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Confections! (2006-2012)

Kerry Beal

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Yes, this is all gumpaste I'm working with. Pastillage was too crumbly, and I hate fondant. The sheep in particular are made with lemon-flavoured gum paste tinted with gel colours, and after a great deal of experimentation I settled on the pretzel stick legs for them. The base sheep is made with white paste, and then wool is added in individual twists and held on with gum arabic dissolved in vodka (which takes longer than a water solution, but evaporates very quickly and thereby doesn't cause warping of the pieces. Start dissolving the gum arabic powder in the alcohol a couple of days ahead of time to get a good solution.)

I'd strongly recommend trying to get your hands on Gum Trag - it extends the open time of pastillage enough to allow the kind of effects you're seeing with my little critters. The recipe I use is as follows:

500g of the finest confectioner's sugar possible (I can get 000 mesh, so that's what I use)

10g Gum Tragacanth (accept no substitutes. Tylose makes crumbly paste, and Carboxymethylcellulose works, but not as nicely and you need twice as much)

45 mL warm water

15 mL lemon or lime juice (I squeeze fresh)

5 mL of the flavour of your preference (optional - lemon, vanilla, and almond are quite good)

15 mL liquid glucose (the stiffest grade you can get your paws on)

7.5 g neutral gelatine (I can't get leaf here, so I use Knox.)

1. Sift the sugar with the gum trag into a large mixing bowl.

2. In a separate small, microwave-safe bowl or cup, combine the lemon juice, water, flavouring, and gelatine, and let stand 10-15 minutes or until the gelatine blooms. With almond extract as a flavouring, you may have to double the amount of gelatine in order to see a bloom - something about the extract seems to inhibit it.

3. Once the gelatine mixture is kind of spongey, add the glucose, then pop the mixture into the microwave for 30 seconds on high, and then stir like crazy until everything is well combined.

4. Add this to the sugar/gum trag and knead until you have a smooth dough (it might require a little more sugar, but in no case use more than 100 g, as it will contribute to crumbly paste).

5. Roll into a chub and seal in a ziplock baggie overnight. The gum paste is ready for working in the morning.

Other recipes are out there, some of which use egg whites in the formula, but I've found that this one gets me the smoothest, most workable paste with the longest open time - it's almost as plastic as plastiline/modeling clay when I get it warmed up. As with pastillage, it's a good idea to work with small amounts at any given time and to knead them well before you start forming. A piece the size of the sheep is dry to touch in about 20 minutes after I stop working it, and fully hardened overnight.

ETA - if you'd like a step-by-step sheep tutorial, I can make one for you. Now that I know what I'm doing, a sheep takes about 25-30 minutes from start to finish.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Having seen your detailed work, I say you are vastly underpaid. :cool:


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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Loving the critters - can't wait to see the finished cake!


I've been fiddling with a couple of recipes for wine PDFs for an upcoming project. On the right - pear and port PDFs and on the left peach rose - the rose being Peninsula Ridge Beal Vineyards Cabernet Rose. How could I resist!

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For a small batch -

250 grams puree - pear, peach, apricot

38 grams sugar

10 grams pectin

375 grams sugar

75 grams glucose

250 grams wine/port

10 grams tartaric solution

10 grams wine/port

Mix small amount of sugar with pectin, stir into the puree, boil for 2 to 3 minutes, add larger quantity of sugar in 3 additions, then glucose. Boil to 112 degrees C stirring constantly.

Carefully add wine, cook until 107 degrees C stirring constantly. Add tartaric and additional wine, pour quickly in frame. Do not scrape.

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Oh how excellent-yes Bottoms! And an Owl... Here:

"Come now, a roundel and a fairy song.

Then for the third part of a minute, hence—

Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,

Some war with reremice for their leathern wings

To make my small elves coats, and some keep back

The clamorous OWL that nightly hoots and wonders

At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep.

Then to your offices and let me rest."

Bats, too. And then there is the lullaby...also has creatures!

Such delicious fun!

Edited by Lior (log)
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naiads and dryads, unicorns and pegasi, puzzled possom mom & babies, a hookah-smoking caterpillar, winged giant south american rodent (once allowed to substitute for fish on Fridays), sparkly tapirs.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kerry, thanks for the recipe! How much additional wine do you normally add? Looks so good.

The additional wine would be the 10 grams you add with the 10 grams of tartaric solution.

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Oh yeah, you are gonna get the 'squeeeeee!', no worries.

They are all so cute, who can pick a favorite!

Sparkly pearly unicorn oh my!

Rainbow sheep and dragon!

the Faun!

They are so cute, it is to swoon!

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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