Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't Eat the Gingerbread House!

Virginia Tech dining services staff members have created a gingerbread house to end all gingerbread houses. It's modeled after Yellow Sulphur Springs, the historic inn and healing spa located in Montgomery County. The inn has existed since the 1700s, and the current standing hotel was built in 1810.
Yellow Sulphur Springs features cold mineral spring flows from a well whose healing powers doctors prescribed to supplement patients' diets. The cake has 225 pounds of royal icing, 162 pounds of gingerbread and five pounds of candy. It weighs close to 400 pounds and sits near Bistro Firenze.

West End's executive chef, Mark Bratton, came up with the idea this fall to build the gingerbread inn and developed a design plan alongside Stephen Garnett, assistant director of West End Market.

"One member helped make icing while others of us worked directly building the house," said Bratton. "Each gingerbread wall and window was measured and cut by hand. Then, it was placed on the frame with the royal icing." Just the piping and candy decorations took three days to prepare. One challenge with building a gingerbread house of this scale is drying time. Gravity has a way of letting us know when pieces can be added."

(Virginia Tech photo.)

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