That sounds both complicated and tasty
Her sweet creations are a wonder to behold. Forget gingerbread men, as an architectural gingerbread maker Emily has “built” the likes of the Palace of Versailles, Yorkshire’s Castle Howard and London’s Somerset House. Despite her attention to detail and the creations’ sound structure, Emily is not a professionally trained architect or model maker.
How does she create these colossal confections?
She uses Google Earth to capture a 3D view and aerial shot of the buildings. Then she works out the scale of every element, drawing up paper templates for each section. Depending on the size and details of the building this can take anything from a few days to weeks. She uses the templates to cut the final biscuits. Her largest build so far was a six-foot gingerbread house for the Ideal Home Show. The design included more than 500 biscuits and because of its size, and health and safety it had to be attached to a wooden frame.
Emily, who lives on a canal boat in west London, bakes in a kitchen-cum-studio in east London, the front of which opens up to allow the huge gingerbread creations to depart unscathed.
What led to this curious career?
She says she fell into it “by accident”. She had always enjoyed baking but it was while struggling to making a circus big-top cake for a friend’s birthday that her appetite for complex constructions was whetted. She stumbled on someold gingerbread house templates and decided to use them instead, adapting the shapes to fit her design.
Emily continued to experiment with designs and recipes in her spare time and people began asking her to make special requests. in 2010, Emily quit her job as an administrator to set up her Maid of Gingerbread business. She also hosts biscuit-making workshops. But her main business is the corporate side, with clients including Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.
What is Emily’s take on her baking?
“I think to start with, friends and family thought I’d lost my mind a bit,” she told the HuffPost. “But now I think they really like it and they’re proud of me. Everyone likes knowing someone with an interesting job to talk about.”