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Chapter 21 Advanced decoration.



After reading this chapter, you should be able to

* implement advanced piping techniques that use paper cones.

* make and use elements used for decoration including pastillage and gum paste.

* prepare sugar syrups for decorative work.

* make simple decorations such as bubble sugar, rock sugar, and spun sugar.

* approach more advanced decorative work such as cast sugar, pulled sugar, and blown sugar.


The use of sugar as a decorative element can be traced back to the 16th century. Pastillage and marzipan were commonly used. Its use for decoration rose in popularity at a time when the presentation of food on the table was becoming important. By the 19th century, this "designing" of the table began to incorporate influences from landscape art and architecture, which was made possible by the use of sugar pastes, biscuit dough, and colored sanding sugars.

The scope of decorative elements has evolved over time to the elaborate showpieces that are commonly found in high-end hotels and at pastry competitions. Pastry chefs use many different applications of sugar art to provide a finishing touch to items that range from plated desserts to specialty cakes. Designs can range from classical, resembling finely detailed pieces of art, or whimsical and creative, incorporating different elements such as cast, blown, and pulled sugars or pastillage. Modern uses highlight fragility, lightness, and gravity-defying displays of craftsmanship.


There are many elements and techniques used for advanced decoration in the pastry shop. Those covered in this chapter include

* Paper cones, which are used for decorative piping with mediums such as royal icing or chocolate. They are also used to hold melted sugar or chocolate for assembling decorative display pieces made from sugar, pastillage, or chocolate.

* Pastillage, which is used to create centerpieces. It may be molded or rolled out thin and cut into shapes and assembled.

* Gum paste, which is similar to pastillage and is commonly used to make delicate flowers and leaves.

* Sugar, which is used for many decorative elements including rock sugar, spun sugar, blown sugar, and pulled sugar, just to name a few.


Piping plays a large role in advanced pastry decoration, which is reflected by the many types of piping bags, tips, icings, and techniques. Piping bags are made of plastic, acetate, nylon, and paper. Paper cones are generally considered to be the most convenient, inexpensive, sanitary, and versatile for fine decorative work. Paper cones are made from a triangular sheet of parchment paper, which is rolled into a cone shape. In general, the finer the work that needs to be done, the smaller the cone should be to allow for maximum control. When piping with a paper cone, it is important to fill the bag to only half full to keep the icing from seeping out during piping. The bag should be held with two hands. One hand should be at the top of the bag and the other uses the tip of an index or pointer finger to guide the bag.


* Cut a triangle out of a sheet of parchment paper. The smaller the triangle, the finer the details should be.

* Holding the triangle with the longest side up and away from you, fold the right point down and over to meet the bottom point. Curl the remaining paper around until the left-hand point can be folded over the cone.

* Bring all three points together and fold the tips over twice to secure the cone.

* If a tip is being used, cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch (1 cm) off the tip to fit.

* Fill the bag with the piping medium half full.

* Fold the top down, securing the paper cone as well as the piping medium in the bag.

* If no tip is being used, cut a small hole.


Numerous mediums can be used for piping such as royal icing, buttercream, fondant, chocolate, chocolate glaze, and sugar. To effectively pipe anything, the medium must be a uniform consistency so that there is no blockage in the tip. Before piping, icing can be colored using paste colors. The contents of the coloring should be taken into consideration to ensure there are no ingredients that can interfere with drying. Royal icing can be painted or airbrushed after it dries.

Using Chocolate in a Paper Cone

When piped from a small paper cone, chocolate makes a great medium for filigree work and lettering. Filigree is fine piping used for decoration. It is piped from a bag without a tip because the work is very fine. Two types of chocolate mixtures are primarily used for paper cone techniques. The first is a chocolate liquor paste made by mixing chocolate liquor with a simple syrup to a pipable consistency. The second is "seized" chocolate that is created by adding a couple of drops of water to give the chocolate a firmer, pipable consistency. Only the amount of chocolate being used at any given moment should be seized. Leftover seized chocolate can be saved and used in glaze formulas that call for couverture. Whichever type of chocolate is used, it must be smooth and free from lumps, and care should be taken to not overfill the cone. Filling it half full prevents overflow and ensures that the bag, as well as the piper, will stay clean.

Using Royal Icing in a Paper Cone

Royal icing is one of the most versatile mediums a pastry chef can work with. This mixture of powdered sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice is discussed in more detail in Chapter 15. Depending on its particular use, royal icing can range from a firm peak to a very liquid icing for glazing cakes or doing decorative flood work. If royal icing is to be used for run-outs and flood work, care should be taken to not incorporate air, which leaves small, unstable air pockets that will lead to the breakdown of the decoration after drying.

Because royal icing can dry very hard, the pastry chef can be very creative with the filigree or any of the fine piping as these may be applied to items after the icing dries. It can be painted on, used for three dimensional creations, stenciled, and dried in a low oven to garnish plated desserts.


There are three basic techniques for decorating with a paper cone. These traditional French techniques are known as the sliding method, the thread method, and the applied method (Buys & Decluzeau, 1996, p.14). By learning and mastering these three techniques, the pastry chef can present an unlimited array of decorative piping techniques. When choosing which technique to use, the pastry chef needs to consider several things about the mediums being worked with, including the texture of the surface to be piped on, the piping medium, the angle needed to apply the piping medium, the length of time the work must last, and the environment in which it will be stored.

* Sliding method: In the sliding method, the tip of the cone barely touches the surface of the product, which allows the pastry chef more control. This method can be used on a variety of surfaces, ranging from hard to delicate, and can be used to make borders, letters, and lines.

* Thread method: When using the thread method, the pastry chef applies the piping medium from above the surface of the cake. This can be done from a distance of 1/2 inch (1 cm) to 2 inches (5 cm), depending on the application. This technique allows for more control for decorative piping.

Applications for this method include ornate letters and borders, as well as thread work like decorative borders made with royal icing. As with the sliding method, the surface of the product can be hard or soft.

* Applied method: The applied method uses the cone to apply embellishments that highlight existing decoration or design. The surface can be any texture because the tip of the cone is usually held just above the surface. This style provides more "stop-and-go" control and can be used in conjunction with the other methods like the sliding method.


[1] Roll the pastillage to
1/16 inch (2 mm).


[2] Cut out the desired
shapes using a very sharp,
fine-pointed knife.


[3] Remove the trim carefully.


[4] Assorted pastillage
cut-outs are shown drying on
a wooden board.


[5] Pastillage cut-outs can be

With all three methods, paper cones should be freshly made and maintained in a clean, sanitary way, and each cone should be used only for its designated application. Sliding can dirty the tip. If the tip becomes dirty, it should be carefully cleaned to prevent any contamination and any damage to the physical integrity of the paper. Maintaining a clear and clean opening is a good way to ensure easy piping.


