A gorgeous professional-level guide to the most challenging form of the confectioner's art
A showpiece created entirely from sugar is truly a work of art, and it takes an eye for design and strong pastry skills to work with this delicate medium. The Art of the Confectioner is the ultimate guide to working with sugar to create beautiful sugar and pastillage shapes, flowers, figurines, and breathtaking full-scale showpieces. Author and award-winning pastry chef Ewald Notter shares wisdom gained from more than 35 years in the pastry kitchen, and combines straightforward advice and step-by-step instructions with lessons on developing artistry and design skills.
The book begins with a basic overview of sugar, including information on the equipment and ingredients needed to work with sugar and Isomalt. Subsequent chapters cover Pastillage, Sugar Casting, Sugar Pulling, Sugar Blowing, and New Trends in Sugarwork, and include detailed instructions on how to make everything from delicate flowers to whimsical blown sugar figurines. And the final chapter shows how readers can bring together all the skills learned throughout the book to create award-winning sugar and pastillage showpieces. From working with shapes and color and choosing a focus point to developing a sculpture based on a particular theme, Notter provides insights into all the tricks of the trade and expert advice on preparing for competitions.
Throughout the book, techniques are explained with simple, step-by-step instructions and illustrated with clear how-to photos, while stunning showpiece beauty shots provide inspiration. The book includes hundreds of color photos as well as beautiful hand-painted watercolor illustrations by the author, and an Appendix of templates is provided to help readers replicate the showpieces shown throughout the book. For pastry students, aspiring confectioners, and professional pastry chefs looking to improve their skills for restaurant work or competition, The Art of the Confectioner is a must-have guide from one of the field's most well-known experts.
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Excerpt: Creating Doves
The technique for creating a dove is similar to that for creating a swan, but the dove has quite a different look. Doves have small round heads with short beaks. The neck is short and the chest is full and large. The dove is a universal symbol for love, so these doves holding wedding rings are perfect for a wedding or engagement celebration.
|1. Begin to blow a sphere. |
2. Use your thumb and index finger to work a small ball away from the top of the sphere. This is the dove’s head.
|3. Use your thumb and index finger to slightly elongate the dove’s neck, leaving a large teardrop shape at the base of the neck for the dove’s body. Bend the head to a 90-degree angle.||4. Use your thumb and index finger to roll the head down to touch the neck.|
|5. Cool and remove the dove from the tube. |
6. Pinch the open end closed and rewarm the closed end over the flame of an alcohol burner, then attach a small piece of warm Isomalt or sugar to form the tail.
|7. Use your fingers to flatten and widen the tail.||8. Use room-temperature scissors to make indentations in the tail resembling feathers.|
|9. Pull a wing using the same technique as for pulling petals. Pull one side longer than the other to create a curve.||10. Use scissors to make short indentations in the long edge of the wing. Set aside.||11. Pull a second wing and use scissors to mark it with feather indentations.|
|12. Melt the wide edge of each wing slightly over the flame of an alcohol burner. |
13. Attach the wings to the dove, facing downward, then bend the wings upward.
|14. Use room-temperature scissors to cut a small triangle from a piece of red Isomalt or sugar. Warm the triangle over the flame of an alcohol burner and attach it to the head to form the beak.||15. Cut a small piece of red Isomalt or sugar and melt one end over the flame of an alcohol burner. Use the melted end to create eyes by dotting each side of the head.|
|16. Pull a thin, short piece of Isomalt or sugar by pulling and sliding it between your index finger and thumb. Cut it off from the main piece using room-temperature scissors, then warm both ends over the flame of an alcohol burner and bring the ends together to form a closed ring. |
17. Pull another thin, short piece of Isomalt or sugar and bend it to form an open ring.
18. Place the open ring through the closed ring and join the ends of the open ring to close it and link the two rings together.
|19. Using room-temperature scissors, cut a small piece of white Isomalt or sugar and melt one end over the flame of an alcohol burner. |
20. Place a small amount of the melted white Isomalt or sugar on the bottom of the dove’s beak.
21. Immediately attach the rings to the melted Isomalt or sugar.
|22. Store the completed piece in an airtight container or plastic bag with limestone, calcium carbonate, or silica gel.|
Combine a pair of doves with a blown heart shape for a beautiful symbol of love.
The Art Of The Confectioner
Creating complex and beautiful sugarwork showpieces, whether for display or competition, requires a wide range of pastry skills in addition to creativity and artistic vision. Among the best practitioners of this art in the world, famed pastry chef Ewald Notter explains those techniques and skills in The Art of the Confectioner.
Though edible showpieces and displays have graced the tables of banquet halls and the lobbies of high-end restaurants, hotels, and country clubs for more than a century, the last several years have seen a revolution in this most complex form of the confectioner's art. Since the development of isomalt as an ingredient, confectioners can now create sugar that is as clear as glass and ideal for more delicate and complex designs. In The Art of the Confectioner, Notter presents a gorgeously illustrated guide that covers the full range of pastry and confectionery skills needed to create fantastic and imaginative showpieces. Chapters include:
Introduction to Sugarwork and Pastillage. The history of sugar; working with sugar, isomalt, and pastillage; and the essential tools, equipment, and ingredients for the pastry kitchen.
Pastillage. Recipes and techniques for rolling, cutting, and drying pastillage and for creating textures, modeled shapes, flowers, and much more.
Sugar Casting. Casting techniques for sugar and isomalt, including casting into clay, metal bars, and silicone molds; creating your own custom molds; and assembling cast sugar pieces.
Sugar Pulling. Basic sugar pulling techniques and step-by-step instructions for pulling flowers, ribbons, bows, and even a woven sugar basket.
Sugar Blowing. Blowing basic spheres as well as fanciful shapes and figures, from fruits, birds, and animals to elegant human figurines.
New Trends. Exciting new techniques for working with sugar and isomalt, including ice casting, rock sugar, saturated sugar, clear pulling and blowing, and a simpler, cleaner technique for spun sugar.
Competition. With expert advice on preparing for competition, including detailed information on using color, shapes, and proportion; researching a theme; and the processes of design and assembly, this section shows how you can use all the skills from previous chapters to create your own stunning full-scale showpieces.
Whether you're a pastry student, an aspiring confectioner, or a professional pastry chef who wants to improve your skills for restaurant work or competition, The Art of the Confectioner is a must-have guide from one of the field's most respected figures.
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