Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sugar Decoration

This is a Japanese-inspired fondant cake designed by our chef-instructor Scott Green for our sugar decoration final exam. I made all the components myself, including cast sugar platforms, a blown sugar sphere and birds, pulled sugar ribbon, roses, twigs, and grass, and "bubble sugar".

Sugar decoration is a lot like glassblowing. You work with a hot, amorphous putty that becomes hard at room temperature. It can be molded, pulled into sheets, or blown into hollow forms. When worked at the right temperature it takes on a lustrous sheen. It's maybe the most challenging pastry art because of the temperamental material, radiating heat lamps, and easily blistered fingers. But I love the result and hope I can find a blister-free way to incorporate some of the techniques into my cakes.