The Deacon's Bench

Just in time for the holidays, a chef in Washington has created an extraordinary gingerbread house — er, church — of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

From the Georgetown Patch:(with a H/T to CNS)

Crafting gingerbread houses since age 3, Executive Pastry Chef Charles Froke has mastered the art of gingerbread aesthetics, and this week the ?Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, D.C.? unveiled his latest, brag-worthy creation.

This holiday season’s gingerbread house is a replication of the ?Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception?. Froke spent a few hours at the site, surveying and taking photos. Much like an architect, he created blueprints of the Basilica, baked hundreds of gingerbread pieces and glued them together with icing.

Made with more than 125 pounds of gingerbread dough, 45 pounds of icing, 10 pounds of icing for snow, 10 pounds of chocolate for trees, 20 pounds of sugar and 1 pound of coffee extract to color icing, the Basilica includes dyed, sugar stained-glass windows with electric lighting and an ornate, blue dome.

Read more, including some of his recipes. You can also check out some of his other creations.

Time to make that new year’s diet resolution…

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