Gingerbread Architecture: Incredible AND Edible!
Written By Jean Sexton
Ever since The Inn on Biltmore Estate opened in 2001, its Christmas at Biltmore decorations have included a miniature version of the hotel made from gingerbread. This year, however, Pastry Chef Cheryl Brookhouzen changed things up with her Walled Garden-inspired gingerbread Conservatory!
According to her co-workers, Chef Brookhouzen’s vision and attention to detail make this gingerbread display truly over-the-top spectacular. Special features include rotating Christmas trees in the front and back, a lighted roof and windows, charming animals, and a host of other miniature touches.
“We’ve been doing a gingerbread model of The Inn for nearly 15 years, so I thought it was time to try something new,” said Chef Brookhouzen of her design. “I hope that having something so different will delight our guests and make them interested in seeing what we create next year.”
Gingerbread Conservatory Fun Facts
1. The Conservatory was constructed with the help of 11 members of The Inn’s team, from pastry professionals to engineering, banquet, and purchasing services
2. Chef Brookhouzen baked the gingerbread in large slabs before cutting it into the right shapes
3. The display required 175 pounds of gingerbread dough, 160 pounds of powdered sugar, and more than 15 kinds of candy and snacks such as Kit-Kats, M&Ms, Sixlets, Sour Tape, Hershey’s chocolate bars, pretzels, old-fashioned candy sticks, mint candies, chocolate bears, chocolate caramel balls, chocolate leaves, lollipop trees, and more*
4. The windows and roof are made of poured isomalt sugar
5. The Conservatory shines with 800 white lights
*An additional 4 pounds of candy was consumed by the builders of the Conservatory!