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DEMO: Intro to Pastillage

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68 replies to this topic

#61 Desertm

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 08:03 AM

Thanks everybody for the kind words!!

Genny - I did this just for the fun, and it my first work with pastillage. Reading Chefette's demo caused my fingers to itch tremendously. The only way I could soothe the itching was by working on this piece :laugh: It is still standing as a show piece on the living room table.

K8memphis - thanks to you too! I must say that you also were a great inspiration for me. I saw the pictures of the flowers you prepared for the wedding cake, and off I went to make some too. Those went to the top of a Henna ceremony cake which I hope to be able to post soon.

Chefette - I used the recipe with the powdered gelatine. It's the only kind I can get here. (I live in a small country in the Middle East) As for the powedered sugar - we just have powdered sugar, no way to choose. I know it contains a certain percentage of cornflour, but I have no idea how much. I added just 6 tablespoons of water, and it came out just right. I had a pattern for the shoe, and just modeled the heel by hand, sort of sculpted it. As for the ribbons, I followed your explanation to the word: two pieces of different colored dough rolled together as thin as possible and cut into strips. Rolled them around a thick pen and left them to dry for 24 hours.

So that's it - Hopefully I will be working on more projects like this - I enjoyed this demo tremendously, it was very illuminating and I am grateful to all of you for being here and doing what you are doing.

#62 chefette

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 03:38 PM

Thanks Desertm. There is cornstarch in the Confectioners Sugar/Icing Sugar/Powdered sugar/10X here as well. Its just how its done. I am very proud of your accomplishment. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I hope that this will expand your decorating horizons.

Wendy - Regarding how well pastillage holds up in the cooler. I put several pieces of pastillage in the cooler this morning and just pulled them out (9 hours later) and they seem just fine. The pastillage was simply uncovered on a plate.

Now what I have not tested is if you have a construct of pastillage - held together by royal icing - will it be OK for several hours in the fride or will the joins weaken. Will weight bearing pieces start to buckle? THAT I cannot guarantee.

On weight bearing pieces - like a cake stand or petit fours stand I would tend to encourage people to design so that this portion could be held seperately and not go in the cooler.

If you have a large topper of pastillage I would also urge you to keep it out of the cooler - just to avoid the additional risks of going in and out and being handled by people other than you. But certainly you cannot always be there to handle stuff at the time of service so some things are just outside your control.

Edited by chefette, 30 June 2005 - 03:40 PM.

#63 JacqueOH

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 05:05 PM

Chefette - thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I'm going to play with microwaving some pastillage to see if I can come up with anything remotely resembling coral.

You and your demo

R O C K!!!!

Desertm - great shoe!!

#64 JacqueOH

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 06:57 PM

I have been talking with chefette about my first batch of pastillage and making "coral" by PM and she suggested that I share my experience. I'm going to post about that, then add her response, .... and finally my response..... here goes.....

I think my first batch turned out OK. I used the powdered gelatin. I started out with 70 grams of water. After I let it sit in cold water, the gelatin was, I don't know how to describe it... it was more like a solid than a liquid. I could stand a spoon up in it and the spoon didn't fall over. So I added 3 more teaspoons of water. It was still not real fluid, almost like regular jello that had been stirred for a while, but I didn't want to add too much water so I went with it.

After I added my liquid to the dry ingredients, the mass was very thick and my mixer even stopped momentarily, straining to get through it. So I added some more water, 5 teaspoons. I was using my Kitchenaid 4.5 quart mixer.

I mixed it and it seemed a little sticky, kind of in between chefette's two photos of the sheet gelatin batch and the powdered gelatin batch.

I then messed around getting my kneading surface ready, say a few minutes. I forgot to cover the pastillage and it seemed in that time that it dried a bit... so that it was no longer sticky. I was able to knead it and it would stick just the tiniest amount to the heel of my hand. I didn't even need to use 10x to keep it from sticking to my mat. It seemed just about right.

I went back and measured to see how much 70 grams of water plus 8 teaspoons was and it ended up being 102 grams.

Hopefully, I'll have some time this evening to experiment with the coral.

