PHOTOS & VIDEOS
The Gingerbread of Notre Dame
Not every gingerbread house is a cute little cottage with a gumdrop roof. Some stand taller than your kitchen table and have details so small, you have to look close to see them. This holiday season, artist Jennifer Roth has brought the majestic Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris, France, to her home in New Jersey. Using over a hundred pieces of homemade gingerbread, Roth has created winter magic of her very own. Check out the slideshow to see how this sugary baked treat becomes a work of art.
Roth first builds a cardboard model to visualize the cathedral's structure. The cardboard pieces are used as templates to bake gingerbread cookie pieces. For Notre Dame, more than 100 pieces were required to finish the structure.
Once the gingerbread dough has been cut to the same size as the cardboard pieces, it is time to bake. Roth lays out each separate piece on a baking sheet to make sure it is the proper shape and size. Once the gingerbread has cooled, it's time to decorate.
To decorate the gingerbread with small, fine details, Roth uses a plastic bag as her drawing tool. A small hole in the corner of the bag allows icing to come out in long, neat ribbons. This baking technique is called piping.
Small candies are used to decorate the gingerbread cathedral's archways and windows. Here, Roth's daughter Sofia, 8, uses colored chocolate chips to decorate the doorways.
Roth makes sure all her gingerbread houses are completely edible. To keep all the pieces together, she uses more icing for glue. Once a ribbon of icing is applied to the edge of a gingerbread panel, Roth must hold the pieces firmly in place until the icing dries.
When all the gingerbread pieces are securely stuck together, Roth adds some final touches. Again, she uses piping with a plastic bag to add details to the cathedral's green roof.
A Delicious Work of Art
After many hours of measuring, cutting, baking and icing, the gingerbread is trasformed into an architectural masterpiece. Notre Dame stands proudly in Roth's home after it is completed.