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50 Pastry & Baking
North America
Sweet Spectrum
watching and helping out while others made
showpieces. Since then, sugar has been a medium
that I have been able to use for all sorts of things.
You can dress up a petit four plate or make beautiful
pulled sugar roses for wedding cakes.
What I like about sugar is that once you learn to
work with it, you can make something that can be
used right away. You can keep different colors of pulled
sugar ready and waiting for the opportunity to turn
it into something beautiful with less effort and time.
If pulled at the proper temperature, it has a wonderful
satin shine that you just can’t get from other mediums.
You will need to have a place to set up a warming
station, but once you have that you can create all sorts
of beautiful decorations.
Dress It Up with Pulled
Sugar Showpieces
By Kate Cavotti
Photography by Keith Ferris
Rubber gloves
Silicone rubber spatula
4-quart pot
Oiled marble slab or Silpat
Leaf mold
Sugar pump
Wick Sterno
Hair dryer
Poured sugar base
Publisher’s Note:
Kate Cavotti, CMB is a
professor in baking and pastry arts atThe Culinary
Institute of America. She currently teaches
confectionery arts and special occasion cakes to
students pursuing their bachelor’s and associate
degrees in baking and pastry arts. A Certified
Master Baker, Chef Cavotti is co-author of the
book Cake Art (Wiley & Sons, 2008). Her
professional experience includes serving as
executive pastry chef at TheWater Club in New
York City. Here she talks about using pulled sugar
to create beautiful showpieces, and shares a recipe
and instructions for one of her own.
arly on in my career, pulled sugar was
regaining popularity. I learned to use
pulled sugar to make decorations by
Pulled Sugar
2 pounds granulated sugar
6.4 ounces water
7 ounces glucose syrup
1 quart corn syrup
15 drops acid (can be adjusted up or down)
Food color of choice
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pot and
bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve
the sugar. Wash down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry
brush to remove any sugar crystals.
When the mixture has come to a boil, stop stirring and add
the glucose and corn syrups. Continue to boil the sugar,
continuing to wash down the sides of the pot, until the
mixture comes to the proper temperature. Add acid and
color at 137
C. Continue cooking until sugar reaches 157
Pour the sugar syrup onto a lightly oiled marble slab.