for the “Doctor Who’s T.A.R.D.I.S.” and about lost my mind doing so.  The dough was so dry that it would NOT come together. Stephanie had the same problem. We each added more honey and a small amount of water to make it work. I waited to do the curved pieces at Steph’s because they tend to break in transport when they aren’t assembled (Okay, I tend to break them! We’ve already covered that.)
The really cool thing is that we were able to use the baked pieces to curve the gingerbread exactly how it needed to be.
We even trimmed the gingerbread while it was still hot to the exact size we needed.
We bought all our baked pieces to Stephanie’s and proceeded to destroy her kitchen.  I made a batch of marshmallow fondant, a process that will get its own blog post later. We covered each house in fondant this year, a first for the Gingerbuilders. Steph and Erin took some cake decorating classes this fall and learned some useful tips; like mixing fondant with gumpaste to make it dry harder and wearing gloves while coloring fondant to prevent your hands from getting stained.
* Something we learned this year, if you cover the pieces in fondant, you need to allow for the extra thickness of the pieces. I would say it added about a ¼ inch to the thickness. This affected the T.A.R.D.I.S.  construction the most.
We wanted to make a snowy mountain behind the town. 
We went through 4 batches of Rice Krispy treats!
We wanted to use Rice Krispy treats for the Christmas tree in the town center, but we ran out.
 Necessity being the mother of all invention, we mixed shredded wheat with the marshmallow and voila: Christmas Tree!

You may remember the marshmallow in the microwave video we posted a few weeks back. That was from this gingerbuilding day.  We used a few new candies this year, the best and most delicious being Nerd Rope!
 We used Winterfresh gum on the windows of the T.A.R.D.I.S., which had a very intense fresh smell. 

  We made tiny Christmas trees by covering Bugles, of all things, with a leaf tip. It turns out they are not just for making scary fingers and snacking, anymore.

 We used the leaf tip on the big tree, as well. Then, we covered it with tiny candy canes and a melted yellow Starbust star. We used mint lifesavers to create wreathes for our town. 
We love adding little details;
 like a pile of undecorated wreathes and candy canes next to the tree as if the Who’s are still decorating,

 street signs to other towns, 
and a bow tie and fez to our Doctor "Who."

We are really proud of this year’s creation, I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions about materials or methods we used, feel free to comment. Just because Christmas is almost here, doesn't mean we are done until next year. Make sure you subscribe to our blog to hear more of our antics and helpful tips.