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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Culinary School - Session 77: Pastillage Showpiece

Culinary School: Session 77 (02.23.15)

Pastillage Showpiece

Lessons learned the hard way...

Another unit, another showpiece.

The Chocolate Candy Stand from last unit had been a modest success. Offbeat plans to create the man-eating plant from "Little Shop of Horrors" came together nicely. There were no disasters: a few minor hiccups were remedied quickly and painlessly.   

And yet there's still nothing quite like the frustration of working with a new medium. Hours of careful planning are destroyed in seconds as pieces literally crumble in your hands. Disappointment is followed by a series of panicked changes of plan. How could I have known it would be so delicate?

Such is the case with the Pastillage Showpiece: an open-ended design made from a "technically" edible mixture of powdered sugar, vinegar and gelatin. My design: an 18" Beehive made from a delicate skeleton of the sugar paste and finished with tiers of concentric rings and bee-shaped cut-outs. 

After I cut the first few pieces, one thing was clear. When I start to assemble the final design, if it does not snap immediately, it will be a Pastillage-Project Miracle. The proof will be in the next three sessions!

Pastillage Beehive Showpiece Pieces Drying

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Ingredients used to date (02.23.15):
  • Flour: 24,240g
  • Eggs: 15,400g (308x)
  • Sugar: 22,260g
  • Butter: 15,440g
  • Milk/Cream: 15,780g
  • Chocolate: 2,925g (since 01.12.15)

    - The Showpiece -

    The Pastillage Showpiece


    All construction must be performed during class sessions; however, design, template making and mold fabrication is permitted outside of class hours.

    1. A detailed, color diagram
    2. Project itinerary
    3. Recipes: 1,000g of Pastillage, 1,000g Pressed Sugar and 500g Royal Icing
    4. At least one Sugar Paste Flower
    5. Approximate dimensions: 18" tall by 6" wide

    Pastillage Beehive Showpiece Diagram

    Pastillage Beehive Showpiece Bees Drying

    Pastillage Beehive Showpiece Diagram and Templates

    Next - Sessions 78 & 79: Sugar Paste Flowers

    Previous - Session 76: Nougatine, Marzipan Airbrushing and Pastillage Rocking Horse (cont.)

    Take a look at the full syllabus

    Questions? Comments? Send me an email or leave a comment.
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