Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Gingerbread Glastonbury.

Being born a few miles from the Pilton site I've always been proud, when living in the area, of having the best festival in the world on my doorstep. Each time I've been leaves so many life long memories of all the bands, comedians, cabaret and theatre acts, and other festival goers. From the deepest, stickiest mud to the hottest, dustiest, heatstroke inducing years, and from camping the full five days, to helping out on the sewage side of things (Imagine being up to the tops of your wellies in human....nevermind) and popping home each night to a nice shower and bed. Glastonbury is the sweetest festival, and so...

Sweet indeed! There must be at least, oooh, 50 calories in this :) Hundreds of thousands of Jelly babies rockin it in front of the famous Gingerbread Pyramid stage. (I think it's Jelly Baby Bloc Party playing, but they've forgotten their instruments. Silly Jelly BabyBloc Party!)

  •  200g butter
  • 85g Caster Sugar
  • 85g Brown Sugar
  • 150g Golden syrup
  • 500g Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp Ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Large egg white
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • Decorations.

  • Make cardboard templates of what you want to build, be it a house, Pyramid Stage, or VW Campervan. I sellotaped mine together first, just to check it all worked.
  • Line enough baking trays with baking paper.
  • Melt the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and syrup in a suacepan.
  • Sift the flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon together. 
  • Add the melted butter mixture and mix well until a dough forms.
  • Flatten the dough ball to 2cm thick, cling film, and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins
  • On a floured surface take some of the dough, or all of it depending on the surface size you have to work on, and roll out to about 5mm thick. Place on the templates and cut out with a knife or roller cutter. Place the cut out gingerbread onto the lined baking trays.
  • Place the trays in the freezer for at least an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/170c Fan/Gas 4
  • Bake the pieces for 12-15mins.
  • When cooked, move the gingerbread on the baking paper to a cooling rack.When cooled stiff, they can be removed from the baking paper to finish cooling.
  • Freezing before cooking helps the gingerbread hold it's shape during cooking but when totally cool you can put the pieces up together to see if there are any areas that have gone out of shape. Any trimming can be done with scissors, gently.
  • Make the 'cement' for the grand design by mixing together the egg white and icing sugar in a bowl. The cement needs to be able to be piped but not so runny that it runs off a spoon. Add more icing sugar if the mix is runny. Place how much you think you may need into a piping bag with a 2-3mm hole or nozzle.
  • Put cement on the edges to be joined and build, build, build. At this point you may need an extra pair of hands or three, or in my case a variety of beer cans a tub of salt to hold sides together until they dry. Vertical or self supporting sides can be left unsupported after about half an hour, just don't breathe on them! Leave the structure to dry overnight. The remaining icing mix needs to be covered, or placed into an icing bag with a small hole/writing nozzle, to stop it drying.

A Naked Pyramid Stage.
  • You will of course now have your decorations ready and an exact plan of what you're doing with them! Haha. Ok, Grab the decorations you have, the smaller ones like little pearlescent balls or choc drops can be attached with a line of icing on the structure, for the larger ones like the smarties, choc buttons I found it easier to apply icing to each sweet and then stick to the build. 
  • For this, I used Curly Wurlys, Chocolate buttons, Jelly Beans, Jelly Babies, Chocolate chips, Smarties, Soft shimmer pearls, Silver shimmer spray for the stage floor, and White Regalice for the pyramid tip. Oh, and some grey Regalice for the crowd's 'Pigeon-on-stick' :)
  • Let your creative juices run wild. There are plenty of Gingerbread House images you can google for inspiration, and have a gander at these beauties!
  • Stare at your creation and go WOW!  Show your friends, this will help them become convinced that you're insane.
  • Eat, though probably not all at once because that would be insane.

Entered in The Great British Baking Club's Gingerbread house challenge, it was a joint winner of 'Most creative interpretation of a Gingerbread house' (I think they made a special category for special entries lol) along with @cakeboule's awesome Gingerbread VW Campervan! :)

I miniaturised myself, jumped in a tiny helicopter and took this footage :)

So, onward to some tunage! Sticking to the Pyramid stage to start with, which I rarely do at Glastonbury, kicking off with the only time I've managed to see Muse do Citizen Erased. It was emotional.

...and then, whilst lots of strange people were sat in a couple of fields watching a game of football, the rest of us were enjoying the delights of Glastonbury, including a bloomin good shout-a-long with the following two...

Not normally my kind of thing but this blew me away! Energy and Soul incarnate! Blasting the Other Stage Janelle Monae - Tightrope

One of the reasons I had to go back in 2010, after a long break, was seeing this on TV. Pendulum, I think, reaching the zenith of their career with their 2009 Glastonbury set. Gives me goosebumps watching this, and I wasn't even there lol. The 2011 Pyramid set just didn't cut it for me. It felt, lacklustre. 
2009 - Pendulum - The Other Stage - Different & Remix of Clavin Harris's I'm Not Alone.

Moving on to the awesomeness of the Theatre and Cabaret @ Glasto

...and finally, Arcadia Spectacular! The South-East doing what it does... (Full screen HD required :) )

And finally, finally! Chase and Status - Sweet Sensation from 2011. THE Biggest set to hit West Holts for, well, ever! :) (Although, I missed a bit due to ambling down from, um, Radiohead in The Park I think (?), and thinking Chase started half an hour after they did lol)

As you can see from the videos, I think I captured the minute details of the Pyramid stage, from the regular June snowfall, right down to the Smarties light system :) Long Live Glasto!

P.S. I'm sooooooo sorry Michael, it was the beer :)

P.P.S. 14/2/12 - A massive thank you! to the wonderful Glasto peeps who have posted Gingerbread Glasto on the Festival Site! I am one big messy grin! 

P.P.P.S. 20/2/12 - He's gone home! Have a lovely long life at Worthy Farm sweet gingerbread child of mine :)


  1. Lovely a thing of amazement to stand in awe of, I loved it! x

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you love it :)

  3. wow muse and an amazingly aesthetic gingerbread in one post - who could wish for more - the candyman is wasted!!! well done Dave - did you eat it all yourself or donate it to your local childrens home?
    When u gonna start selling this stuff on the net - i need presents for a load of family next xmas= brownies or gingerbread would be nice

  4. It is difficult not using Muse for each post :) The what to do with it afterwards bit still hasn't been addressed lol Soon I start eating the crowd one by one I think, finishing it all around late June.
    You've got my order hotline number for next xmas :)

  5. this is really cool

  6. i think this a good idea for school projects and i wondered if it was hard to make and what all you need to complete these!!!!

  7. Hi and thanks Maddi :) I think gingerbread creations are perfect for school projects, straight forward easy to purchase ingredients, basic baking utensils, and you can make whatever you want with it, and make it as easy or difficult as you like, from a simple box house to a big fancy castle. Just make all the shapes you need with cardboard and use them to cut out the gingerbread shapes. The traditional gingerbread houses are usually made for Christmas time so it's a good project for then. :)