Lakeland Christmas moulds

Last year I discovered the Fairytale Cottage Mould from Lakeland via an advert in a magazine. Immediately I knew it would be the perfect edible Christmassy project.
I’ve always looked at gingerbread houses before but they always required cutters and seemed to leave such a margin of error in the baking process that I avoided them. The Fairytale Cottage mould caught my eye for a few reasons:
1. It can be made out of gingerbread or chocolate
2. It uses silicone moulds that you just fill up with chocolate or gingerbread dough – no cutters required and no risk of bits being pushed out of shape when transferring them to a baking tray
3. It comes with a recipe for gingerbread and a piping bag for icing
4. It’s just so pretty!
This was my finished house:



I was astounded at just how easy it was to put together and how well everything fit. After I posted it on Facebook a friend went out and bought one too and had similarly great results (both in gingerbread and chocolate).

This year Lakeland expanded on their festive mould range and brought out not the Fairytale Village Mould (which makes two mini versions of the Fairytale Cottage) but also the Santa’s Sleigh Mould (which makes a sleigh and two reindeer). As I already had the big cottage mould, it was the sleigh mould which appealed most. I bought myself a mould and looked forward to trying it out.

As I didn’t get time to try it out before I left London, I brought the mould home with me. On Monday it basically looked like this outside:
So I decided to spend the afternoon melting chocolate to make the sleigh.

Now firstly, you’re going to need a LOT of chocolate for this (900g if you’re doing the whole thing in chocolate, 400g if you’re just doing the reindeer and plan on using gingerbread for the sleigh).

Although the sleigh can be made out of either chocolate or gingerbread, the reindeers can only be made out of chocolate (I ignored the instructions the first time and tried them in gingerbread, but trust me, they definitely don’t work in gingerbread).
First I melted the chocolate over a bain marie. Annoyingly I could only find a tiny saucepan and bowl at my mum’s house so had to do this in stages, one bar at a time.
Then I placed the mould on a flat surface and started filling the different sections with melted chocolate.
Once all the sections had been filled, I put the moulds to one side and allowed the chocolate to set. Once set, it was time to gently remove from the moulds. With the Fairytale Cottage Mould this had been fairly easy as most of the shapes were square and didn’t have fiddly bits. However, this mould proved more tricky and I managed to break an antler, a pair of legs and a sleigh side in the process. As I’d used chocolate I could just re-melt and re-set the broken pieces. So, I started the process again, melting the broken pieces, filling the mould and letting them set.

This time, when it came to removing the pieces from their moulds, I was super careful, paying particular attention to the curly ends of the sleigh and the reindeer antlers. However, despite all of my best efforts, I still managed to break both sleigh sides and a reindeer antler. By this point I wasn’t going to re-do anything so decided to just glue the bits together using melted chocolate.So, I got out my cake board and started using the melted chocolate to glue the sleigh to the board. At this point, I realised that the sleigh and the reindeer weren’t both going to fit on the cake board I’d bought. I should mention that the instructions call only for a ‘cake board’, not a specific size of cake board so I bought one from Sainsburys (the only square sized one they had) when I bought the chocolate. It’s a regular sized cake board, but it won’t fit on two reindeer and the sleigh, as depicted on the front of the packaging.

Frustrated, I covered a serving tray with foil and decided that would be fine (by this point I was about ready to give the whole thing up as a bad job and just eat the pieces, but I was a little too invested and stubborn to give in).

I assembled the sleigh and reindeer according to the instructions (although by this point I’d abandonedΒ all hope of producing something picture perfect). I filled the sleigh with gold-wrapped toffees, added strawberry laces for reins and officially gave up.

Would I recommend the Santa’s Sleigh Mould? Sadly, no. I love Lakeland and their products, but unfortunately this one didn’t quite live up to their usual standards or what I expected having previously made and loved the Fairytale Cottage Mould. I’ll be going back to the Fairytale Cottage Mould next year (which I would thoroughly recommend).