“ Brand: Dr Oetker / Type: Cakes „
When my nieces were over last Christmas eve, I wanted to help my sister get them into the Christmas mood. To help us do this, we danced around the kitchen listening to Christmas songs and brought this ginger bread house kit - it wouldn't be Christmas without one!
The packaging is quite typical to Dr Oetker, which isn't a brand I have really used before but it was the only ginger bread house kit available. The box is light blue (the sky) with white snow and snowflakes around a picture of the finished gingerbread house. Obviously you don't have to make yours look exactly like this but its always a nice touch. The box has all ingredients and nutritional information on it, along with a list of the things you get inside the box. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we didn't need any other ingredients - although we did buy icing sugar so it looked like the house had been snowed on.
The ginger bread house comes in pieces so you do not need to actually make the house from scratch - just put it together. There are instructions on how to assemble your house and if you use the front of the box, it is pretty easy to follow. I made the house before the girls got to my house and just let them decorate as knowing how clumsy they are - the house would of been broken before it was made!
Once put together with icing, you can follow more instructions on how to decorate your house. Inside the box is smarties (but a different brand not the original ones you see in the supermarket), jelly diamonds and marshmallows. We did buy silver icing balls and a Barbie decorating set which had pink glittery things in it to make the house more girly.
The pack is good as it contains a big enough icing tube for you to be able to glue the house together and stick on all your decorations. Ours did end up being so covered you could not even see the gingerbread 'roof' at all! They also got some sylvanian family squatters for the brief time before it was eaten.
Decorating the house proved to be loads of fun for my two nieces (Who were at the time, Olivia 6 and Evie 2 - now obviously a year older). My sister and I were a little hesitant to let little Evie use the kit but she was absolutely fine as long as she was monitored. Its quite a good idea as I don't like letting them near an oven and making cakes from scratch makes an absolute mess. This just leaves you with a sticky table and sweets everywhere which isn't too hard to tidy up.
The box says it should take 45 minutes to do the house, I think ours took a little longer. This was purely down to arguments about who was doing what to the house. In the end they had a roof side each to decorate but then moaned about who's side was better).
About 2/3 days later we ate the house which was absolutely yummy! The ginger bread was very crunchy and gingery, which is exactly how I like it. It did not dry your mouth out although it was quite hard to bite off. I am not a huge fan of sweets so I ate the flooring to the house rather than the roof, but the girls didn't seem to complain while chomping their way through lots of sugary goodies! I would however, advise you eat the ginger bread house within a week as the ginger bread will go soggy and go off quickly. We kept ours in a plastic cake box on the kitchen counter so it stayed on display but stayed fresh!
When I brought the kit, I was half expecting it to be rubbish and taste horrid, but in fact it was really nice and such a good activity to do with the girls. They normally get bored at Nanny's house because we don't have many toys so this was perfect (it also stopped them peeking at all of their Christmas presents which is a bonus!). I have since looked on the Dr Oetker website and discovered they do many kits for Christmas and other holidays which look lots of fun!
Our kit cost £2 from Asda, but it can be brought in most super markets at a similar price. It is very good value for money!
ALLERGY ADVICE: Contains gluten, milk, eggs and a trace of nuts.
Having read a (mostly) good review on here previously, I had always wanted to give this kit a go and so, when I saw it in Sainsburys this week, a left-over from xmas stock no doubt, for the paltry sum of 50p, I decided to pick one up! All I can say is I am glad I didn't pay much more!
The Gingerbread House comes in 5 bits; already cooked, you get two side walls, a base and a front and back piece also. There is a section on the front piece that can be cut out to make a door and this is easier than it sounds as the gingerbread didn't crack or split as I thought it might when I first applied the knife!
As well as the gingerbread, you are also supplied with a tube of icing and a small selection of sweets that include baby smarties, jelly tot decorations and mini marshmellows. Trust me, if you do this with your kids keep them out of the way as they seem to disappear fast!
The instructions for construction are supplied on the rear of the box and are relatively easy to follow and straight forward so that is all good! What is not good is the icing!
Firstly, to my mind, you don't get quite enough! As you apply it to the walls to act as a glue to hold the whole thing together, it seems to dry out very quickly meaning you have to be swift to put it all together! And also that you have to use more than was probably intended!! This left us with very little to decorate the sides of the house meaning I had to quickly make up some more! Fortunately we had some icing sugar in stock so this did not tsake long but I felt cheated both that I had to and also that my icing was better than the one supplied!!!
