FREE FUN: 2-TON chocolate, gingerbread sculpture on display in Houston throughout holiday season

HOUSTON – A 2.5-ton chocolate display will grace the lobby of a Houston hotel this holiday season.

The Hilton Americas-Houston will feature 6.5 million calories of chocolate delights in its chocolate and gingerbread display honoring Dr. Seuss' The Grinch.

This intricately carved and sculpted confectionary creation, open to the public, is on display in the main lobby rotunda of Hilton Americas-Houston, located at 1600 Lamar Street is on display through Dec. 29. The lobby holiday lights will shine until January 2.

Hilton Americas-Houston pastry chef Mahesh Weerasinghe and pastry sous chef Glenna Artripe have this concept for this year's over-the-top display: "The scene unfolds in the chocolate living room of a gingerbread-bricked house, decorated for Christmas. As the chocolate family from the magical storybook land sleeps, the chocolate villain dressed in a Santa Claus suit is up to no good, stealing the family's holiday gifts with the help of his faithful chocolate dog. He (sneaked) into the place, and he stole all the gifts, with a sly look on his face and a fake beard that shifts. Tricycle! Dollhouse! Army men! Toys! Dolls and trains, for good girls and boys! Each of the toys is hand-sculpted from dark chocolate, with every detail reproduced to look like the real thing -- right down to the sugary rust in the white chocolate paint of the chocolate toy truck."

The scene is made from 700 pounds of gingerbread, 250 pounds of icing, 30 gallons of molasses, 500 pounds of butter, 900 pounds of sugar and 880 eggs. Each of the figures and toys featured in the scene are hand-sculpted from chocolate, using 1,200 pounds of dark chocolate, and then hand-painted with 800 pounds of tinted white chocolate to create the illusion of real-life toys and storybook characters.

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