Thursday, May 3, 2007


This week we've been working with sugar. We started with the basics, making pastillage. Think "Altoids" without the flavor. This is basically powdered sugar, a little water, and a little vinegar. You can roll it out and make it into shapes, and it dries to a brittle consistency very quickly.

The next day we worked on pulled sugar. Here, you heat sugar to 165 degrees Celcius (roughly 350 F), then let it "cool down" to a workable temperature. I say "cool down" because it's still extremely hot when you're working with it. The majority of the time you're keeping it under a very hot lamp to keep it workable. The lamps we use put out 500 Watts, only about 18" off the table. So if you have a 100 W lamp in your house, picture yourself working less than 12" under a lamp that's giving off 5 times the heat, all while you're working with the hottest ball of silly putty you can imagine. By the time it was all said and done on Tuesday, the kitchen was about 95 degrees, and we were all sweating. But the result was the roses you see at the very right of the picture. The 2 purple roses are not done yet, they each need one last round of petals. But you get a pretty good idea of what they'll look like. Working with that hot ball of sugar, you pull out pieces, petal by petal, and form them onto your rose. Hence, "pulling sugar." All the while, I wore 2 layers of rubber gloves, and my hands still took a beating. I didn't get any blisters, but I think I might have been the only one.

Then we moved onto blown sugar. Using the same basic setup, you take your sugar and insert it onto a copper tube, hooked up to a pump like that used to take blood pressure. By blowing air into the hot sugar and using your hands, you can make all kinds of shapes. Think of it like blowing glass. In the one picture, you'll see a bird that I was able to blow on one of my first attempts. I also made another larger bird, but it broke overnight before I could get a picture. Asi es la vida. We also worked on making spheres, and fruits such as apples and pears. Pictured, you'll see one of the pears I made, although the stem and most of the leaf have broken off. I'll replace them before they go on my showpiece tomorrow. Check back this weekend to see a picture of my finished showpiece.

Sugar, aw, Honey, Honey. You are my Candy girl, and you've got me wanting you.

Yopp, any chance you can get me one of those blood pressure inflater thingy's??? :-)

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At April 18, 2009 at 11:05 PM , Anonymous nikki said...

your sugar work is amazing!! I start sugar work at elgin community college next week and am very excited any good advice for a sugar newbie?


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