OK, then chefette's response to this.....

Chefette: Did you melt the gelatine over heat with the vinegar and corn syrup?
You should do that. Always melt your gelatine after blooming - blooming does not equate to melting

Yes the pastillage is really thick and will pretty much bring the mixer to a halt - that is a good time to either have faith in the motor or to scrape it all out on the counter and start kneading. I find that it behaves better sometimes - worse others - I typically add a little water and really find that getting my fingers wet and then continuing to knead does really well at hydrating the pastillage.

And - the not sticking is exactly how it should go.

I am psyched to hear about your results.

On my undersea cake last summer - I bought a copy of Finding NEMO at the bookstore for the fun coral and undersea plants and replicated a bunch of them. Fun lopey things, Sort of sqare or triangular tubey horn things, and long wavy pieces. I thought those were more ocean looking and prettier than the waved pastillage.

Has your dehydrating commenced?

And finally, my comments and questions to the above:


Yes, I melted the gelatin along with the corn syrup and vinegar. That went just fine.

Dehydrating.... I assume you mean that the pastillage dries very quickly? I split the batch into two, wrapped each in plastic wrap, wrapped each of those in a damp washcloth and finally stuck them in an air-tight Ziploc bag.

Good idea on using Finding Nemo for inspiration. There really are some beautiful "underwater shots" in that movie.

I'm going to go play with my pastillage now... yep, an exciting Saturday night of sugar fun. :biggrin:

#65 chefette

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 01:56 PM

So... I was wondering if any of the people following this thread - like Desertm - had proceeded with some pastillage work of their own.

What have you done? how has it worked out? Any questions raised?

#66 lovkel

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 07:17 PM

So... I was wondering if any of the people following this thread - like Desertm - had proceeded with some pastillage work of their own.

What have you done?  how has it worked out?  Any questions raised?

View Post

I have been following this thread and a timely lesson it was too. I was to do a graduation cake for this girl who wanted a theatre theme. Well I have been on a chocolatiering kick lately and thought I'd use comedy/tragedy mask molds. Ordered from an on-line auction, seller screws up and leaves me with NO BLOODY MOLDS. damn ... now what?! :angry:

Then along comes this BEAUTIFUL thread :wub: and I just happened to have a plaster comedy mask in my house that I could use as a form. The cake (whose picture I sincerely hope shows up) is the result. I was pleased with the result and so was the student.

As a matter of fact, the filling is the Fine Cooking lemon curd recipe that I discovered in another egullet thread. Man I love this place! :biggrin:

Thanks again.

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(I obliterated the last name with my severely lacking photo-editing skills)

#67 nice_guy1812

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:48 AM

This is my first post in a long, long time. I have been following this amazing demo for the past few days. I have recently become unemployed after moving back to Toronto, so I have more time on my hands now to browse around egullet. I am a young, aspiring pastry chef that graduated from the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa about 4 years ago and until recently had been working at a pastry shop in Ottawa. I can't tell you how grateful I am for these incredibly inspiring demo's here in the pastry section. After reading through chefette's amazing pastillage demo I felt so inspired that i had to make something. I decided to do an art deco style clock. I didn't colour it or anything, but I think it turned out quite well for my first pastillage piece and it was an amazing learning experience. The problem is I can't seem to get enough pastillage and I'm already drawing up plans for another project. Since I am really into architecture I am thinking about doing some sort of building out of pastillage. I'm going to go through my pictures from a recent 2-week trip to Europe and see if anything strikes me as do-able.
Here are the pictures:
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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"
-Presiden Muffley, Dr. Strangelove

#68 pastrymama

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:13 PM

Holy smokes, for a first attempt that is amazing. So clean and just beautiful!
check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

#69 nice_guy1812

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 02:22 PM

Thanks pastrymama. I made a big design mistake by doing this sort of inlaid wood design on the front just below the clock. After I had glued all of the little meticulously sanded pieces in place I decided that it in fact looked horrible and I had rip each one off and then sand the entire front down to get rid of all the scars. I decided to go with my initial plan of the wisteria flowers done in royal icing.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"
-Presiden Muffley, Dr. Strangelove