Pastillage is one of the oldest of the decorative elements used for display pieces. It is made with totally edible ingredients, but it is not meant to be consumed; pastillage is tasteless and very hard once it dries. Pastillage is usually used for making display pieces for dessert buffet tables and pastry competitions, as well as for small baskets or boxes to hold candies and petit gateaux. Pastillage is left white most of the time, although there are two possible ways to color the pieces; colorant can be mixed into the dough or food coloring can be airbrushed onto a dried surface.

Pastillage is made of powdered sugar, cornstarch, water, cream of tartar, and gelatin. Powdered sugar, the main ingredient in pastillage, gives the dough its body and white color. Cornstarch helps to dry out the pastillage piece faster, and it is not used when slow-drying is required. Cream of tartar helps to maintain the whiteness of the dough, and gelatin assists in stabilizing the paste and keeping it pliable. Proportions of these ingredients change according to the desired consistency of pastillage paste after mixing.

The mixing of the pastillage can have a large impact on the final qualities of the dough. When a strong piece is desired, keep mixing to a minimum so that the piece will dry slowly. If there is a time constraint when making pastillage pieces, the paste can be mixed for a longer time to incorporate more air, which leads to faster drying. However, when too much air is incorporated, the piece can become fragile after drying.

Pastillage can be rolled out and cut or molded into different shapes fairly easily (see Cutting Pastillage Figure 21-1, Step 1). It is very important to work on a clean surface and use dry and clean tools. A granite table is desirable for working with pastillage, but a stainless steel table is fine as well. The work surface should be dusted with cornstarch or a mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch to prevent the dough from sticking. When it is not being worked with, pastillage should be kept in an airtight container or plastic bag because it forms a crust very easily when exposed to air.

To cut pastillage, it is best to use an Exacto knife or sharp paring knife to ensure clean cuts (see Cutting Pastillage Figure 21-1, Steps 2-3). If the pastillage dries too quickly and cutting becomes difficult, roll out a second sheet of pastillage and place it over the one to be cut. This will preserve the one being cut and prevent it from drying. If the pastry chef is working at a bakery with a walk-in proofing room, the pastillage can be cut there as long as the humidity is not above 80 percent.

After they are cut or molded into desired shapes, pastillage pieces are dried out. When drying flat pieces, they should be on a flat sheet that has been lined with foam to allow drying on both sides. Wooden boards can also be used for drying because they help to allow moisture to escape from the bottom side of the cut-outs. Pastillage should dry on each side for at least one day. After the first day, the pastillage pieces should be turned over and dried for another day to ensure even drying. The time it takes to dry out a pastillage piece depends on the size of the piece and length of mixing time. (See Cutting Pastillage Figure 21-1, Step 4.)

When the pieces are completely dried, they can be sanded with extra-fine sandpaper to achieve very smooth edges and surfaces. After being sanded, the pieces can be glued with royal icing or pastillage glue, which is a mixture of melted gelatin and powdered sugar (a simple mixture of powdered sugar at five times the weight of bloomed gelatin). Pieces need to be supported until set; royal icing and pastillage glue do not dry out as fast as melted chocolate or sugar. Pieces are pure white when finished but may be hand-painted or airbrushed either before or after building the piece (see Cutting Pastillage Figure 21-1, Step 5).


The completed pastillage piece must be kept at room temperature and in a dry environment (See Figure 21-2.). A well-built pastillage piece should last indefinitely if properly stored.


* Bloom the gelatin leaves in water.

* Place three-fourths of the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.

* Melt the gelatin and vinegar together in the microwave, and stir to combine evenly.

* Pour the gelatin mixture into the mixing bowl and mix to incorporate to a smooth paste.

* Add the remaining powdered sugar until a smooth dough forms.

* If the dough becomes too dry, add more vinegar.

* Place the finished dough in an airtight container until ready for use.

* When ready to work with the dough, quickly roll the pastillage on a granite or nonstick surface dusted with cornstarch, using rulers as guides to ensure even thickness.

* Cut into the desired shapes, and form or mold.

* Allow to dry on each side for at least one day.


The scope of sugar work is vast including preparations that the novice can make and others that the most advanced pastry chefs practice devotedly to master. The art of sugar is part science, knowing the working properties of the sugar (including crystallization and heat transfer), and part art, recognizing color, shape, design, implementation, and technical considerations such as balance and assembly. This section on sugar work presents ingredients, tools, and the processes for a number of sugar preparations beginning with the easier ones such as bubble, rock, spun, and piped sugar and progressing to the more challenging ones including cast, pulled, and blown sugar.


Selecting the ingredients used for sugar work is basic; however, careful consideration must be taken to ensure consistent results. The basic ingredients used for sugar work include sugar, water, and glucose. A recent alternative to sugar is isomalt, and its use merits special considerations. Acidic ingredients are needed for cast, pulled, and blown sugar to create a degree of inversion and tartaric acid should be used for this. If an opaque quality is desired, calcium carbonate can be added. Colorants can also be added during the cooking process or immediately after the sugar base has been poured onto the slab.


Working with sugar involves numerous precautions, most of which are driven by the need to work with a "clean" sugar. The purity of the sugar, as well as the type of sugar being used, must be considered because it can determine the working properties of the sugar for casting, pulling, or blowing. The three main types of available refined sugar are superfine sugar, granulated sugar, and sugar cubes. Sugar quality is most important for pulled sugar. To achieve a good working quality, it is most advisable to use cane sugar, which has fewer impurities than beet sugar.


Glucose is used in sugar work to modify the texture of the sugar and to help prevent crystallization. The use of glucose in sugar work allows the final piece to be of a higher quality, making it set harder, shinier, and drier. Additionally, the addition of glucose adds protection against humidity, leading to a longer shelf life. However, if too much glucose is used, the sugar retains more heat and is more difficult to work with because it may have a softer texture. Good-quality glucose is transparent and thick. During the cooking process, glucose is added after the syrup reaches a boil to ensure that it completely dissolves.


The use of spring water is preferred over tap water. Mineral water also gives better and more consistent results than tap water, which contains lime that may generate crystals. Water contributes the function of dissolving the sugar granules through moisture and the conduction of heat. It is important for the sugar to melt slowly and dissolve completely in water before it starts to cook in order to minimize formation of crystals.


Isomalt has become very popular as an alternative to sugar for decorative work in recent years. Isomalt is most often used for cast sugar. Its glass-like aspect makes it the ingredient of choice to build artistic pieces. It can be purchased as small granules or as a powder depending on the brand. Isomalt has been successful because it is easy to use. It can be used as is and does not require any water or glucose. It can be melted slowly in a pan until it becomes a transparent liquid. Isomalt can reach higher temperatures than regular sugar and still retain a clear aspect. It is cooked and used at temperature between 338[degrees]F (170[degrees]C) and 356[degrees]F (180[degrees]C) with no change in color. The techniques used to get a satin finish and for coloring are the same as with traditional sugars. Although the final satin finish will be less desirable than that attained with sugar, isomalt does have a higher resistance to humidity.

