We’ve been running the in-house restaurant and coffee shop at Facebook’s London HQ for some time now and we know what a creative bunch they all are.
So we laid on some shamelessly good festive fun to get everyone in the Christmas mood last week with a Gingerbread House decorating workshop.
Our head patissier whizzed up two large gingerbread houses, some smaller ones (cottages, if you like), along with a community of gingerbread men, women and kids.
A quick dash to the on-site Facebook sweetshop to stock up on confectionary, a good few batches of icing made up, and we had all we needed to get started.
Staff and visitors learnt the finer points of decorating and worked together to create some pretty impressive buildings.
We may have lost a fair few gingerbread men on the way (who can resist?) but I’m pleased to say the houses are still standing and have taken pride of place as Christmas decorations in the restaurant.
The tradition of making gingerbread houses at Christmas can be traced to Germany in the early 1880s, probably influenced by the fairytale Hansel and Gretal.
Today, there are kits available in most supermarkets to make at home, but I rather feel this is missing the point.
The whole joy of making a gingerbread house is in starting from scratch – and frankly, there’s nothing demanding about making a simple gingerbread dough.
Sourcing sweets, decorations and embellishments yourself is all part of the fun. And if the whole homemade result is a bit rickety, who cares? If there’s one baking project where the emphasis should be on enjoying the making, this is it.
If you have children in your life, you definitely need to set aside an afternoon to make one this Christmas. But gingerbread houses are most definitely not just for kids.
As our afternoon with the Facebook team showed, making these edible delights can be a real team-building, relaxing and sociable experience.
Whether it’s workmates, family or friends, why not get a group together for a decorating session? Share your results, we’d love to see your creations.