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Friday, March 27, 2015

Culinary School - Session 90: Advanced Sugar Techniques - Pulled Sugar

Culinary School: Session 90 (03.25.15)

Advanced Sugar Techniques - Pulled Sugar

If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen... or grab another pair of gloves...

Last Session's Poured Sugar was a very basic technique: molten sugar poured into heat resistant molds where it set into hard, solid pieces, like slabs of sweet glass. Pulled Sugar is infinitely more interesting. It remains pliable at high temperatures meaning that Pulled Sugar can be stretched and formed into a variety of intricate shapes, if perhaps only by those with callouses thick enough to handle the heat.

Bow of Pulled Sugar Ribbon

Different Sugar techniques can be easily combined. Whereas Poured Sugar is great for creating strong, single-color pieces, Pulled Sugar can be manipulated into much more delicate structures with intricate coloring. 

The Pulled Sugar technique was perfect for creating thin feathers for the Poured Sugar Owl Sculpture, and the pliability of Pulled Sugar made it a perfect medium for forming a hat.

And since Sugar loves Sugar, connecting the pieces took little more than some gentle heat from a small tea candle.

Wing of Pulled Sugar Feathers

Poured Sugar Owl with Pulled Sugar Feather Wings and Hat

- Ingredients Running Tally -

Ingredients used to date (03.25.15):
  • Flour: 24,535g
  • Eggs: 16,000g (320x)
  • Sugar: 27,390g
  • Butter: 16,020g
  • Milk/Cream: 16,845g
  • Chocolate: 9,000g (since 01.12.15)

    - The Techniques -


    Pulled Sugar


    Preparing Pulled Sugar: With Poured Sugar, Glucose was added to boiling sugar to help prevent crystallization. With Pulled Sugar, vinegar is added to the boiling mixture and the Sugar is heated to 160 degrees Celsius. Like Glucose, vinegar helps to prevent crystallization, but in a different way. The acidic vinegar "inverts" the Sugar, transforming Sucrose into the simpler forms of Fructose and Glucose. The resulting Invert Sugar remains pliable, making it possible to stretch the Sugar into delicate pieces.

    Coloring and Satinizing Pulled Sugar: Pulled Sugar is colored similar to Poured Sugar. Once the Sugar reaches temperature, a few drops of gel or alcohol-based dye can be added. As the Sugar begins to cool, the color is kneaded into the mixture. Once the Pulled Sugar is cool enough to handle (even if only for a few seconds at a time), it is "Satinized". Sanitization is the processes whereby air is captured inside the Pulled Sugar through a series of folds and twists. The trapped air gives the Pulled Sugar a vibrant shine.  

    Coloring Pulled Sugar

    Piece of Pink Pulled Sugar

    Piece of Satinized Yellow Pulled Sugar

    Pieces of Colored Pulled Sugar

    Heat Lamps for Working with Pulled Sugar

    Band of Colored Pulled Sugar to be Stretched into Ribbon

    Pieces of Pulled Sugar Ribbon

    Abstract Pieces of Pulled Sugar Ribbon

    Bow of Pulled Sugar Ribbon

    Next - Session 91: Advanced Sugar Techniques - Rock Sugar, Bubble Sugar, Net Sugar and Ice Sugar

    Previous - Session 89: Advanced Sugar Techniques - Poured Sugar

    Take a look at the full syllabus

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