The Artistry Of Sugar

Sugar Work By ThePastryDiva Updated 24 Oct 2005 , 9:48am by ThePastryDiva

ThePastryDiva Posted 21 Oct 2005 , 1:48am
post #1 of 26

Working with sugar takes more than just understanding sugar. It takes a lot of practice. Practice and more practice.

List of things needed:

1. Heat source to cook your sugar
2. Pans, copper is an excellent heat conductor, but you can use what you have
3. Sieve: To remove any impurities that rise to the surface.

4. you will need a wide flat brush to wash down the sides
5. container of warm water for the brush
6. thermometer
7. Acid solution. but only for pulling or blowing. NO acid needed for pouring or casting


1 part tartaric acid crystals and 1 part boiling water, stirl well and put into clean dropper bottle.

8. Desired colors, be careful some colors contain acid
9. Ice bath to shock your sugar to stop cooking
10. Silpat to pour sugar onto ...a full sheet silpat can hold 3 pounds

1 pound 8 ounces cold water
3 pounds Sugar
8 to 10 ounces of Glucose
3-8 drops of Acid solution

Place the water in a pot, add the sugar bring to a boil stir constantly...remove any scum to the surface.

Add the glucose, bring to a second boil and clean the sides of the pan with the wet brush.

Add color and acid when it reaches 280 degrees F and continue to boil until the sugar reaches 335 degrees F.

Take the pot and place it on the ice bath to stop the cooking.

Pour onto a lightly oiled marble or silpat

if you find your sugar too soft you will use small amount of acid solution if it's to brittle go higher ..the acid is the variable....from 3 to 8 drops.

you keep on manipulating the silpat pressing the sugar together till it stops moving like the blob. If it moves fast that means it's still to hot.

When it keeps it shape a little and stops moving like the blob, it's ready to eighter pull or store. if you're going to use it the next day, you can wrap it in plastic wrap. If you're going to store it for a couple of days you can store it in zip lock bags, just make sure you remove the most air out of them.

When you decide to use the stored sugar again. unwrap it , put onto a silpat, put into microwave for TEN SECONDS, until it's soft again....DO NOT POKE IT ...HOT SUGAR

before you work with it again you MUST pull work the air back into it..never work with sugar that you haven't pulled.

This is where the fun begins, you place your sugar onto a silpat that you place under your warming light...and work it!

I would have to take pictures to explain how to pull an edge...manipulate it till it's thin between your tumbs, then you grab it between your index and thumb and pull it . you keep the petal still and pull with the other hand when you're making a petal so you don't get those LONG STREAMERS.

You can make all your petals that you need before you assemble or you can assemble your flower as you go.

If you make all the petals you need to "melt" them a litte over your fire source to melt the sugar enough to stick.

I do have pictures that I can send just email me...

25 replies
SugarCreations Posted 21 Oct 2005 , 9:28am
post #2 of 26

Cream of Tartar can also be used. Lemon juice also, though it is weaker.
Looks like I need a Holiday Inn Express.

copperppot Posted 21 Oct 2005 , 10:51pm
post #3 of 26

I hate to be critical here but if you take granulated sugar to 335F you are going to have a caramelized mess. I hope that temp is for Isomalt and everyone knows that.

SugarCreations Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 12:52am
post #4 of 26

You are right copperppot did not notice that before. Granulated caramelizes at 320F bad news for anyone that does not suspect this. Of course I don't know what sugar concrete is good for.

ThePastryDiva Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 1:03am
post #5 of 26

we cooked our sugar to 335 as per the chef...nothing happened...

Don't know worked out for us.


I will ask the chef again when I run into him..

copperppot Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 1:07am
post #6 of 26

It is important that people know they cannot raise the boiling temp on granulated sugar higher than 320F. Isomalt will handle the high temps because you cannot caramelize it, impossible. But then agian for the price you should not be able to. It just seems to me that as interested as people are here on CC about this they should be aware of the variances in the temps between Isomalt and granulated sugar. Isomalt has been around since the 1960s it is made from sucrose and looks just like the sugar you put in your coffee. Its a sugar alcohol. Isomalt is currently in use in a wide variety of products in over 70 countries. Granted if you can afford the stuff use it. Its key point is that it will not attract moisture as granulated sugars and others do. Bottom line if you post a recipe for boiled sugar it would be a good idea to stipulate Isomalt or granulated sugar. Just a tip.