Water can be added to isomalt. The addition of 10 percent water allows isomalt to melt easily and without as much stirring. It will take longer to cook but the cooking should stop at 329[degrees]F (165[degrees]C). Under this condition, isomalt will be less fragile and less breakable than if it were cooked without adding water. In a very dry environment, it is also advisable to add 10 percent water during cooking to minimize breakage during assembling. As for regular sugars, always wait until isomalt cools down to 284[degrees]F (140[degrees]C) and bubbles disappear before starting working with it.

Another advantage of isomalt is that it can be remelted after cooling down without forming crystals. Broken pieces can easily be remelted to be worked with again.


Tartaric acid helps to prevent crystallization of the sugar and helps the sugar to be more elastic when it's being pulled or blown. Additionally, the sugar can be worked with for longer periods of time under the heat lamp without losing any gloss or shine. A lack of tartaric acid would make the sugar hard to pull, whereas too much would make it too soft and would not allow the sugar to keep its shape. Signs of too much acid include soft, sticky sugar that does not easily set. Tartaric acid can be found in the form of small crystal white powder. Tartaric acid must be reconstituted with boiling water before it can be used. The ratio is 1:1 tartaric acid to water. This solution should be kept in a small bottle with an eyedropper for easy measuring.


The necessary equipment for cooking sugar is the same for all sugar techniques. The specific pieces of equipment used may differ according to the technique and how the sugar is to be used. Here is the most common equipment list for cast, pulled, and blown sugar:

* Granite slab

* Copper or stainless steel pan

* Ice bath

* Candy thermometer

* Clean brush and cold water

* Silicone mat

* Sugar lamp

* Blow torch

* Scissors

* Fan

* Sugar pump

* Gloves

* Cutting molds and silicone molds

* Airbrush

* Airtight boxes with humidity repellant such as calcium chloride, limestone, or silica

* Hygrometer

* Pan liner or parchment paper

* Foil and plastic wrap

Work Environment

Cooked sugar is very sensitive to humidity, which implies a few precautions mostly regarding pulled sugar. Avoid cooking sugar too close to a sugar lamp and working in areas with lots of steam. Under normal working conditions, try to avoid pulling sugar in a drafty area and with high temperature gradients. The most recommended place to work with sugar is in a small room equipped with a sugar lamp and a dehumidifier. The room temperature should be between 68[degrees]F (20[degrees]C) and 75[degrees]F (24[degrees]C) with a humidity level lower than 50 percent.


When cooking sugar, pay close attention to the temperature of the syrup because the difference of a few degrees can render the sugar unusable for different applications. For this reason, follow all the steps in the sugar-cooking process carefully. To ensure that the sugar dissolves easily, the water should be added to the pan first. Next, the sugar is added, and the mixture is stirred over medium heat just until the sugar is dissolved. If stirring continues after this point, crystallization can occur. To prevent crystallization, the mixture should be cooked over medium heat, and heat should be increased only after the syrup has come to a boil. Sugar that is cooked too slowly is also at risk of crystallization. The flame must be kept beneath the pot and not allowed to crawl up the sides, which could result in uneven cooking and off colors.

During cooking, the sides of the pan should be washed down with a clean, wet pastry brush that has been dipped in cold water. This action will wash any sugar crystals off the side of the pan and back into the solution. If any of these crystals fall into the solution after it has become saturated, it can cause the syrup to crystallize. The washing down process continues until the sugar reaches 235[degrees]F (113[degrees]C), at which point there should be no more crystals.

If a thin layer of residue from impurities appears when the syrup comes to a boil, it should be removed and discarded. The glucose should be added after the syrup has come to a boil to ensure better incorporation and to prevent the sugar from decrystallizing before the mixture becomes hot enough. Then, the mixture should be brought back to a boil. At this point, the top of the syrup should be cleaned one more time if necessary. The degree to which the sugar is cooked is determined by its application.

If calcium carbonate is required, it should be added when the mixture reaches 260[degrees]F (127[degrees]C). Calcium carbonate is a powder used to make the sugar syrup opaque. Tartaric acid is added in solution at 280[degrees]F (138[degrees]C). If it is added too soon, the sugar can invert, causing premature and extreme softening of the sugar art. Any colorants should also be added at this time.

Sugar is ready for its different uses between 315[degrees]F (157[degrees]C) and 330[degrees]F (166[degrees]C). If heated beyond 330[degrees]F (166[degrees]C), it can take on color. At this point, it should be removed from the stove. It can be shocked in an ice bath to stop heat conduction and discontinue cooking and then allowed to cool naturally in the pot for a couple of minutes before it is used. Some sugar for decorative work can be prepared up to the point of satinizing and then either be used or stored in airtight containers. This is a common practice in kitchens that do a lot of sugar work and want to shorten the time involved with decorative sugar work.

Safety precautions should always be taken when working with a product at this temperature. If care is not taken, severe burns are possible. For this reason, some people work with a bowl of ice water so that they can submerge their hands into it if hot sugar gets on them.


Bubble sugar is a simple way to add an interesting decoration to a dessert or a showpiece. It is the result of the loose, free bubbles that occur in sugar when hot sugar hits a layer of alcohol on parchment paper or silicone sheets. Special care should be taken with this method, as the hot sugar can very easily get on the skin. A much more practical approach to making bubble sugar is to spread or pipe glucose onto a silpat and bake it in a low oven until set. The glucose can be colored before baking to any desired color.
Formula for Bubble Sugar Using Alcohol

Sugar     1.000 kg
Water     0.350 kg
Glucose   0.200 kg

Process for Making Bubble Sugar Using Alcohol

* Prepare parchment paper or silicone sheets by rubbing them with a thin layer of clear alcohol.

* Bring the sugar and water to a boil, add the glucose, and cook to 312[degrees]F (156[degrees]C). Remove from heat.

* As quickly as possible, pour sugar into a thin layer over the sheet of alcohol-rubbed parchment or silicone mat or disperse it in small uniform puddles for individual garnishes.

* Carefully lift the sheet from its edges, and gently shake it. As the sugar hits the alcohol, it will bubble up.

* When the sheet has reached the desired thinness, carefully set it down and allow it to cool completely. It can then be broken into desired sizes and stored with humectants.

Process for Making Bubble Sugar With Glucose

* Warm the glucose and add colors as desired.

* Pipe or spread onto a silicone mat on a sheet pan.

* Bake in a low oven until crisp, bubbly, and set.

* When the glucose is cool, remove from the silpat and reserve with humectants until needed.


Rock sugar is a decorative element largely used in the construction of showpieces. It combines a cooked sugar syrup, royal icing, and agitation. This combination creates a foam that aerates the sugar syrup, creating millions of bubbles that set once "cool." Rock sugar is less susceptible to humidity, so it keeps well and is relatively easy to make. Rock sugar creates a very interesting effect in showpieces and is an excellent base on which to attach other types of sugar elements. It is also given great effect by airbrushing or filing down to a smoother texture.
Formula for Rock Sugar

Sugar             1.000 kg
Water           0.300 kg
Royal icing   0.050 kg

Process for Making Rock Sugar

* Line a bowl or dish with foil, and lightly oil it.

