Figuring out how to design an accurate representation of the Parthenon out of cake and cookies (see post) was an intriguing task that set me on a new hobby of designing models of existing buildings out of deserts. Beginning with my second Architectural Dessert Masterpiece, all my creations are based on buildings/structures that I have personally encountered in my urban explorations.
I created my second desert building in December 2011. While eating the Parthenon the previous year, suggestions were put out about how to create other shapes and buildings such as using jello and creating round shapes. I was particularly engaged by the idea of how to create a dome. I had not figured out how to create a dome such as those on capital buildings in the US, but I thought I could create one that would be close to those on the mosques I visited in Istanbul. I chose the Blue Mosque as a visually interesting structure that would require a diversity of desserts to create.
Gingerbread cookies seemed to be the best way to design the frame of the building given the variety of heights and shapes of the building. I used sugar cookies for the larger domes and half domes. I knew someone growing up who was able to create perfectly rounded sugar cookies, no matter how I try I have never been able to create the same effect. My sugar cookies worked well for the medium-sized domes, but I had to put two cookies together for the larger domes. M&Ms made great small domes–they were also the base unit that determined the scale of my model. I think another reason why I chose to create a mosque was so I’d have an excuse to use the Pirouette cookies again, this time as minarets. I love these cookies, but hardly ever get them. Using my piping set, I was able to create pointed tops on the minarets and add balconies.
This was by far the most time-consuming Architectural Dessert Masterpiece to create (at least of the four I’ve made so far) because of having to design the required sizes and shapes for the gingerbread cookies and cutting them out and then also baking sugar cookies, which somehow always takes forever. I also played with “whitewashing” the gingerbread walls, but the method I tried didn’t create the desired effect so I gave up on it.
Eating Architectural Dessert Masterpieces is also an interesting experience, as they often require creative thinking to destruct them. With the Parthenon, I employed a karate-chop method for cutting through the wafers. On the other hand, with the Blue Mosque a free-for-all of pulling it apart with your fingers seemed most appropriate.