So you've heard of gingerbread houses but how about a charcuterie chalet!! This clever little house made of salami, prosciutto, dips, cheese and bread is for anyone that loves savoury more than sweet! This is much easier to make than a gingerbread house and I promise that it will absolutely wow your guests. There's no baking required with this charcuterie chalet. This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I love gingerbread houses but this charcuterie chalet is SO much easier. Plus it is the perfect way to serve pre-dinner nibblies at Christmas. Truthfully this is the second charcuterie chalet that I made. I first saw this on Instagram and the person made it using crackers. I was a bit suspicious when she didn't really talk about the construction of the chalet and just skimmed over it. Well I am here to tell you that that is absolute BS that you can make it with crackers unless you are planning to eat it within the hour. Your charcuterie chalet will fall apart if you wait longer because the cream cheese is not like royal icing and moistens the crackers so that there's no structural integrity.
I learned this the hard way when I was trying to make this. I made it a few hours beforehand-it looked magnificent and I was so proud of it only to open the fridge a couple of hours later to take out and find the entire thing collapsed into itself. I actually just looked at it, closed the fridge door, took a deep breath and double checked that my beautiful charcuterie chalet was kaput. The big bad wolf had definitely blown this little piggy's house down.
It was such a cute idea so I couldn't let go of it and I wanted to give it another try. So it was back to the drawing board. I had seen other made of loaves of bread and this seemed like a much better idea. A few days later it was made, it's not super quick as most of the time is spent cutting rectangular pieces of prosciutto for the bricks but it isn't that laborious I promise. I also dug out some bread from the centre loaf and added some dip inside for people so they had a surprise. It was actually so much fun to make and eat and I definitely recommend making one especially if you're feeding a crowd.
I can't believe that we are almost at the end of the year. This year, although better than the previous two has given us challenges with moving house and renovations but as a friend told me, by the time a year will have elapsed after we moved in, the renovations will all have been finished. The kitchen proved the most problematic (I definitely would not recommend that kitchen maker) but the bathrooms which should have been more difficult were made smoother by the presence of our builder Peter who has become like family to us. What a big difference having an honest, knowledgeable builder is to stress levels.
I promised to show you some parts of the renovation and I have some pictures of our downstairs bathroom to show you! We basically moved the kitchen to the large back room of our house and built a bathroom where the tiny kitchen originally sat. As our house is a Federation house we didn't want the downstairs bathroom to look too modern so we referenced the look of the black and white Art Deco Manhattan style bathrooms with black metal trims. We bought some FS Star Spanish floor tiles with an aged look because we wanted them to appear original. Peter installed underfloor heating and a high window that would allow ventilation but also give privacy.
Our vanity is an American oak vanity with a single sink. Originally we were going to go with double sinks but I bought the wrong sinks that were too big (le sigh). Unfortunately the stone mason has made Peter's life measurably more difficult so the stone bench top is coming (soon, we hope). There's a claw foot bathtub with a tap that fills it up quickly. The shower has two heads-there's an enormous 30cm monsoon shower head and a smaller head with two settings, one has a massage setting and the other feels like the lightest rain falling. Peter built us a big niche to place shampoo bottles and the tap to turn on the shower is to one side so you don't get wet when you're turning on the shower.
We wanted to keep the stained glass doors. At first we weren't sure if the green and red would clash with the black and white but they add a nice pop of colour. The glass was originally clear and I used to shower and towel off huddled in the corner of the bathroom hoping that the neighbours wouldn't look out their window at that moment but Peter noticed that it would have been uncomfortable and added a privacy film over it without me asking for him to do it (which is why we adore him, he's always thoughtful).
What was originally a very dark kitchen is now a light filled bathroom. One of the biggest changes to brightening it up was replacing the heavy wooden bathroom door with an opaque glass door which lets in so much light. There are also plenty of lights in the bathroom and LED lights under the vanity. As the bathroom was originally the kitchen there were pantry shelves that we decided to keep because they were well made and having extra storage for things is always handy. The washing machine is hidden in one of these shelves and we are replacing the dark doors with white ones.
There are also some bricks left over from the kitchen's fireplace and Peter suggested that Mr NQN build a pizza oven with these as they're already fired to a high temperature! I may have to give Mr NQN a bit of a break before suggesting that he give it a go!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a gingerbread house sort of person or a charcuterie chalet sort of person?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 7 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Serves: 10-12 people
- 2x mini loaves bread, unsliced (I bought mine from Baker's Delight)
- 650g/1.4lbs cream cheese, softened
- 2x200g/7ozs. dip of your choice
- Crackers for windows
- 160g/5.6ozs sliced pepperoni
- 100g/3.5ozs. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into tiny rectangular pieces
- 150g/5ozs. twiggy stix
- Slice of tasty cheese
- Fresh thyme for decorating
- Rosemary for Xmas trees
- 1 red capsicum
- 1x small pretzel and 3 long pretzels
- 1 small rectangle tasty cheese for chimney
- 100g/3.5ozs bocconcini for snowballs
- Small handful of pepitas
Cutting cavities into the bread
Filling with dip
Step 1 - Firstly take one loaf of bread and place it on a serving board securing it with a dab of cream cheese. With a sharp knife cut out two cavities for dips. Line with foil and then fill with the dips. Take the second loaf of bread and cut out a triangular roof. Place half the cream cheese in a large piping bag and snip the end into a 3/4cm opening. Pipe cream cheese around the edges of the top and affix the roof to the main house.
Adding a roof and securing with cream cheese
Piping cream cheese over the outside
Step 2 - Pipe cream cheese all over the house thinly to make a "crumb coat" to catch the seeds and cover the whole house. Then place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up and then spread another thicker layer of cream cheese on top. If you have a plain loaf you may not have to do this but the only two loaves left were seeded ones which left a lot of seeds visible. Place two crackers as windows and then add the prosciutto bricks making sure to alternating each row like real bricks. Cut the tasty cheese into a rectangle and place on the front of the house. Add straight pretzels around the border of the door and thyme. Place the pretzel on top of the door as a wreath.
Step 3 - Spread cream cheese over the roof and layer with salami pieces. Then place the remaining cream cheese in a piping bag and pipe "snow" on top of the chalet. Place the cheese chimney on top in the snow. Place logs of twiggy sticks on the side of the house. Make a small path using pepitas as "tiles".
Step 4 - Spread cream cheese around the plate with a palette knife to resemble snow. Add bocconcini snowballs and rosemary as trees using a ball of piped crema cheese to stand them up. Make a snowman with three balls of bocconcini a tiny tomato and a skewer and use black sesame seeds for eyes. Slice the red capsicum into a sled shape trimming it back as needed. Slice the yellow capsicum in two long slices and place under the red capsicum sled body and place on the side of the chalet.