* Cook the sugar and water to 290[degrees]F (143[degrees]C). Add any color to the sugar between 248[degrees]F (120[degrees]C) and 260[degrees]F (127[degrees]C).

* At 290[degrees]F (143[degrees]C), quickly stir in the royal icing. The mixture will rise and then collapse.

* Reheat the mixture, and allow it to rise a second time before pouring it into molds.

* The mixture will rise again in the mold. When it has cooled, remove it, and work with it as desired.


Spun sugar is commonly used for decorating plated desserts. Spun sugar is a very fine element that is used on plated desserts, especially frozen ones. The syrup for spun sugar should be cooked to between 305[degrees]F (152[degrees]C) and 310[degrees]F (154[degrees]C). The pan should then be cooled in cold water to stop the cooking and reserved on a granite slab for a couple of minutes until a consistency similar to molasses is obtained. Two lightly sprayed metal bars are needed to catch the strands as they are thrown back and forth. To create "spin," dip the tines of a fork or a whisk with the curved ends into the cooled sugar, and then quickly toss the syrup over the bars. This action allows fine threads to form. The finished threads are gathered into a light, loose ball or nest and transferred to garnish the dessert or pastry. Because the threads are so thin, spun sugar is more susceptible to humidity than other types of sugar decoration, and its shelf life is very short. For this reason, it is best to make spun sugar as needed or to make enough for a few hours and store it in an airtight container with humectants.
Formula for Spun Sugar

Sugar     1.000 kg
Water     0.350 kg
Glucose   0.200 kg

Process for Making Spun Sugar

* Bring the sugar and water to a boil.

* Add the glucose once the sugar syrup boils and cook the syrup to 320[degrees]F (160[degrees]C).

* The sugar may be boiled higher, but it will take on color.

* Shock the sugar pot in ice water to stop the cooking.

* Dip a sugar wand (whisk with curved ends cut off) into the sugar.

* Shake the sugar over two metal bars hanging over the edge of the table. Once enough sugar is on the bars, pick it up and form a nest or ball, as desired.


The spun sugar solution can also be used for piped sugar. For piping, sugar is poured into a double- or even triple-thick paper cone and then piped into various designs on a nonstick sheet or a lightly oiled piece of parchment. Piping with a fine-tipped paper cone allows both the flow and thickness of the line to be controlled. Piped sugar can be used for filigree work and for shapes that are detailed; for example, spirals that are lifted in the center while cooling to form a modern form of a dessert cage. Piping sugar can be dangerous, and special care should be taken to avoid the serious burns that can occur if the piping bag breaks or overflows from being overfilled. When not actively piping, the tip should be kept warm to ensure the sugar doesn't begin to harden.


Cast sugar is most often used for making showpiece bases or structures for art or commercial (sturdier) pieces and is defined by pouring sugar into greased metal forms, metal bars, food grade silicone molds or forms made from plasticine, a modeling paste that is used to make templates. Casting sugar is quick and simple so that different colors, shapes, and interesting textures can easily be made. Even though the components may be easy to create, care must be taken in their assembly. The same precautions exist for any sugar work and must be avoided: fingerprints, dust, and messy assembly. A clean and neat assembly is required for the quality and beauty of a nice poured sugar piece to show.
Formula for Cast Sugar

Sugar     1,000 g
Water       400 g
Glucose   350 g

Process for Making Cast Sugar

The process for this formula is straightforward. The sugar is combined with the water in a clean copper or stainless steel pan until boiling. The sugar is cleaned by skimming the surface of foreign particles and then the inside of the pan is cleaned with a wet brush. After the syrup comes to a boil, the glucose can be added. It may be necessary to clean the surface of the sugar again. The temperature should always be controlled with the thermometer. Cook the sugar to 320[degrees]F (160[degrees]C). Next, stop the cooking by placing the bottom of the pan in cold water. Reserve the pan on the work surface and wait the necessary time for the air bubbles to disappear. Finally, fill the forms carefully with the sugar. Sugar Casting Using a Silicone Noodle Figure 21-3, Alternate Sugar Casting Techniques Figure 21-4, and Casting in Sugar Figure 21-5 detail the application of cast sugar.

Coloring Cast Sugar

Cast sugar can be colored in different ways. To get a vibrantly colored sugar, the coloring should be added at the end of cooking, at about 284[degrees]F (140[degrees]C). By adding the color at this time, the liquid coloring is absorbed by the cooking and does not cool down the sugar. On the contrary, when a less colored, still transparent sugar is needed, a few drops of coloring can be added after cooking. It is important to slowly mix the coloring to avoid making bubbles by incorporating air. To get marbled effects, add some coloring drops in a pan or on the sugar surface, without mixing, then pull something through the colorant, spreading the marbled color through the sugar before pouring into the molds.


The art of working with cast sugar primarily involves working with shape and color. For flat shapes, always work on a flat and smooth granite surface. Sugar can be poured on silicone mats, in metallic rulers or cake rings lightly oiled to make geometric forms, or into silicone molds as silicone is the ideal material for poured sugar. Sugar can also be poured on different materials (such as pan liners, foil paper, silicone mats, or vinyl) that have been placed on the granite. To obtain the best looking finish and regular, consistent shapes, let the sugar cool and thicken slightly in the pan before pouring it in the center of the molds. Also, if pouring a large or detailed piece, it may be better to work on a wooden surface to ensure that the sugar doesn't set up as quickly as it would on granite.


[1] A design is airbrushed on the
pastillage puzzle to be cast in
the sugar.


[2] A Silicone Noodle is used to create
a poured sugar piece.


[3] Air bubbles are removed with
the torch


[4] After the sugar sets, the Silicone
Noodle can be easily removed.



[1] Modeling paste has been rolled out
and cut as a template for poured
sugar showpiece components.


[2] A Silicone Noodle is used to create bases
for a sugar showpiece.


[3] A Silicone Showpeel is used to
create the wing of a butterfly.



[1] Isomalt is cast in sandling


[2] As the sugar cools, it can
be manipulated into different


[3] The cooled sugar cast
elements is removed from the
sandling sugar.

Materials such as silicone mats or vinyl (transparent thick plastic) have a vacuum effect when placed flat on a marble top. Air trapped under the material warms and expands once the hot sugar is poured on top of it. Always place a pan liner under these items to let the silicone molds cool by sliding them on the marble top.

Process for Casting With Modeling Paste

* On a silicone mat or flat surface, roll the modeling paste or plasticine between metal candy bars to the desired thickness.

* Place a template on the paste, cut around the outline, and remove the centers.

* Oil the base (if applicable) and sides of the mold.

* Pour in the sugar, and fill to the top of the mold.

* Once set, cut the side away from the paste to remove the cast piece.

