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  1. Here's what's left of the lunch gang. We all agreed Chinese food just makes us want to take a nap... Here's a shot of everyone's finished pieces in the lunchroom. Here's another shot of mine... I thought I'd be artsy-fartsy and get the mirror image effect... There's usually some time to digest after lunch, return phone calls, and wander a bit, and check out some of the displays at Albert Uster -- here's a wedding cake. What I notice, and like best about this cake is the green flow-y part. Its sugar... and I'm curious as to how it's done. stay tuned, because I ask Chef about this,
  2. Yesterday, Brian poured some clear sugar into a funny looking mold... The mold had been made from little cubes, like dice, stuck into silicone. Well, today we needed those little cubes: When we put together our piece, we use these little cubes underneath the base, so as to make picking up/moving the piece much easier. Smart, no? Chef adds some ribbons to his piece, and it begins to come together. with a bit of the bubble sugar added as well for texture He also adds some of the broken pieces of straw sugar around the base... but I can't find the photo of the finished piece at the moment.
  3. Next up: RIBBONS! These are so beautiful, and Chef makes them look soooo easy, but let me tell you, they are tricky. Once you make one though, and it's a 'good one' -- ribbons become addictive. You just keep wanting to make more and more, in lots of combinations. Ribbons begin by pulling the sugar to give it some opaqueness. We used both red and white (clear pulled until it was white). Chef pulled two lengths of white, and one red, all approximately the same size, and temp (important!). He sticks them together, side by side: then he adds one more length of white: then he pulls it once,
  4. Here's the bubble sugar we made: here you see Amanda pulling back the silpat from the parchment covered with bubble sugar: In this batch, the-lovely-Amanda flecked a bit of red coloring with the tip of her knife onto the sheetpan sprinkled with isomalt crystals. here's a closeup -- you can see the pattern left from the silpat:
  5. After yesterday's post detailing isomalt, a little ahead of schedule, I realize I haven't mentioned the actual recipe or process for the isomalt. It's quite simple, actually: just 10:1 isomalt to water. In class, we make a batch with 1000 g of Venuance crystals, putting 100 g of water in the bottom of the pot first. Dissolve slowly over low heat, keeping the sides clean as usual. Once it comes to a boil, turn up the heat and cook until 170 degrees C.
  6. Now we put together our second sugar piece of the class. We use the poured dark purple triangles from yesterday, along with the 'orange jellies' made by Brian and Amanda. We will attach the red curving tube to the two bases, and will then decorate! Chef tells us we can use the pot of boiled sugar as 'glue', as well as using small bits cut from a clear blob under the lamp, kind of like a glue stick. The orange jelly will sit on top of the purple triangle, and then the red tube will be stuck on top of that. In order to attach anything to a smooth surface, it's wise to 'roughen the surface u
  7. Handy dandy Brian is not feeling well today. The air quality isn't very good, and his allergies seem to be kicking up. He and Amanda have been busy cooking several pots of isomalt, so we have more red to make ribbons with, and 'blobs' of clear, that we will be later blowing. Chef begins class with getting yesterday's red sugar out of the tubes we poured. I have already earlier in this thread detailed that procedure of scoring, and Steve also weighed in about how no technique is the only, or right, technique. Very true. Chef cuts the ends, continuing the score line we made yesterday,
  8. Day Two: I decide to leave at 5:50 am -an extra 15 minutes earlier this morning, so that I can work on roses. Good thing I had those extra minutes, as there were 4 different accidents on the Capital Beltway, not getting me to AUI until 7:25... oh well... no time to do roses, if I want to have breakfast! After sitting in the car for more than 90 minutes, I decide breakfast is more important. As I walk into the classroom to put my notebook at my station, one or 2 classmates are already there, upfront with Chef and Brian. Brian calls out to me... "NO MORE MUESLI, Lee!!! -- We ran out!" No
  9. I'm still using my Musso at work (or should I say my assistant is...). I am pretty impressed with it overall, I must say. I have never had a problem with the base having a frozen layer on the bottom. The dasher does a good job scraping the sides and bottom. If anything, I wish the blade went HIGHER, as the ice cream does pile up while its churning, because the top is convex and can accomodate it. But then again, I have a tendency to fill it as much as possible, because I seem to run it all day long, and am trying to get the most done as possible. As for freezing time, I only spin pre-ch
  10. Can you explain how the acid affects the boiling sugar? Would you also have recipes of the examples mentioned so we could make these? ← Good question Wendy. I, too, like knowing the reason ingredients behave the way they do. Acid does two things: it delays crystalization and it gives elasticity (makes it pliable) Ideally, we want to achieve a sugar that shines, is stable enough for the techniques of pulling and blowing, and does not crystallize after a short period of time. Acid can be cream of tartar, tartaric acid, vinegar, lemon juice, there's even acid in glucose. Cre
  11. All pieces must be carefully stored with limestone, or some sort of dessicant. As I mentioned before, the AUI people went to great lengths to keep our classroom at an amazing 47 % humidity or more... It made working with, and learning, so much easier. When we finished our parts or entire pieces, they were placed on a sheet pan, with a cup of limestone also sitting on the sheetpan. Then, large black plastic trash bags were slipped over one end, carefully, and tied up tight at the other end. They were then just slipped onto the speed rack for storage until further need. "Blobs" of ready su
  12. I too wanted to be able to walk in to Home Depot and get the same tubing, so I pulled off the label from the long coil of it, and stuck it to my notebook! I am looking at it as I type. It says: WATTS Clear Vinyl Tubing 10 feet 3/4" outside diameter x 5/8" inside diameter used for: - low pressure - food/water uses - do not use with ice makers. other than the barcode, the tiny numbers on it, I assume an item number, are: 42143810 How's that for accurate info? as for the department... dunno! Beats me! Can't be too hard to let them direct you though. I am happy to give a bit more details o
  13. I am sorry I didn't explain this better. Partly, I didn't because we did it so fast, I didn't snap any pictures. It's a one-two-three- thing and you're done. It's called straw sugar because it is like pieces of straw (which are hollow) bunched together. It's also lightweight, yet still quite strong, which can be an advantage in a showpiece, where you need strength, but not more weight than an otherwise heavier solid sugar piece would be. The appearance is bumpy on the outside, that is to say actually, lengthwise ridges. It is striated, as you observed Wendy, with lighter and darker strands
  14. I think that this is just isomalt cooked up with some water, as described by simdelish, and then hardened into the bead sized pieces that you see. I have worked with Isomalt before for sugarwork, and the way we make it is that we cook up a big batch of just isomalt and water, and when it gets to temp, we pour it onto silpat in workable sized blobs and let it harden just like that. When you are ready to use it, you take your blob and put it on a piece of silpat in the microwave and zap it as is explained with the Micro Magic beads, and the middle melts before the edge, and you can work it until
  15. We break for lunch, which is held in the same room we met for breakfast. We have ordered out, from a deli, for delivery (AUI picks up the tab) and we relax and get off our feet for a while. After lunch, we learn the rose. Chef says that if you can master the rose, you are doing well. Many people can pull sugar, pour molds, do freeform things, and even pull fantasy flowers. But doing the rose, and doing it well is another thing altogether.... In class, Chef wants us to understand the steps: the three types of petals that form the rose. Once we understand how to make them, and how to add t
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