Hi, this is my first post on here, so I hope I am in the right place. I have been reading every thread I can find on blowing sugar. There seems to be an abundance of "this is the only way" on one post, and then the next post would say that the other method should never be used. Anyway if you are still following me, I guess I am wondering what worked for you?
Here are my main questions:
- Can I use regular sugar? ( I have read a lot about isomalt being easier to work with, but I am on a VERY tight budget)
- Some posts made it sound very hard, and others like it was the victim of bad publicity-- for a person fairly new to cake decorating, am I out of my mind for wanting to try a small project?
- Do you use the same recipes for pulled and blown sugar?
- I don't have a silpat... Will a baking sheet work? Greased or ungreased?
- One post said to prick a little hole in the piece, and others made it sound as though they were completely enclosed.
- Back to question #1, if I use regular sugar, will it be carmel colored, or clear? I know that the more you cook sugar the darker it is, but if you cook it carefully, can it be clear?
Now, if you managed to follow my line of thought and questions it might be helpful to tell you what I want to do: I am making a jukebox cake for a family member's birthday, and I want to put a blown sugar light bulb shape in it.
Oh and I also need to know how to make a clear sugar window. Poured sugar I believe? Could someone give me a recipe please? Thanks in advance!!!!!
Partial answers courtesy of the Wilton books with sections on sugar work
1. YES you can use white cane sugar for pulled and blown sugar work.
3. Same recipe.
4. The older books call for a copper screen on the workbench, that sits next to a radiant electric heater. No silpats back in those days.
5. When you blow, there is a hole at the pipe and no other holes. You cool the piece on a curved object to prevent collapsing.
Recipe: please get yourself a copy of The Wilton Way of Cake Decorating Volume II which was published in 1977 which has full instructions. Or the Wilton Celebrate! II book which has a short section. The recipes are copyright and I will not copy them. The books are dirt cheap on ebay and used book websites--sometime the shipping will cost more than the book. The Wilton Way Volume II also has an extensive candymaking section.
Finally--for a clear piece of poured sugar, you can use any hard candy recipe. Please check your local public library for many options.
And for that cake, go to www.wilton.com and look along the left side for "pattern locator" which will link you to a very complete pinball machine from the search box.
Thanks! I have an old Wilton book, and will look in it first for the recipes.
For the recipes I mean...
AI really like doing pieces with blown sugar. It is certainly more difficult than pulling ribbons or flower petals, but it is rewarding when the shape comes out the way you want it, The trick is to go slowly the whole way.
Thanks for the tip! I am very excited to try!
AHere is another tip or few then.
Have a hot air dryer on a stand. The gentle heat will prolong your working time. Attach a small chunk of pulled sugar onto the blown sugar piece if you are attaching the blown piece to another item. The walls of blown sugar are too thin and a gaping hole will form if heated directly. Instead, melt the nub you just attached so it adds strength and heat protection. When you do the very first few pumps to inflate the sugar hold it staigth up to keep it round...hold it down to help it grow long. Think apples vs bananas. rub your hands to smooth out the sugar as it is blown. Your hands will cool down the sugar. Areas you are holding will not expand as much, creating a deformed mass. Wath tons of youtube videos on this and pay special attention to how the hands and piece interact with each other. Watch and then imitate, find what works for you!