* If any paste is sticking to the edges, gently scrape it away with a knife.

See Figure 21-6 for an example of a showpiece that uses cast sugar.


Pulled sugar is an advanced sugar technique that is used to create delicate decorations like ribbons, flowers, leaves, and corkscrews. Before pulling can occur, the sugar must be cooked and then cooled and stretched and folded over itself repeatedly to achieve a satin-like consistency. This is called satinizing the sugar and it helps add strength. Next, it can be pulled into very thin, fine, shiny creations that hold have a glass-like final quality and hold their shape as they cool.

Of all the sugar work, pulled sugar is certainly the technique that requires the most practice and training to reach an acceptable level. Pulled sugar is the most technical and the most interesting medium to work with. Without doubt, the pastry chef will develop his art and, little by little, express a personal style through pulled sugar. The balance of colors in a composed piece, the pulling and shaping of the sugar, and the composition must all be mastered for the artist to succeed at this craft.

Many recipes for pulled sugar give good results. It is important is to keep one after performing some tests and never change it. This will allow progress and the ability to concentrate on the technique and the art.
Formula for Pulled Sugar

Sugar cubes               1,000 g
(preferably cane sugar)
Water                       400 g
Glucose                     200 g
Tartaric acid solution       10 drops
Cook to 329[degrees]F

Process for Pulled Sugar

In a very clean pan, let the sugar melt slowly with the water, mixing it from the beginning with a whisk. Clean the sides of the pan with a wet brush and clean, cold water and bring to a boil. Next, add the glucose. Cook at a high temperature and monitor the cooking using a thermometer. Keep cleaning the pan sides during cooking and skim impurities from sugar if necessary. The thermometer can be used to slowly mix the sugar and to control a constant and homogeneous cooking throughout the pan. Take care, however, because too much agitation could introduce air bubbles or promote crystallization. About 10 drops of tartaric acid per 1,000 grams of sugar is added at the end of cooking, around 320[degrees]F (160[degrees]C), using a dropper.


When the sugar reaches 329[degrees]F (165[degrees]C), turn off the heat, and stop the cooking by immersing the pan in cold water or letting it rest on a granite work surface. Let all the bubbles dissolve, and pour on a silicone sheet before it gets a satin appearance.

Sugar Syrup Considerations for Pulled Sugar

It is possible to use an induction hot plate to cook the sugar; however, the use of a special pan is required. Because induction hot plates are more powerful than gas heat, it is advisable not to use full power. When cooked too fast, sugar crystallizes; it becomes white, dry, and very hard to work with. If cooked too slowly, it may become yellowish, soft, and unable to keep its shape during assembly. The higher the temperature is when cooking sugar, the grainier the sugar may become from crystallization. Grains are a real problem when pulling ribbons.

Because a small quantity of sugar will cook too fast, and a large quantity will take a long time to cook, it is best to cook at least 1,000 grams of sugar, and no more than 1,500 grams, at a time. To avoid or, at least, limit grains, the syrup should be prepared one day in advance: Bring the water, sugar, and glucose to a boil; remove it from the heat; and cover it directly with a food plastic film to avoid sur face crystallization. On the next day, filter the syrup directly in the pan and start cooking. Using this method will greatly reduce the amount of grains in the ribbon mainly because the sugar crystals will dissolve completely in the water overnight.

Coloring Pulled Sugar

Alcohol-based colorings are recommended for pulled sugar. The heat from the sugar evaporates the alcohol, which would bring additional moisture to the syrup. Pulled sugar can be colored in several different ways. When only one color is needed, coloring can be added during cooking at 284[degrees]F (140[degrees]C). To obtain several colors during one cooking, cook the sugar syrup as normal at 329[degrees]F (165[degrees]C), and then add a few drops of the lighter colorant. Mix and pour the desired amount onto a silicone sheet. To create other colors, add some drops of another darker coloring directly in the pan. Stir to incorporate, and pour out on the pan again. You will then have several colors of sugar coming from the same stock of syrup. This method is only good if you want to use a little coloring to obtain pastel colors.

Another coloring technique involves coloring the sugar after pouring it onto the silicone sheet. This allows several masses of sugar from the same cooking to be colored. The advantage of this method is to get colors that have not been diluted by other coloring in the pan. Additionally, color pigments are less affected by the heat when poured on sugar that is already on the silicone sheet. After coloring the sugar on the silicone sheet, bring the sides toward the center in order to form a block, which allows the colors to mix and the sugar to cool down the sugar before satinizing.

To satinize the sugar, turn the sugar over to get a more homogenous cooling. Always bring the sides toward the center and then turn over until the sugar forms a firm ball and keeps its shape.

Gloves should be worn when satinizing to protect the hands from heat and to protect the sugar from sweaty hands. At this time, the sugar is still too hot to be handled with bare hands, although it has cooled down from boiling. It is very important not to satin a sugar too early. The sugar must be "cool" so that it does not quickly lose its shape.

Start by pulling the sugar and folding it over several times. Repeat this process in order to cool the sugar down and satin it. Pulled sugar is the most shiny when it is satined at cooler temperatures (however the sugar is still very hot at this point). Sugar is well satined when it "snaps" and when shaped as a ball becomes very firm. At this point, it should be placed under the heat lamp to maintain its temperature, after which it is ready to be shaped.

Considerations for Satinizing Sugar for Pulling

Care must be taken to not oversatin the sugar by pulling sugar that is too hot or by pulling it for too long. This creates an end result that is dull and opaque. The coloring needs to be strong enough to retain its coloration after satinizing.

Pulled Sugar Shaping

After the sugar has been satined, it is ready to be pulled and shaped into leaves, flowers, ribbons, and more. The sugar has to be at the right consistency, and most of all it must not be too hot to be pulled. The sugar has to be "cold" to be properly satined and to achieve the maximum brightness. It is important to always maintain a good consistency of the sugar under the lamp by folding it to maintain the temperature and consistency of the mass. A good sugar consistency means that it is soft enough to allow pulling but not so soft that it can't hold a shape and stay bright once set.

The way to pull sugar depends on the various shapes you want to make. Generally, the pastry chef will start by pinching the sides of the cooked sugar using both hands with spread thumbs, in order to spread out the center part. Then, holding it between the thumb and the forefinger, a petal, a flower, or a leaf can be pulled and then shaped.

Knowing the difference between pulling sugar and shaping sugar is very important. When the sugar is pulled and cooled at the same time, it becomes beautiful and bright. It is decisive timing that enhances pulled sugar. On the other side, pulled sugar depends on technical hand moves to make the difference. Shaping has to be done very quickly in order for the piece to look alive, natural, and "spontaneous." As a matter of fact, a sugar that has been well cooked and well satined cools down and hardens as it is pulled.

Pulled sugar requires more practice and patience than any other technique. To start with granules of sugar and to end up with flowers or ribbons is not an easy task. The whole purpose is to make progress and have fun at the same time.

