WHEN you think of the smell of Christmas, what comes to mind? Mulled wine brewing on the stove, perhaps, or the sweet scent of pine trees?
One thing’s for sure. The warm, spicy aroma of gingerbread wafting from the kitchen makes a home feel instantly festive.
As fans of the Great British Bake Off will know, it can also be formed into fabulous structures that put your creative skills to the test. Gingerbread Coliseum anyone?
The custom for building gingerbread houses is thought to have originated in Germany, but has taken off in the UK in recent years.
Lakeland, which started selling a gingerbread house kit in 2011, has seen a 38 per cent increase in sales this year.
This year, BBC Good Food Magazine has broken with its usual tradition and featured one on the front of its big festive issue.
“We normally put a cake, a pudding or a turkey on the cover, because they are iconically Christmassy. But we decided to do something completely different this year,” explains editor Gillian Carter. Not only do these sweet structures tap into the key trends for both baking and handmade crafts, but it seems we Brits are keen to take our home-baked creations to a more intricate level as we get more confident in the kitchen.
Ms Carter adds: “It’s also a fantastic Christmassy project for people to do with their children during the holidays. It works for the baker who wants to show they can do fancy stuff and will also hopefully attract parents whose kids want to get involved. The whole family can get together and spend a weekend making it.”