How to Get Started with Sugar Art
Posted: 13 June 2010 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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For our next baking project, my daughter wants us to begin playing with sugar art. Specifically, she wants us to build edible stained glass to use in a cake. She has done research on the web and has shown me what she learned. But, we still have questions, so I wanted to see if any of you has worked with Sugar Art before.

Do you recommend using sugar or isomalt? Isomalt seems to have less problems with being cloudy than sugar does, but it costs more and has to be special ordered.

Once you’ve melted and colored the sugar, you pour it onto a baking pan to cool and harden for about an hour. Once it’s cooled, you turn over the pan and supposedly the sugar glass will fall out. Its our understanding that once you begin working with the sugar glass that it quickly becomes sticky and needs to be refrigerated. When do you have to worry about it becoming sticky? At what point does it require refrigeration? Once the sugar art/stained glass is assembled, will it still need refrigeration?

Any tips on cutting the sugar glass? My understanding is that you use a glass cutter, but you have to be careful because the sugar glass is very brittle. My daughter read that some people make their own mold and then pour the sugar into a mold, but I don’t think that would work for stained glass. It would be hard to make the mold and it would be difficult to pour the melted sugar accurately into the proper slots.

How do you get your cut sugar glass to be precisely the correct size? We’re assuming that we make a drawing which would look like a coloring book page, place the drawing under clear paper (not sure what paper to use) and place the uncut of sugar glass on top. Then when you cut the sugar glass, you’d follow the image. I not sure you’d be able to see the drawing clearly and cutting the sugar glass is already supposed to be difficult. Is there a trick to doing this?

Once I’ve got my pieces cut out, how do I stick them together? My daughter wants the stained glass to stand up, not lay down.

Pointers to any resources and any suggestions on beginner projects would also be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 14 June 2010 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t know if this will be helpful at all, because I’ve never done what you describe, but it does bring a few thoughts to mind.

I know that people make “stained glass cookies” where you essentially make cookies where you roll out the dough, cut circles (or whatever), cut circles in the circles and fill that with crushed candy and bake.

You could possibly use that concept.  Pipe the dough into the shapes you want to fill and fill with crushed candy and bake.  Then, either use those pieces themselves (chocolate cookies would look like leading) or possibly bread the cookie away and use just the insides.  You could also pipe frosting over the leading, but I’m not sure how that would look—if it would be too raised.

Might be a place to start, conceptually, anyway! Good luck—sounds like fun!

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Posted: 19 July 2010 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t know your location but Roland Mesnier is making the rounds doing demonstrations that include sugar work and blown sugar.  I know he is doing Publix Aprons classes, if you are in the South.  Roland was the White House pastry chef for over 25 years.

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