Process for Making Pulled Sugar

* Pour cooked sugar onto a silicone mat, and let it cool until it can be picked up. It will still be very hot. (See Coloring and Satinizing Sugar Figure 21-7, Steps 1-2.)

* If using preformed, cooled sugar, heat it in a microwave on low until it is soft but not liquid, or place it under heat lamps, gently moving it around until it is melted and pliable.

* Hold the ends and pull the sugar away from the center, folding the sugar back on itself into the middle and completely attaching the ends to each other before pressing flat again. Continue with this process until it has cooled to a more manageable temperature and consistency.

* Pull and twist the sugar to incorporate very small air molecules and to strengthen it. When finished, it will be slightly opaque and shiny due to the incorporation of air.

* Stretch the sugar into a coil. While twisting, fold it back in on itself, and squeeze out any excess air. Continue this process until it has reached a cooler temperature. (See Coloring and Satinizing Sugar Figure 21-7, Steps 3-5.)

* Return the sugar to the heat lamp. When a high-gloss shine develops on the surface, fold the sugar in on itself to form a ball until the total product has heated and become pliable again. (See Coloring and Satinizing Sugar Figure 21-7, Step 6.)

Flowers and Leaves

To create the petals of a flower, it is important to first create a thin edge by grasping the sugar with the fingers held close together and pulling them away from each other. The edge can then be cut and formed into petals of various sizes and manipulated into desired fineness and thickness. A flower is built by overlapping and attaching these petals. After it is complete, the edge can be brushed with coloring for effect, and a stamen can be added by making fine strands from yellow or gold sugar. This same method is used for different types of leaves. For special effect, the pulled sugar can be pressed into silicone textured leaf forms that apply detailed indentations and enhance the satin. Figures 21-8 and 21-9 detail the making of leaves and roses from pulled sugar.


[1] Cool the sugar for satinizing and
incorporating the color.


[2] When the sugar forms as mass and can
be picked up, it is ready for satinizing.


[3] Stretch the sugar.


[4] Fold the sugar in half, and stretch the
sugar again.


[5] Form the sugar into a more compact


[6] The satinized sugar is ready
to be used for pulling and



[1] Stretch a thin sheet of sugar from the
satinized mass, and cut it off on an


[2] Quickly lay it on the silicone press.


[3] Quickly press it using the top.


[4] Remove the leaf and shape as


[5] Assorted leaves are ready to be
added to the sugar creation.



[1] Cut off a rounded edge of satinized
sugar to create the center of the rose.


[2] Stretch the satinized sugar out
from one edge using two hands
to form a thin sheet of sugar.


[3] Secure the sheet between the
thumb and index finger to
continue forming the petal.


[4] Or, form the petal using the thumb.


[5] Cut the petal off of the satinized
mass and tuck the thin sugar back
to the mass to retain the heat.


[6] Secure the first petal to the bud
and then subsequent petals to
the other petals.


[7] As the rose becomes larger, the petal sizes increase.



[1] Place pieces of colored
satinized sugar next to each
other and highlight with
darker colored satinized


[2] Gently and evenly pull the


[3] Once some length has
been established, bring the
two ends together, side by
side, cut the bottom loop, and
continue to stretch the ribbon,
now with more lines.


[4] Continue to elongate the


[5] With a hot knife, cut the
ribbon to the desired length.


[6] Briefly warm the ribbon
segment under the heat lamp,
and then manipulate it into
the desired forms.


[7] Assorted ribbon components
are ready to be added
to the sugar creation.


To make a basic ribbon, four pieces of satinized sugar, of at least two colors, are rolled into the shape of a cigar. They are placed next to each other and joined together. Starting from one end, the sugar is held with the hand in the air and the other hand gently pulls straight down and out to elongate the strip. The piece is then folded in half, the two halves are laid out parallel to each other, and the bottom is cut (it will be curved). It is then inverted and this process is repeated three times. The side of the table or one's leg can be used to smooth the ribbon and make it thinner. Once it is the desired length, it is cut and shaped into the desired length and form. If the ribbon hardens before shaping is complete, it can be heated under a lamp just until it becomes pliable again. To cut the ribbon into portions, it can be cut with a hot knife See Ribbon Making Figure 21-10 for step-by-step photographs of the process.


Blown sugar is sugar art that mirrors glass blowing. Pumps or metal pipes are used to inflate sugar pieces, and with careful manipulation with hands and gravity, many shapes can be created. Accomplished blown sugar artists are capable of creating amazing pieces of sugar art. However, because not everything is easily represented with blown sugar, it is often augmented with other types of sugar work. For this reason, a solid knowledge of decorative sugar work should be obtained, and the base processes of pulled sugar and sugar-casting techniques should be mastered before learning sugar blowing.

Sugar Syrup for Blown Sugar

Syrup for blown sugar is based on the same formula as that for pulled sugar. Blown sugar should be cooked to 315[degrees]F (157[degrees]C) to 320[degrees]F (160[degrees]C). The tartaric acid can be added at 300[degrees]F (149[degrees]C). Although colorants can be added to the sugar base, they usually are not. Instead, the finished piece is typically airbrushed.

Process for Blown Sugar

* After the syrup is cooked, pour it onto a silpat, and satinize it in the same way as sugar for pulling. Reserve and keep warm under a heat lamp. (See Blowing Sugar Figure 21-11, Steps 1-2.)

* To prepare for blowing, pull off the required size, form it into a ball, and mold it around the top portion of your thumb.

* Warm the tip of the sugar pump with a torch, and attach a small piece of sugar to it to act as a liaison to the sugar to be blown.

* Insert the warmed end of the sugar pump halfway into the indentation, and attach the sugar to the sides with the sugar acting as a liaison and ensuring the seal is secure. The natural air left by the indentation that is not attached to the sugar pump will allow the beginning expansion of air when blowing starts.

* Hold the sugar pump slightly perpendicular to the ground.

* Pump slowly and softly, using the hands to guide the expanding sugar and to allow for even air distribution. Gravity will help form the finished piece as will holding it at different levels while pumping more air to play a part in its overall form. (See Blowing Sugar Figure 21-11, Steps 3-4.)

* Using your hands to insulate the piece, cover areas that need to remain warmer.

* During pumping, stop frequently to check the item for consistency in form. (See Blowing Sugar Figure 21-11, Steps 5-6.)

* When the piece is ready, pinch between the margin of the sugar pump and the blown sugar piece.

* Cut with scissors at the pinch and cool completely in front of a fan and finish as desired. (See Blowing Sugar Figure 21-11, Steps 7-9).

Elements Made by Blowing

Figures, forms, fruit, dessert cups, vases, and animals are just a few of the items that can be made from blown sugar. It is best to start simply to get a feel for the technique and then to move on to more detailed items.


[1] Form a ball from satinized sugar,
and create a cavity in it.


[2] Secure the pump or pipe to the
sugar piece.


