Most of us recall Christmas as a time to enjoy sipping some hot coco and eating gingerbread cookies by the fireplace while listening to Christmas carols. We appreciate the holiday gingerbread houses as well, some being really fancy creations. But one woman showed that the sky is the limit (or really no limit) with her unbelievable sculptured creations. Swedish food artist and motion designer Caroline Eriksson has created truly astonishing, larger-than-life gingerbread designs, that are also edible (if you dare destroy the sculpture). This year, she sculptured “Groot” from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which may be even more impressive than last year’s creation, the frightening Xenomorph from the movie Alien. Every Christmas she is busy creating detailed gingerbread pieces. She has done so since 2013 when she won a Norwegian baking contest. It took her about 5 weeks to make “Groot” as she had to add a lot of flour and syrup to make the dough thick enough to support the sculpture. It is supported by a metal frame so that it will remain steady and not collapse.
“I have been making gingerbread houses every year with my family since I was little,” she mentioned. “After a few years, I got tired of houses and wanted to build other things, like boats, castles, and towers. My family didn’t have that patience but looked forward to seeing new creations every year,” she adds. In 2013, she moved to Norway, and joined a gingerbread contest where you could win 40,000 Norwegian krone (US$4,505).
“I had been thinking about building a robot for a while, taking houses and boats one step further! I thought it must be possible to do. If I started with very simple square inner forms and added details on top. Around this time, a Transformers movie came out in theatres, and I decided to build Optimus Prime. It took three weeks but I got it done and was very happy with the result.”
Needless to say, Caroline won the contest, and used the winnings on a trip to Bali. “The transformer got viral and after that, I continued to make new creations every Christmas. I try to challenge myself with every creation, do something more advanced that I haven’t seen been done before, push the boundaries for what can be done with this medium. That’s what I find most fun: to solve how to get the textures and shapes I want. But that is also what is most challenging and it takes a lot of time and testing to get right,” she explains in an interview.
Groot and Xenomorph took around 5 weeks to complete…one week to plan, and four to build. “I start by finding a lot of references and come up with ideas of what I want to create. Then I make a 1:1 scale sketch that I use as a reference for building a simple inner form first to get the proportions right. Then I add more and more details on top.”
She makes her own dough and uses more syrup and flour, but no baking powder. “For every creation I use around 6 batches, which is probably 7 kg of flour and 11 packets of sugar. I use melted sugar as glue as well, it hardens fast, is strong, lasts very long and is edible!” She further explains, “My creations so far have been movie-related since I’m a big movie nerd, but I have ideas for game characters, ornaments and houses as well. We will see what I create next!”
We all certainly will wait to see what this gingerbread genius can come up with next. Hopefully it won’t just be a wait till next Christmas…