Rotating holiday sugar castle

December 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Nick Smith explores the secrets of a 2-foot tall sugar castle proudly displayed in the lobby of San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, just in time for the holidays!

The Westin St. Francis Proudly Presents San Francisco's Largest Holiday Sugar Castle

The Westin St. Francis Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-Fran?ois Houdr?, aka "King of the Castle," diligently worked day and night perfecting his signature 12-feet rotating holiday Sugar Castle, unveiled in the Tower Lobby of The Westin St. Francis on Friday, November 23.

Originally created in 2005, this magnificent Sugar Castle continually grows larger and more spectacular each year. Resembling a French Chateau from Chef Houdre's hometown of Bordeaux, the 100% edible castle is made of pastillage (a combination of powdered sugar, egg whites and gelatin dough), gingerbread, sugar, molasses, flour and candy. Weighing over 1200 pounds, this magical castle features more than 20 grand circular towers, approximately 30 rooms, illuminated windows, and is surrounded by a quaint village and a running train.

The castle is entirely edible, and is comprised of the following sumptuous ingredients:

  • 70 pounds of gingerbread
  • 130 pounds of pastillage (Powder sugar egg white and gelatin dough)
  • 40 pounds of pulled and bubble sugar
  • Royal icing made of 300 pounds of sugar and egg whites
  • 40 pounds of molasses
  • 60 pounds of flour
  • 100 pounds of assorted Christmas Candy And
  • 360 hours of hard work

For more information, visit www.westinstfrancis.com or read the press release here.

Ginger bread dough recipe
By Chef Jean-Francois Houdre

  • 1# 2oz. Butter
  • 1# 2oz. Sugar
  • 1 .25# Corn Syrup
  • 7.5 oz. Milk

Warm up the milk and add all of the above ingredients.

  • 3.25# Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder

Sift all of the above ingredients together. Mix with part I. Let is set for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Cut and roll to the desired size and dimension.


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