The sweets are quite nice to eat, about the same as any other sweets of a similar persuasion, but my second critique comes with the taste of the gingerbread! We ate some of this the same night we had made it and I personally found it a bit stale and not at all as I might have expected it to! As a chef, I have made my own gingerbread on numerous occassions and it always tastes, and lasts, a lot better than this! For me, the ginger was not overly strong and quite mild by comparison to how I would normally have it but the texture was a little like cardboard!
It tasted a bit better two days in and a little less cardboardy but still I was less than impressed. I had not bought one of these before, both because I had not seen a Dr.Oteker branded house before and because the ones I had seen were always quite pricey for what they were! At 50p, this was a bargain but tasted cheap and was something of a disappointment on all accounts! Also the end result was really not worth the amount of effort I had to put in trying to get the icing to hold everything together and though the house was
aesthetically pleasing in the end, the taste did not match up!
If you see it cheap, you might consider this product but I wouldn't be spending too much money on it and it looks a lot better than it tastes! Maybe this Xmas I will spend a little more and get a more expensive and hopefully better constructed version!
As my son is now three I wanted to involve him in preparations for Christmas as much as possible and with the recent snow also needed to find some way to occupy my son for the week. Whilst at Home bargains I spotted a Dr. Oetker Gingerbread House Kit for £1.59 and decided it would be a great way to fill some time and create some festive activities. My son also has a bit of an obsession with Gingerbread men so the house follows on from a familiar Theme for him.
The Gingerbread house claims to have all you need to create your Gingerbread house and requires no cooking. The House comes in four pieces of cooked Gingerbread, with different kinds of sweets, a tube of decorating icing and marshmallows. It also claims to have no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours, flavourings or artificial sweeteners.
The building and Decorating
The instructions are on the box and divided into two stages building and decoration:
To build you have to first cut out a doorway if you choose to. It can be left in one piece but I decided to give it a go. It was quite tough and I cut through with I knife. I felt constantly anxious that I was going to split the gingerbread house but this didn't happen. Then after massaging the tube of icing you cut the top off and then simply use it like glue. This for me was the big failing of the product as it simply didn't seem sticky and failed to hold everything in place and while I was getting very frustrated it was becoming a less than enjoyable experience. I got another tube of shop brand icing sugar I had in the cupboard and found this was far better and effectively stuck the house together. The house has four sides and does look more like a tent than a house. The house once assembles did look good.
Next job I put a string of icing sugar along the top of the house and my son lined up the marshmallows along the roof. To decorate with the other sweets I continue using the other icing sugar which although it was blue still looked quite festive. The Sides all have pin holes evenly located so it made it easy simply to add a dot of icing sugar in an even[pattern and my son to place a sweet of his choice on the house. We had a few marshmallows left at the end which I made a little log pile with and we used a sweet for the doors handle.
We took it into the lounge and I told my son we needed to leave it for Santa to see and then we could have it for breakfast Christmas day. The Gingerbread house really did add to the atmosphere in the living room however when I went to the kitchen to prepare tea I did return to find the sweets had all disappeared. So the following day we redecorated with a packet of dolly mixtures and we stored it on the window in the kitchen to save it for Christmas day. On the second decoration attempt we also added chocolate coins as a path which looked quite effective.
The taste test
I can make no comment on the original sweets as I never sampled a single one although my son was clearly very impressed. The gingerbread did seem quite stale after 4 days on the windowsill but wasn't the ginger taste wasn't so overpowering that it was too strong for children. It was a little too crunchy on the outside but still soft in the centre. I do think if it had been prepared closer to Christmas then it would have been delicious.
If you want to know each 100g of this product contains 360kcals but this clearly is not a food you would be eating to try and diet .It is a treat for Christmas.
I do think this is a great kit and I would purchase another next year but I wouldn't assemble it until Christmas Eve and would also ensure I had an additional tube of icing sugar in case of a repeat problem form this year.
These kits were £4 originally £4 in Asda but are now reduced to £2 and if you haven't made one this year I would recommend them as an activity to occupy the children and something fun to eat.
It's snowing outside, and I am holed up inside my nice warm house, with the whole family. The trouble is, trying to keep kiddies entertained when you can't go out anywhere can be a bit of a nightmare. Thank goodness I had bought the Dr Oetker Gingerbread house kit for just such an occasion! I usually consider these kits a bit pricey, as they tend to retail around the £5 mark, but luckily for me, they were on offer for £2 from Asda this week.
When the kids saw the box, they were really nagging me for a chance to build this kit, and rightly so! The picture on the box looked absolutely stunning, an immaculately decorated gingerbread house covered in an assortment of colourful sweets. I was just hoping that our efforts would create something resembling the picture on the pack!