ThePastryDiva Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 1:51am
post #7 of 26

Every Chef has his or her own methods, and depending also on when the books are written...sometimes things are updated or modified. The CIA Textbook says to cook to 315 Degrees F and an old Wilton book says 312 Degrees F

We can agree to dissagree as, after we took our notes we worked with the ISOMALT because of the humidity in MIAMI. No harm, no

I researched my notes once again and ...YES..we cooked our sugar and ISOMAL to the same temps... 320 to 325 degrees F in our 335 degrees F according to the chef.

The higher temps help set the sugar quicker, we were also able to store it...which I never thought you could do..( leaned something the cooked sugar can be stored for up to a week! if stored correctly.

We used the same sugar all week, as long as we warmed it back up and pulled the air back into it.

But I will ask the chef to "clarify" the temps again...

By the way...My flowers and apples are still holding their own...just a little cloudy, but still pretty much as they were when I made them!

copperppot Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 9:14am
post #8 of 26

Yes Isomalt I see. Yes, the Isomalt would make sense in the higher temps that far south. Granulated on the other hand is a different animal all together. Oh, and far the record I am not disagreeng just stating my opinion. Far be it from me to start trouble just here to have fun.

SugarCreations Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 9:29am
post #9 of 26

315 or 312F is fine for granulated sugar no problem. I take mine to 305F.If you are using Isomalt I would not bother your instructor because Isomalt will withstand the higher temps without caramelizing.Time to add a new posts to this forum bubbles and all this other technical stuff is getting old.

ThePastryDiva Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 12:12pm
post #10 of 26
Originally Posted by copperppot

Yes Isomalt I see. Yes, the Isomalt would make sense in the higher temps that far south. Granulated on the other hand is a different animal all together. Oh, and far the record I am not disagreeng just stating my opinion. Far be it from me to start trouble just here to have fun. copperpot..didnt' take it personally...just agreeing to disagree...everything is subjective to the person who's perfoming the art. All, I can say is what I was told, wrote in my notes and what I worked with. I stand by it because my work is STILL standing.

I thought with the humidity down here that I would have blobs of sugar..but not so...I am truly amazed!!

I was going to go to the NOTTER sugar school during my winter break, but he no longer teaches the Geisha doll. I was looking foward to that as that doll would've been a great money maker for me down here in Miami with all the QUINCEANERA parties...sigh..oh well

But I did find a sugar class that is all about dollies...the first one is going to be Strawberry shortcake! I'm trying to see if they will give the class on my days off so I don't have to play hookey from school, because the little mermaid doll they make in class is just absolutely charming!

So...when are you guys going to post more pictures of YOUR work? I'm so excited about the Sugar forum and the fact that there are people actually interested!??

makica Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 12:36pm
post #11 of 26

I need to know something: are flowers made with isomalt edible?
Do you mix isomalt with sugar?

SugarCreations Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 1:11pm
post #12 of 26

No. Isomalt is sugar. Pure sugar. And yes flowers made with it are edible but it does not digest to well if you know what I mean. Won't hurt you or anything though. Isomalt is a sugar alcohol, a polyon. It is made from maltose hence the name. It looks and taste exactly like sucrose (table sugar). Hope that answered your question.

ThePastryDiva Posted 22 Oct 2005 , 1:57pm
post #13 of 26

ISOMALT is granulated sugar that has been chemically altered. The enzimes have been rearranged.

It is also used in diabetic candies.

The forms it comes in are..
coarse, fine and liquid.

"ACTS" like sugar and can replace sugar when cooking because it doesn't caramelize and unlike sugar it won't dissolve until it starts to cook.

I hope my bit of input helped!!--lol

makica Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 12:06am
post #14 of 26

Thank you!

Nilu Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 7:51am
post #15 of 26

hats of to all guys,for creating a forum specially for sugarwork ,I am really crazy about it.i just want to know in which shop is isomalt available, and what is the exact temperature at which it should be cooked is it 335 340 or 345F for pulled sugar.

