We started building this monstrosity the day after Halloween and were finished by Thanksgiving day. This was a project that the Taj Hotel pastry team works on every year for the upcoming holiday season with a new concept each year. With the consensus of the group, we went forward recreating the Boston Tea Party!
Our executive pastry chef, Robert Alger, was the mastermind behind the structural integrity of this project. We started with two pieces of plywood measuring 3 1/2 feet by 8 feet and separated them into two levels to distinguish between the dock and the water. Chef also built edges around the base so we could pour sugar to look like water in the harbor. Once the baseboards were all set, each house and business was measured out and we set to work!
Each person was responsible for designing and constructing at least one house and business. We each picked a concept for the business-cobbler, trading posts, a market, a pub, etc. The design of the houses were up to our discretion except we alternated who was going to build a one or two story house. I ended up having to build 2 houses and a business. We decided that each story of the houses had to measure 5″ and the businesses 7″. I prepared measured templates for each structure and set to work cutting each piece of unbaked gingerbread with an exacto knife and transferring to the oven to bake.
Once the pieces were baked and cooled, I set to work decorating the outsides using fondant, royal icing, gumpaste and gelatin. The gingerbread house as a whole is technically edible although you might break your teeth trying!
This whole project took our team of 6 over 300 hours from start to finish. After pulling my fair share of 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week, I’m glad to say it’s finally over! Our gingerbread is on display in the lobby of the Taj Hotel in Boston at 15 Arlington Street for anyone interested in visiting. I’m definitely proud of our team and feel lucky to have been a part of this whole process.
What do you guys think?? On Tuesday, I have a few music obsessions to share with everyone! Have a great weekend and enjoy your holiday time with family and friends!