Monday, September 14, 2009

Sugar - Part 2

Happy Monday!! This class tends to make me sooo excited; it feels like Christmas every day! I look forward to new challenges and cool projects! I've had some classes here that I've dreaded going to, but this one is super awesome!

I had to finish up my sugar showpiece today, as well as make a batch of rolled fondant, and leave time for Chef C's demos. Argh! So much to work around! Chef C demo'd how to make the rolled fondant first thing, and then showed a sweet slideshow on all the different ways fondant can be used. More later.

I quickly got to work and assessed the situation with the pieces I'd made on Friday. Thankfully, they'd made it through the weekend! Whew! They were a little bit sticky but still useable. I'm so glad that I kept all of them, even if they didn't seem great at the time. Something is better than nothing when you're in a pinch!

However, I had plenty of time to finish things up. I looked at the base I'd made on Friday and decided that it wasn't worth keeping, so I tossed it and started over. The inside is supposed to look like this (known as "straw" sugar):
But we weren't required to break it open for our showpiece. This is done by carefully folding hot sugar back and forth onto itself, creating lots of tunnels. I think I may have pinched and squished mine a bit (the pink piece), so I just left the whole thing intact and used it as a base for all my other pieces.
I alternated two colored logs and set them on the warmer to create the ribbons. These were SO hard! In order to pull the ribbons evenly, the sugars all have to be the same consistency/temperature. This is incredibly difficult, as the warmer doesn't heat evenly, and neither does the microwave! I had to make do and ended up getting more than enough loops and ends to choose from for my piece.

I made another rose to bring the total to four, attached the wings to my swan and was ready to assemble! I had a solid hour to accomplish this before the lunch break, so I took my time. I glued the straw sugar (pink) to the bases Chef C had made for us (a solid disc of sugar). I made up a bubble (green) to fill the space, glued down my swan and set to work getting the rest of the components added on.
Feels like it ended up being a little bit cluttered, but I liked the overall look and the colors came out very Easter-y! Can you see the golden goose that's hiding? :)

The rolled fondant was REALLY easy! Chef C swears that the homemade kind is best, plus you can decide what color to make it and you can better control the consistency. Our recipe and many basic recipes include:
- Confectioners sugar
- Gelatin (acts as a stabilizer)
- Corn syrup (acts as a moisturizer)
- Water (to bloom the gelatin)
- Glycerin (softens to make easy rolling)
- Shortening (acts as a moisturizer)
The process to mix is very easy. The hardest part about fondant is the actual placement on the cake. It is temperamental and picks up marks easily from fingers, jewelry, etc. The whole aim of fondant is to make a cake look flawless, smooth and sometimes shiny. It's pretty much pure sugar, and doesn't taste really good, so it normally gets peeled right off of cakes when it comes time to serve :(

Chef C gave us a demo on how to properly cover a square cake, as well as a round cake. Tomorrow we get to decorate a dummy cake (made of styrofoam) and practice all these cool techniques on it! We move so fast from project to project, it's crazy! Makes the time fly by though :)

1 comment:

your future s-i-l :) said...

hey aubs! i love reading your blog, and i find myself wondering, "if i blogged about my day, what would i write about?!" i mean, crazy ninth graders...

so here's a piece from my e-maginary blog. perhaps then it will become clear why i don't blog.

"another day in the life of...

returned to work today after having left late on friday after open house. classroom was warm and stale. ugh. things went okay in the am--had to ask a girl to put her barnum's animal crackers outside (enforcing the no-HFCS rule in my classroom, and yes, mommies and daddies, those animal crackers DO contain high fructose corn syrup; it's why they're SO STINKIN' YUMMY!). she forgot them when she left, and i was tempted to snag a few but fought the tempation successfully.

fourth period, kids opened up the phone boxes (formerly used to house mac power adapters, currently used to house errant cell phones in an attempt to prevent kids from texting during my oh-so-enlightening lectures) on their desks to find someone from second period had shoved the remainder of his nature valley granola bar inside. what a bunch of slobs.

sixth period, child knocked on the door, interrupting my tranquility to ask if she could leave her cello in my room until after school. (note to self--a cello is a ridiculous thing to have to lug around when you go to high school on a mountain.)

eighth period. almost done. monday is almost over. just have to get through our week six monday marathon training, which will include running varney circle about a million times."

yes. no blogging for me. hugs from hawaii!

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