I really love you cake central,thanks.bye

SugarCreations Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 9:59am
post #16 of 26

Personally I would not buy it. I had rather deal with the hygroscopic issues of granulated sugar. But if you just have to have it go to they have a site there that sells it. But I must warn you it is expensive.

copperppot Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 10:37am
post #17 of 26

I would leave it up to the individual preference I guess. If you are going to pull it 335F is about right. That temp should also work for your blown pieces has well. But I have to agree with SugarCreations here. For the average everyday individual practicing the art Isomalt is not really a costs effective purchase. Feasible yes, you should learn how to work with both. But then agian there are chefs that will not use it at all they say it is harder to pull that using granulated sugar and that they had rather deal with the hygroscopic issues of granulated sugar. I am not agianst using Isomalt no way. But has SugarCreations said if you can afford the stuff and want to use it then by all means do.

You should work toward perfecting both recipes one with Isomalt and one with granulated sugar. Checkout Professional Pastry Chef Consultancy and Information Service on the Web. There is an article there by Martin Chiffers just one of the worlds best at sugar art. His article will give you some idea at what you need and should use. If you cannot find it pm me and I will pm you the site address. Good Luck and thanks for your interest.

Just one other note if you look at most boiled sugar recipes they are using granulated sugar.

ThePastryDiva Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 11:36am
post #18 of 26


there are so many different opinions. What you can do as my chef suggested, is you start with whatever instructions you are following....go to that temp.

If you find your sugar hard to pull, the sugar got cooked to high.

My team made a mistake and cooked the first batch of ISOMALT to 380!...The chef was wondering why I was having such a hard time pulling it, I thought it was my weak carple tunnel wrists...then he tried it..and when he had a hard time...he asked us what temp did we bring the ISOMALT

I wasn't there when my team mates cooked it so I just gave him my famous "blank...I DUNNO stare" (someone else told him)

WE cooked the Isomalt to can order ISOMALT from ALBERTUSTER.

or just use the GRANULATED SUGAR to practice with. JUST make sure you don't let it recrystalize!!! and have the acid solution ready if you need it flexible for pulling.

copperppot Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 5:17pm
post #19 of 26

Add the acid along with the sugar and water when you put the ingredients in your pan. If you have a heat lamp and keep the sugar warm there is less chance in will recrystallize on you. And do not over pull it that will cause recrystallation of the sugar as well. You can make anything with granulated sugar the same as you can with Isomalt but as I have said if you can afford the stuff use it. The key here is for you to do what you feel comfortable with. The decision is entirely up to the individual do not let us sway you either way there are pros and cons for both. You can use either to practice with don't matter. Do your own research and see what you come up with. I will be happy to assist you any way I can. But do what you feel comfortable with and can afford.

SugarCreations Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 5:38pm
post #20 of 26

Exactly copperppot. I think we should leave it at that. We are going to have this poor soul so confused. I agree let the individual make up their own mind. Isomalt, granulated, dozen of one, or half of the other what does it matter its all the same. SUGAR WORK!

Nilu Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 6:04pm
post #21 of 26

Many many thanks for your guidance.

SugarCreations Posted 23 Oct 2005 , 7:28pm
post #22 of 26

you are quite welcome if any of us can help you let us know. I am sure PastryDiva or copperppot or even Blakescakes would be happy to help you. Right everyone.

Nilu Posted 24 Oct 2005 , 4:21am
post #23 of 26

do please let me know how to make warming box of what material and what r its dimensions.

SugarCreations Posted 24 Oct 2005 , 9:11am
post #24 of 26

Nilu, sorry I do not have dimensions for one. PM PastryDiva she has them. Have her pm them to me while your at it. I know most are made of plexiglass and where I live plexiglass is not cheap.Seen one on The Foodnetwork on Sugar Challenge made of plywood thats the route I am going. This chef even had a dimmer switch hooked up to her heat lamps so she could adjust the temperature I thought that was a great idea.

ThePastryDiva Posted 24 Oct 2005 , 9:48am
post #25 of 26

once again for anyone interested in making the warming box...

it's 3 sides of plexiglass..or wood...attached to one another with 2 piano or toy box hinges. ( they are longer than most hingers)

a wooden top and bottom. It can be made out of old white wooden shelving. you take a router and make a channel in the bottom and top for the sides and you won't need "L" brackets to hold it together.

Then make a slit or hole in the top one to hang your light.

Simple. the dimentions are up to you..what you feel comfortable working with.

ThePastryDiva Posted 24 Oct 2005 , 9:48am
post #26 of 26

let's see if I can post the picture here. I thought that I had the pictures in my hard drive but no...UGH..have to look in my Picture CD's so it's going to take a little sorry!

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