[3] Begin to inflate the sugar piece,
molding it as it becomes larger.


[4] Here is an alternate method of
blown sugar where just a pipe is
attached to the sugar piece.


[5] Use gravity to help form the shape
of the sugar piece, at the same
time shaping it with your hands.


[6] Form the blown sugar into its
final shape.


[7] Cut off the remaining sugar not
needed for the piece.


[8] The blown fish has added sugar
components for gills and fins.


[9] Airbrush the finished piece.


Making quality sugar showpieces takes practice and mastery of all the components, which can include rock, cast, bubble, pulled, and blown sugar. All showpieces require a strong base and support system to make sure they remain standing. The base and support system should be incorporated into the design of the piece and have good color and flow.

With any event, competition, or display window project, having a detailed plan of execution is best. This should take into account required base syrups, color schemes, templates for casting, and other details that will add efficiency to the process. Before beginning the piece, it is beneficial to do a mock-up out of cardboard. The pastry chef should carefully plan the base, the support system, and all components. After the components have been made, assembly can begin. When it has been made, the finished piece must be stored properly, usually in special cases with crushed limestone under the pedestal to maintain the shape, height, and integrity of the color and shine.

Showpiece Bases

To ensure the stability of a showpiece, the thickness of the base should be directly related to the size and use of the showpiece. It is important to pour the sugar slightly away from the edge to prevent it from riding up the side of the mold and making a lip. The sugar can be marbled after it is poured by using coloring or luster dust that is added in the center and swirled into the base. This will give the poured piece the look of marble.

Sugar that has added tartaric acid for blowing and pulling should only be used to make bases up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Due to the softening effects of the acid, larger bases will have inadequate stability.

Showpiece Support Systems

Essential to producing stability, support pieces should be in harmony with the design of a showpiece. Consideration should be given to which shapes will provide the most support, as well as to how many will be needed for a particular design. For specialty designs, some people make custom molds with modeling paste or custom silicone molds and then cast them.

Attaching Sugar Pieces

Showpiece elements are attached to a base by heating the small area of the base targeted for attachment. Larger items must be heated before they are attached, but they can be reinforced by piping cooked sugar into their seams. Showpiece elements are attached to one another by touching them together, slightly pulling them away and putting them together again. This process of welding produces a very strong bond.

A piece of sugar heated for attachment goes through three stages. In the first stage, the surface appears to liquefy. In the second stage, tiny air bubbles appear on the surface as they escape from the sugar. This is the stage that forms the strongest bond. In the third stage, the bubbles brown and caramelize. If sugar is overheated during this process, the result can be a weak bond.


Wearing surgical gloves makes manipulating hot sugar easier and prevents fingerprints on finished pieces. Because sugar pieces are fragile and decorations made with cooked sugar can absorb moisture from the air, care must be taken when storing. Spraying with a fine coating of sugar lacquer helps preserve the original quality, especially during display. In addition, anti-humectants can also aid in preservation during storage.

Finished sugar pieces or components should be stored in an airtight box with calcium chloride or other humectants to deter humidity from affecting the sugar. Depending on the work done, always use clear airtight boxes of different sizes for small pieces such as flowers, leaves, or ribbons made with pulled sugar. A good way to store large pieces made of poured sugar is to use an old, out-of-service reach-in freezer or refrigerator, which even if in nonworking condition will still be airtight. Always remember to place calcium chloride in boxes and reach-ins in order to avoid humidity before storing sugar pieces inside.

Sugar pieces must be stored right after they are made because humidity creates a less shiny and less satin finish forever, even if it is stored in a dry box afterwards. Boxes containing sugar pieces should be opened as little as possible in order to retain the good-looking quality of the sugar. Sugar pieces can be left outside only in a very dry climate such as that found in Las Vegas or Phoenix.


These sugar syrups are used for decorative sugar work. The use of
"clean" cane sugar is required to create a sugar syrup with minimal
impurities, and techniques for cooking sugar syrups should be
followed carefully.

Poured Sugar Formula
Ingredients       Baker's   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Sugar              100.00      1.000     2.205   2 3 1/4
Water               40.00      0.400     0.882    14 1/8
Glucose             35.00      0.350     0.772    12 3/8
Total              175.00      1.750     3.858   3 13 3/4

Process, Poured Sugar

1. Combine the sugar and water in a clean copper or stainless steel pan
until boiling.

2. Wash down the sides of the pot with a wet brush.

3. Add the glucose, and clean the sides of the pot again if necessary.

4. Monitor the temperature with a thermometer.

5. Cook the sugar to 320[degrees]F (160[degrees]C).

6. Stop the cooking by placing the bottom of the pan in cold water.

7. Wait the necessary time for the air bubbles to disappear, then fill
the forms with the sugar.

Pulled Sugar and Blown Sugar Formula

Ingredients       Baker's   Kilogram   decimal   Lb & Oz

Sugar              100.00      1.000     2.205    2 31/4
Water               40.00      0.400     0.882    14 1/8
Glucose             20.00      0.200     0.441          7
Tartaric acid *    Drops       10        10            10
Total              160.00      1.600     3.527   3 8 1/2

* 10 drops of tartaric acid per 1 kg of sugar

Process, Pulled Sugar and Blown Sugar

1. In a very clean pan, let the sugar melt slowly with the water,
mixing from the start constantly with a whip.

2. Clean the pan sides with a wet brush and bring to a boil.

3. Add the glucose. Cook at high temperature, and control the cooking
using a thermometer.

4. Keep cleaning the pan sides during cooking and skim impurities from
the sugar if necessary.

5. Use the thermometer to slowly mix the sugar and to control a
constant and homogeneous cooking throughout the pan.

6. When the temperature reaches 329[degrees]F (165[degrees]C), turn off
the heat, and stop the cooking by immersing the pan in cold water or
letting it rest on a cold marble top.

7. Let all the bubbles dissolve, and pour on a silpat sheet before it
gets a satin aspect.



Pastillage, or sugar paste, is a sugar-based dough that can be used
for modeling intricate showpieces. It can be left in its strikingly
white state, or it can be airbrushed. For a dramatic effect, try
putting some pastillage in the microwave to create a modern, yet very
white rock sugar. It is an easier technique that yields an open

Ingredients      Baker's %   Kilogram   decimal         Lb & Oz

Powdered sugar      100.00      2.329     5.135   1 lb 13 3/4 oz
Gelatin leaf          0.67      0.016     0.034          1/4 oz
White vinegar         6.67      0.155     0.343            2 oz
Total               107.34      2.500     5.512            2 lb


1. Bloom the gelatin leaves in cold water.

2. Warm up the white vinegar in a microwave to 120[degrees]F (49
[degrees]C), and stir in the bloomed gelatin to melt.

3. Sift the powdered sugar, and place in a mixing bowl fitted with the
paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, and pour in the vinegar mixture
while mixing. Hold on to add a small amount of liquid.

4. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth. Adjust the consistency by
adding the remaining liquid if the paste looks too dry.

