Some people make gingerbread houses for the holidays. Others use gingerbread to build life-size replicas of classic race cars. We’re not saying one activity is better than the other… but we’re also not not saying it. When it comes to having that festive spirit, the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs definitely takes the cake.
Adam Thomas, the executive baking and pastry chef of the luxury hotel, enlisted the help of the hotel’s lead carpenter, John Brett, to bring a gingerbread replica of the 1918 Pierce-Arrow Touring Car to life—with Santa behind the wheel, of course.
“We start conceptualizing in August, and [Brett] starts building a frame in the beginning of November,” Thomas tells Popular Mechanics. “Then we start baking and casting chocolate at the same time [and] try to have it completed and available for viewing prior to Thanksgiving.”
Thomas estimates the massive structure weighs “a couple thousand pounds,” and says it measures 14 feet in length and stands six feet tall and six feet wide. The Broadmoor staff made the gingerbread car in tribute to the Broadmoor Special, a race car modified at the behest of the hotel’s founder, Spencer Penrose.
Back in the 1920s, Harry McMillen and Angelo Cimino, Penrose’s chauffeur and the Broadmoor’s master mechanic at the time, respectively, souped up the touring car and turned it into a roadster. After modifications, the roadster competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and placed fourth in 1926 and again in 1930.
The hardest part about building the gingerbead car was staying true to the scale and curvature of the original model, Thomas says.
“We have done much larger pieces in volume with larger pieces of gingerbread that were straight and square. Figuring out how to keep the flow and design of the car without making it look too gingerbready,” he adds.
To scale the car parts, Thomas and Brett collaborated on research and Brett built a wooden frame that would eventually be “100 percent covered in gingerbread, fondant, chocolate, cookies, and candy.”
It also helped that the car was on site at the Penrose Heritage Museum, where it’s permanently on display for visitors to see.
While Thomas says the structure is “vegan, keto, and calorie-friendly,” if you look at the ingredient list below, you’d probably want to stick to a smaller piece:
🎄 375-lbs All Purpose Flour | 482-lbs Sugar | 425 Whole Eggs | 700 Egg Whites | 200-lbs Brown Sugar | 100-lbs Honey | 8-lbs Salt | 47-lbs Molasses | 412-lbs Butter | 2-lbs Yeast | 1-lb Activated Charcoal | 1-lb Baking Soda | 1.3-lbs Baking Powder | 6-lbs Secret Holiday Spice | 300-lbs Dark Chocolate | 100-lbs White Chocolate | Plus 10-lbs of of joy and 3-lbs of holiday cheer 🎄
From: Popular Mechanics
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