As I have bought home baking kits before, I was expecting to have to make the gingerbread myself, and there is not much indication on the box that this is not the case, apart from some small writing that says "just assemble and decorate". I must admit though, that I was quite relieved to open the box and discover that the gingerbread pieces that form the house were all ready to be assembled. At least that gave us some chance of getting a good result! The kit also contained a tube of decorating icing and some jelly diamonds, small smartie type sweets and some mini marshmallows.
Assembly was really straightforward, and me and my daughter had no problems sticking the pieces together to make the house. The kit includes a flat square gingerbread base, two triangular end pieces and two regtangular side pieces, that slope up to form a roof, as you can see in the picture above. I was expecting it to be difficult getting the pieces to stick together, but the icing supplied in the tube made a remarkably strong "glue", which held our pieces together perfectly. It was then a case of dotting bits of icing onto the pre marked spots on the walls of the house, and adding sweets to the icing. The kit provided an ample amount of icing and sweets to do the job well and really cover the house in yummy goodies!
I have a couple of gripes with the kit though. Firstly, as the pieces had been pre cut, I would have expected them to slot together perfectly, but actually, we ended up with a bit of a gap in the centre of the roof. Although we decorated it with marshmallows, there was still a considerable gap left. Secondly, I would have liked the decorating icing to have included some nozzles. Usually this kind of icing has interchangeable plastic nozzles that you can use to form different effects with the icing, but none were supplied with this kit, leaving us to apply the icing directly from the tube. Obviously, using a nozzle would have created a more professional looking finish, and it would not have cost the manufacturer much to have included at least one in the kit.
Despite those minor setbacks, the house looked really fantastic when we completed it, and we were very proud of it, taking photos of it in all its glory. This house would make a really great centerpiece to a party table, and is a lot of fun to make.
What about eating it? Well, although the end pieces are suitable to eat in one go, the large sides are a bit big and need to be cut into halves or thirds before eating. The pieces are not very easy to cut, and it is easier to score them with a knife and snap them apart. The gingerbread itself is slightly chewy, but does not have a very strong gingerbread flavour. The addition of the icing and sweets make it a bit sickly, even for me, and the kids had trouble finishing their pieces. For really gorgeous gingerrbread, I recommend the gingerbread men from the Sainsburys bakery. They have a perfect texture, and a lovely warm ginger taste. Much better than this, which despite its good looks, didn't have that authentic homemade gingerbread flavour.
The house has no hydrogenated fats, artificial colours, flavours or sweetners, and for allergy sufferers to note, contains gluten, milk, soya and egg.
I'm not sure I would buy this house again, especially if it was at the normal price. I would prefer to buy or bake my own gingerbread men and decorate them with icing and sweets. Still, as a table decoration, or as a way of decorating kids on a cold, snowy day, the gingerbread house is a special family treat that gave us a lot of enjoyment.
After going shopping yesterday, and my kids actually behaving themselves (yes, these trips are usually unheard of!), I decided to treat them to a baking set, or something of that ilk!
After perusing the usual favourites, with these usually being the chocolate muffin or Spongebob Squarepants cake sets, the product I will now review for you jumped out at me....well, I say jumped, more threw itself at me, courtesy of my son Connor!
The product in question is - "Dr Oetker - Christmas gingerbread house kit".
The ingredients come within a rather large box, with a very intimidating looking fully decorated house pictured on the front, I was initially worried that this maybe out of my creative expertise, but thankfully spotted that this is a "assemble and decorate edible project, ok, that I can cope with!
Within the box there are five panels of gingerbread, one for a base, and the rest for the sides of the house.
Also included are various types of decorative sweets, chocolate beans, marshmallows, jelly triangles and a large squeezy tube of white decorative icing, this is of course used as the cement for this project.
The only adult help the child may need for this is the door cutting, which can be done on either of the triangular sides, but must be done carefully as a reasonably sharp knife will be needed to achieve this.
My kids decided not to bother with the door, with my daughter quite rightly stating that she will assemble this, decorate it then eat it within a reasonably short space of time, so any more prettying up of the project would be pretty pointless....yes, she is my mini me!
The first problem my daughter encountered was the actual assembly, with the sides pretty much refusing to stay cemented together with the ever increasing amounts of icing, though after some carefully thought out input from me (and two tins of beans!), the sides finally decided they were happy to stay cemented together, well long enough to be decorated anyway!
