IT’S York Minster as you have never seen it before – but tonight it will be smashed to pieces.
Keen York baker Jessica Young, 24, has spent weeks painstakingly constructing a gingerbread masterpiece that put other gingerbread houses to shame.
But this evening, it will be smashed open and eaten by her impressed colleagues at Minster Law, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Jessica, from Acomb, made the 1ft by 2ft model to scale from pictures of the Minster, spending about three and a half hours on it most evenings after work for the past four weeks.
The mouth-watering Minster used five kilograms (just over 11 pounds) of gingerbread dough. Jessica made stencils for each section and cut out the bread before baking, creating stained glass windows by baking boiled sweets in the holes, she said.
She then decorated it using icing and white chocolate buttons as snow, and fondant characters she crafted herself – and then drafted in her father, a joiner, to drill through the gingerbread with power tools so they could add lights to the inside.
Jessica said: "Originally the idea was to auction it off as a table display, but it's really hard to transport and I didn't think anyone was going to have room in their house. It took up most of my dining room table.
"So instead, colleagues donated money to the charity and bought raffle tickets for the chance to break it open with a hammer before they all tuck in."
Jessica said she often makes cakes for friends' children's parties, and decided to make the model to raise money for her employer’s chosen charity. The project cost her about £100 and she hoped to raise £200 for the charity.
Jessica used three boxes of muscovado sugar, two kilograms of butter, three to four kilograms of flour and three tubs of ginger powder, as well as whole tub of golden syrup to make the gingerbread, using a recipe from James Morton from the Great British Bakeoff.
"I have to get rid of it now," she said. "Everything's covered in icing sugar!"