The colors that remind me of Mexican buildings are burgundy, deep green, golden orange, and terracotta. After the gingerbread pieces hardened, I flooded the outside walls with thinned royal icing tinted with dark yellow and orange food color. I let the walls sit over night so they could completely dry before continuing.
While allowing the walls to dry, I molded the windows and doors with chocolate candy clay. Candy clay is simply melted chocolate with some corn syrup added to form a clay like texture. It can be rolled out, sculpted and molded and smells wonderful!
Royal icing dries very hard and is the ‘glue’ used to construct gingerbread houses. I used a small amount of dotted on the back of each window and door to hold them into place on the wall.
After the chocolate doors set, I piped white royal icing to on the bottom of the first piece and placed on a foam board. Soup cans, bottles, or whatever else I could find was used to anchor the first piece until dry. Once they were completely dried, I did the same thing with the other three walls and piped a line along the side edges as well.
The balcony pieces were particularly hard in that I had a hard time finding a can tall enough to hold the piece up. Several times during the construction, I had to re ‘glue’ it.
I made these with gumpaste tinted with terra cotta gel food coloring from Americolor. To get the concave shape, I cut them out and let dry on a dowel dusted with cornstarch (so they wouldn’t stick). I had to make a few hundred of these and then stacked them onto a a strip of baked gingerbread.
Green tinted gumpaste was cut out using a leaf fondant cutter. I then cut veins into the leaves with a clay carving knife. To give them a curve, I dried them on a can of vegetable oil spray dusted with cornstarch, so they wouldn’t stick.
It took 12 hours to dry the leaves completely. On wax paper, I put a mound of green royal icing and stuck 4 leaves around it. Small pieces of crinkled tissue paper was used to hold the leaves up to dry. When dry, I put another mound of royal icing on top and stuck 3 more leaves on top and used the tissue paper to prop them out.
The icing for the first row of leaves have to be completely dry before putting on the second. I can’t begin to tell you how many of these palm trees I ruined because I was in a hurry. Also, the second row has to be completely dry too because the next step involves turning them upside down. If the icing or the leaves are not dried hard, they will break when attempting to do this. Turning the leaves upside down, I put another mound of green icing on the bottom and stuck in a pretzel stick. If you pile the icing high enough, the pretzel won’t fall and you can use try to prop the upside down tree against a box to keep it straight.
I found this link here. The grass and flowers were made with pastry tips.
A Mexican hacienda with an Italian flare – Fettuccine. I cut Fettucine to about an inch and painted it brown with watered down food coloring, then glued them into place. A longer piece of fettucine covered the top.
Piroulines are holding up the balcony and gumpaste cut into squares and painted brown were used to tile the ground outside the front door. The finished product: