First off Happy Birthday to two of my aunts...Aunty Karin and Aunty Liz! May you both be awesomely blessed and spoiled totally frotten today :-D. Much love! Xxxxx.
And because its two beautifully sweet ladies birthdays today; I thought we could do a themed week this week and keep the recipes sweet! Also; there's going to be a new surprise happening on The Chef Mother...wanna know what it is?? Come take a peek tomorrow!! But for now let's take a look at sugar art. Well; what is it?; what is it for and how do you make it? Shall we get started?.....
Wisegeek says: "Sugar art is a specialty within the candy and pastry making field which involves using sugar to create complex shapes, scenes, textures, and patterns. Displays of sugar art appear in a wide variety of settings, from wedding cakes to store windows, with sugar art being especially common during the winter holiday season. Artisans at the top of their field even attend sugar art competitions to pit their skills against those of others, and the displays at these events can be quite astounding"
To make sugar art, it requires melting the sugar to a very precise temperature for whatsoever you are making to allow the complete product to be strong. Once the sugar is made prepared, it can be emptied into a form to dry or be more worked upon, once it begins to coagulate. You get "blown sugar" and "pulled sugar" and sugar artisans can even make inedible sugar art to make it last longer for displays and competitions. The process of molding sugar is known as pulling, as you pull the molten sugar in order to form smooth lines that then harden into a brittle sugar sculpture.
Things You'll Need:
1 1/4 cups sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Bring to boil 1 1/4 cups sugar and 100 ml of water over high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Once it reaches boiling point, stir in 1 tsp. of lemon juice and food coloring of your choice. Watch the thermometer carefully until it reads 298 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the mixture reach this temperature or it will not properly harden when cooled. The trick to candy making is bringing it to peak at a high temperature. If you do not use a thermometer, you risk gooey candy.
Pour the boiling candy syrup onto a silicone mat. You can use a piece of parchment paper, but make sure the paper sticks to the counter. Hold it down with tape or weights. Do not use wax paper, which will melt and stick to your candy. Put on a pair of pastry gloves or kitchen sink gloves to keep from burning yourself once you begin to pull.
Allow the sugar to cool briefly (less than a minute), only so it is solid yet bendable. If you let it sit for more than a minute it will harden and you will have a sheet of sugar, perhaps pretty for a cake plate, but not for sugar pulling purposes.
Begin to pull. Fold the sugar back and forth to get the feel of it, and then cut off small pieces and begin to stretch, pull and twirl the sugar into any form you desire. You must work quickly. You can use tools such as dowels to help you create ribbon curls, or bend it in droplets to make flowers.
Reheat if the sugar cools before you finish. Place the sugar under a heat lamp or in a pot over low heat on the stove or in the oven. Do not let it melt, or you will have caramel. Let it warm enough only so that it is pliable again, and then repeat the pulling of small pieces into ribbons or shapes.
These are images taken from google; just to show you how beautiful sugar art can really be; and its also awesome fun to make. Give your desserts and cakes a new pazzazz with your very own sugar art and wow friends and family with your artistic expressions :-D.
Happy birthday again to my two aunts and stay sweet, peeps!
Sugar love Chef Shants xxxxx