Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sugar Figurine Class

Master Pastry Arts Series with Susan Notter at the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts

Sugar Figurines - 2 day class

This class was designed to teach the art of pulled and blown sugar and then apply the techniques to create intricate figurines.
We started with a female figure, first blowing the skirt then applying pulled ribbons to look like curved layers of fabric.  The body was molded in white sugar, allowed to cool and then passed through a thin layer of pink sugar. This techniques coats the piece with a very thin transluscent layer of color and also work well on hummingbirds, blow them with yellow sugar and then pass them through blue, it results in a thin shimmering layer of green. I think molding the arms and cutting the hands is really challenging; it's very difficult to create the muscles without indenting the sugar in all the wrong places and remember the elbow is always angled! I see so may round elbows - just not possible.

On day 2 we created the pierrot sitting in the moon. I cast the moon inbetween 2 cake rings which had been oiled so they would realease once the sugar cooled. The legs are blown first and then positioned so they cross and sit on the moon.  The body is a cone shape which is opened up before cooling and pulled apart to form a bell like shape, this is also useful as the body of an Angel!

I had a great time teaching the class and I think despite a couple of blisters and a little frustration my students did also

Not one of my students!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cake Sculpture with Karen Portaleo - Highland Bakery Atlanta

Karen's finished cake - she taught us how to do this in 1 day!

We had the total pleasure of having Karen teach the pastry arts instructors at the PA School of Culinary Arts in Lancaster PA.  Karen and I met filming Halloween Wars in Los Angeles in December last year. I was totally inspired by her skill and artistry so I invited her to come to us for a couple of days to share her structural concepts and decorating techniques.

So beginning with cake we made the layers for the skirt
I know - lots of straws but Karen wanted to show us how to stabilize a much larger cake. We then cut the straws down to the height of the cake. Then it went in the refrigerator to cool. 
For the central support we attached a flange to a board and then screwed the central pipe into it - Purchased at your local DYI store!
Once the cake was chilled we slid it over the pipe and then began carving

Once we had the skirt carved it was chilled again and then covered in a layer of buttercream to make the fondant stick

The body was made out of modeling chocolate sculptured around the wooden dowel which was later inserted into the pipe supporting the skirt. The wire formed the support for the head and arms.


The body made out out modeling chocolate was then placed into the center pipe of the skirt and screwed in place. Once the body was attached to the skirt we covered the body with a sheet of rolled fondant which we then carved and molded to give the detail in her face and body. Fondant was also layered of the skirt to form the folds of fabric.

    From the back - note the twists of hair!

Painted detail before airbrushing

After airbrushing

Oh la la!!

Thanks Karen