An up-close fantasy of a window in the Naples gingerbread house.
Have you ever attempted to make a gingerbread house? My family always holds a gingerbread house decorating competition around the holidays, but these oversized gingerbread creations put our icing-spackled sheds to shame. These are gingerbread houses so big you can actually walk inside — or, in some of them, hoist the sails!
All of these gingerbread houses, castles, and ships were created for Ritz-Carlton hotels as centerpieces of whimsy and holiday fancy. They are also an opportunity for their pastry chefs to really show off their creativity and architectural skills! Here's a look at what went into just one of these creations:
• 350 pounds of organic white, brown and confectioner's sugar
• 70 pounds of organic egg whites
• 300 pounds of organic bread flour
• 100 organic eggs
• 24 pounds of molasses
• Four pounds of salt
• Four pounds of baking soda
• 120 pounds of shortening
• 24 ounces of cinnamon
• Two gallons of organic milk
• Eight ounces each of nutmeg, allspice and cloves
• Nine ounces of ginger
Some grinch-type characters might call such a lavish display wasteful, but we think otherwise. There's something magical about stepping into a room with a ship made of gingerbread. It's like Willy Wonka's edible chocolate factory, brought to life in a small way, and that wonder and pleasure is something so rarely encountered in daily life that we applaud it here.
Have you ever attempted a seriously ambitious gingerbread sculpture?
Related: How to Make a Peppermint Gingerbread House
(Images: Courtesy Ritz-Carlton; Doha Ritz-Carlton photo courtesy of Amara Photos)