For more information on pulled sugar ribbon techniques and recipes, see my previous post here.
Humidity is a concern when working with sugar, because sugar is hygroscopic – meaning that sugar molecules are attracted to water. Sugar should never be stored in the cooler because of this, unless a softening effect is desired (for example, to keep brown sugar soft).
In humid environments, finished sugar pieces will soften, lose shape, and become dull. The addition of acid to aid in elasticity also softens and dulls sugar.
These pieces were carefully stored at room temperature in an air-tight bucket with packets of silica gel.
The hummingbird was painted using and a combination of a paintbrush and airbrush, with edible food colouring:For inspiration, I suggest checking out the magnificent work by Stéphane Klein, I consider him a leader in the world among sugar artistry. You can see his amazing work on his website, or on his Facebook page, Stéphane KLEIN Connexion. (Disclaimer: Some images NSFW)
Gumpaste (or gum paste) figure sculpting or modelling:
In any type of sculpting or modelling of a human figure, I find it best to shape each piece separately, the attached together after drying. By shaping and allowing the head, arms and body to dry separately, it allows for less dis-figuration when attaching.
Another key to success is the use of a fine point to pick up and attach small pieces. Our fingers are blunt and difficult to see around, making precise placement difficult. Fingers and hands are also warm, which an easily melt or make fine pieces sticky. Always use the tip of a toothpick, or tip of a knife to attach fine pieces.
With a paintbrush, lightly wet the area that the fine piece is to attach to. Then use your fine point to lightly prick the piece, then attach it. Use modelling tools, not fingers, to shape pieces in place.
In this particular case, the arms, body and wings have an internal wire. The wings were hand cut and textured using a craft knife:
Piped chocolate butterflies:
Each set of wing is separately hand piped onto a clear acetate sheet, then allowed to dry. The clear acetate does not wrinkle, unlike parchment.
An M-shaped form was made using folded paper, upon which each side of the butterfly is placed. The wings are then connected using chocolate.
The Calgary Sugarcraft Guild is hosting it’s very first cake competition/contest at North Hill Mall from November 7th to 10th, 2013.
Youth, Adult and Professional categories are available to compete in.
Registration is due October 22nd.
Please click here for more information.