To decorate my daughters artistic flair came out, and she was happy enough to stick sweets onto the house in flower patterns and swirls, and these did really look lovely, that was until she caught her brother round the other side of the table picking them off and eating them, so after they fell out and had to be separated (This took about 10 minutes, ample time for the icing to start hardening!), the house was assembled and ready to eat!
We literally took a side each and left the base for my husband (who later informed me that he didn't like gingerbread, so we shared that too!).
The icing by this time had dried and gone extremely brittle, so as soon as it was bitten into fell off the sides and flaked all over my floor, not a good start, but did taste really nice!
The gingerbread was quite substantial and really chewy, with the taste being very gingery and very much like leibkuchen, (German ginger biscuit/cakes), nice and tasty with a slight spicy warmth to it, extremely festive in my opinion.
There is little nutritional information on this product with this being -
Per 100g as prepared,
Allergy advice states that this product contains gluten, milk, soya and egg.
Price wise I purchased this from my local Asda for the slightly reduced price of £3.00, which for how long it took them to assemble really wasn't worth it, though from an eating point of view was a bit more justified.
For more information visit - www.oetker.co.uk
This as a nice enough novelty festive product, that would have been more suited as a centre piece to a Christmas table rather than something to just make then immediately eat!
Thanks for reading x
I love messy times with my twins, that includes painting, playing with sand and water and even making cakes so when my eyes were drawn to a lovely baby blue box on Sainsburys shelves I had to have a look and was soon pleased that it was in a fact a gingerbread house kit.
Dr Oetker's Christmas Gingerbread House Kit comes in a, as I've said, baby blue box, quite a large one in fact with a white snowy floor with a decorated gingerbread house on the front. The front of the box informs us that No other ingredients are required as everything is inside the box and that one box makes 1 Gingerbread house. Also on the front we are told that this contains;
*No hydrogenated fats
*No artificial colours
*No artificial flavours
*No artificial sweeteners.
The back of the box tells us that the activity time of making this house is 45mins and we have 2 step circles of instructions to follow.
Step 1 is the circle telling us how to build it and step 2 is the circle guiding us through decorating.
The box contains 3 packs of sweets including jelly diamonds, marshmallows and mini smartie sort of sweets. It also includes a pack containing gingerbread shapes and one large tube of decorative icing.
The instructions on the back are simple and easy to follow but even just by looking at each of your gingerbread pieces and the picture on the front of the finished house you can sort of see where each piece has to go. It is a little tricky at first trying to get the pieces to stay together whilst building your house, as the icing doesn't always squeeze out and not all pieces stick thanks to this minor problem. It can be helped though if you have a play with the tube beforehand squeezing it etc whilst the lid is still on to warm the icing up a little as this may help produce a steady flow of icing when you do get around to using it. The icing is what's used to stick each piece together as once it's set it holds the gingerbread in place steady, and sturdy, although don't try test it by dropping it on the floor of course as it's just a cake afterall and it will break lol!
When it comes to decorating your house you have to use the icing again to stick the sweets on and the join the edges of your house just to make it look 'pretty'. It does give you an idea on the box from the picture on how to decorate it but you could plaster it with sweets and icing anyway you want - creating alot of messy fun for the children of course!
Ours was a bit of a rushed job and took nowhere near 45 mins to complete I think it would only take you that long if you were really putting all your effort making it really good. Because I rushed also I didn't stick each piece together properly with the icing but after squeezing the icing out afterwards it tidied the 'look' up a bit. After me and the twins decorated it with sweets and allsorts I have to admit it did look really good, and they had great fun splodging icing all over it and splattering sweets in random places to make our little house. It is a great activity for kids to do something different to the normal fairy cakes anyway. One thing I would say though is maybe purchase another tube of icing to help with the sticking of the pieces together and sticking the sweets on as I struggled with the sweets at the end to get them all on as there was hardly any icing. The joining of the pieces is what takes the majority of the icing and then the lining of the joins to.
So after all our hardwork and dedication on our Gingerbread house, I suppose you're wondering how it tasted?
Well it was in fact really tasty!
The gingerbread pieces were thick, chunky, moreish and gingery alot better than I expected, they had a little crunch from the outside but as I bit into the middle they softened slightly, a few enjoyable textures that's for sure. The sweets around the outside not only made the look colourful but it coloured the textures whilst eating it too, Squidgy marshmallows, crunchy shelled chocolate and jellified sugary sweet bits too. The icing was thick, smooth and sweet and blended lovely with the ginger biscuit. I was quite surprised it tasted so good I was expecting it it to be one of those box kits you buy that are great fun to make but tastes revolting but this was great fun to make and tasted delicious.