5. Place the pastillage in a sealable plastic bag, and seal airtight.
Reserve at room temperature until use.



Also called flower paste, this is another medium used for delicate
decorations. Gum paste can be rolled quite thin and, as a result,
is well-suited for producing realistic flowers and leaves. It is not
as strong as pastillage, but it is easier to form delicate floral

Ingredients        Baker's %     Kilogram     US decimal

Egg whites             12.50          0.243         0.536
Tylose powder           3.50          0.068         0.150
Powdered sugar        100.00          1.946         4.289
Shortening             12.50          0.243         0.536
Total                 128.50          2.500         5.512

Ingredients         Lb & Oz        Test

Egg whites             8 5/8      3 1/8 oz
Tylose powder          2 3/8        7/8 oz
Powdered sugar       4 4 5/8      8 7/8 oz
Shortening             8 5/8      3 1/8 oz
Total                5 8 1/4          2 lb


1. Lightly beat the egg whites.

2. Add the sugar gradually, beating at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the tylose powder, and mix for a few seconds. The mixture will
thicken quickly.

4. Scrape the mixture out of the mixer.

5. Mix the shortening into the mixture, and knead well until smooth.

6. Wrap the gum paste in plastic wrap, close tightly, and keep in the

7. Allow the paste to warm to room temperature before using.



Rolled fondant is a sugar dough that is not based on a cooked
sugar syrup as is confectionary or pastry fondant. Rolled fondant
is used primarily in the cake decorating business and is
one of the most popular choices for finishing wedding cakes. It
can be colored using gel colors, and it can also be airbrushed.

Ingredients        Baker's %     Kilogram     US decimal

Gelatin                 0.78          0.015         0.033
Cold water              7.03          0.136         0.299
Powdered sugar        100.00          1.928         4.250
Glucose                17.18          0.331         0.730
Glycerin                1.56          0.030         0.066
Shortening              3.13          0.060         0.133
Total                 129.68          2.500         5.512

Ingredients         Lb & Oz        Test

Gelatin                 1/2           1/4 oz
Cold water            4 3/4         1 3/4 oz
Powdered sugar        4   4    1 lb 8 5/8 oz
Glucose              11 5/8         4 1/4 oz
Glycerin                  1           3/8 oz
Shortening            2 1/8           3/4 oz
Total              5  8 1/4             2 lb


1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.

2. Sift the powdered sugar and place in a mixing bowl, and make a well
in the center.

3. Heat the gelatin to melt completely.

4. Add the glucose and glycerin to the melted gelatin.

5. Stir the shortening into this mixture, and heat to 110[degrees]F (43
[degrees]C), stirring constantly.

6. Pour the mixture immediately into the well in the powdered sugar,
without pouring onto the sides. Avoid allowing the gelatin to set,
which will cause specks in the final product.

7. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment, and scrape as needed
until a soft white dough is formed.

8. Remove from the mixer and knead, dusting with equal parts cornstarch
and powdered sugar until a smooth dough is formed.

9. Wrap airtight or use immediately.



This formula and process coat nuts with a thin layer of sugar syrup,
which crystallizes, through agitation, giving a sandy, white coating to
the nuts. After this stage, the nuts could be cooked until the sandy
sugar turns into a caramel. Almonds are specified, but any nut can
be used.

Ingredients        Baker's %     Kilogram     US decimal

Almonds, toasted      100.00          1.692         3.730
Sugar                  36.67          0.620         1.368
Water                  11.11          0.188         0.414
Vanilla bean            Each          2             2
Total                 147.78          2.500         5.512

Ingredients         Lb & Oz        Test

Almonds, toasted   3 11 5/8      1 lb 6 oz
Sugar              1  5 7/8           8 oz
Water                 6 5/8           2 oz
Vanilla bean              2         1 each
Total              5  8 1/4           2 lb


1. Roast the nuts in a low oven until the cores of the nuts are golden

2. Combine the sugar, water, and vanilla bean seeds, and cook until 240
[degrees]F (116[degrees]C).

3. Add the nuts, and stir constantly until the sugar crystallizes and
the nuts are dry, white, and sandy.

4. Transfer to a sheet pan to cool, and then store in a covered
container for up to 1 month.



Slowly cooking fruit in sugar syrup preserves it and changes its
flavor and appearance. Candied fruit is often eaten as a confection,
used for decoration, or chopped and included as an ingredient in
cakes or cookies. Fruits with a sturdy texture such as citrus,
pineapples, cherries, and apricots are well suited to this preparation.

Mise en Place

Water for blanching
Sugar syrup (formula follows)
Citrus fruits

Sugar Syrup Formula

Ingredients        Baker's %     Kilogram     US decimal

Sugar                 100.00          0.546         1.204
Glucose                42.73          0.233         0.514
Water                  86.18          0.471         1.038
Total                 228.91          1.250         2.756

Ingredients         Lb & Oz        Test

Sugar              1  3 1/4          7 oz
Glucose               8 1/4          3 oz
Water                 1 5/8          6 oz
Total              2 12 1/8          1 lb

Process, Sugar Syrup

1. Place the sugar, glucose, and water in a pot. Heat until the sugar
is completely dissolved.

2. Cool and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.

Process, Citrus Confit

1. Cut the fruits in quarters, and remove the skins. Blanch the skin in
boiling water three times, changing the water each time.

2. Bring the syrup to a boil in a pot. Place the blanched skins in the
syrup; keep simmering for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Make sure that the syrup
does not boil and that the skins are immersed in the syrup.

3. Remove the pot from the heat, and allow the skins to cool in the

4. Cover well and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.


There are many ways to apply creativity and design to the products that come out of the pastry kitchen. The pastry chef's decorative repertoire can span from intricate piping for a birthday cake, to pastillage centerpieces, to vibrant sugar showpieces. When deciding on the appropriate elements for a finished item, the pastry chef should a always ask what it is for, where it will be served, and how it will be presented. With this information, the project is sure to be a success and the customer, satisfied.


* Applied method

* Blown sugar

* Bubble sugar

* Calcium carbonate

* Cast sugar

* Filigree

* Isomalt

* Paper cone

* Pastillage

* Pastillage glue

* Piped sugar

* Pulled sugar

* Rock sugar

* Satinizing

* Sliding method

* Spun sugar

* Sugar lamp

* Tartaric acid

* Thread method


1. What is pastillage used for? How is it made? Are there any special considerations?

2. Why is tartaric acid used in sugar art? What is the result if the tartaric acid is added to the sugar syrup too soon?

3. Why is it important to add glucose to the sugar syrup after it has reached a boil?

4. What can be done to ensure the integrity of finished sugar pieces?

5. What is satinizing? How is it done?
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Title Annotation:PART 4 PASTRY
Author:Saus, Michel
Publication:Advanced Bread and Pastry
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Chapter 20 Plated desserts.
Next Article:Chapter 22 Chocolate and chocolate work.

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