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Bubble Sugar Garnish?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am a P&B student and I have my "final" (5 plated desserts) for this block this week and I'm sruggling with garnishes. I saw in a dessert book (sorry can't recall the name, I've been looking at numerous books lately) where they had artfully plated desserts. One of the garnishes is what my chef called "bubble sugar" or "bubbled sugar". It was a clear mass that had small bubbles in a very random shape. It was lovely.

I'm trying to remember what she told me about making this garnish, but I'm having difficulty finding anything about it on the Net. I should have written down what she said at the time but I think I can recall something about glucose and clear alcohol (such as vodka) and baking it on a sil-pat.

Thanks in advance for helping me.

Amber :smiles:
post #2 of 12
alls you gotta do is mix some gel color with your isomalt. sprinkle it on your silpat. put another silpat on top. bake it until you can see the bubbles...let it cool, then break it into smaller pieces.

i would practice with only a little bit of isomalt at a time. its expensive and the technique is not really easy to type out... or, just ask your chef. i'm sure he would be happy to explain it again. but dont let everybody know you are doing bubble sugar. they will steal your idea. :mad:
post #3 of 12
The bubble sugar was done a long time ago(because I'm old) and has made a re-appearance.
You were correct in your post if you are boiling sugar. Taking parchment paper,wipe it down with alcohol. Boil sugar as normal, pour about a 3" wide strip accross the parchment. Next your going to take the corners and lift the parchment so that the sugar runs. You will see the bubbles forming and you will be able to maneuver the paper to achieve coverage. BE CAREFUL!
We did some trials last week with great results. We did not however try it on silpats.
I have also tried jessiquina's method but had mixed results. I could not get colors achieved and such. I'm still not sold on the isomalt.
heads up. I instructed my coworkers to lift the parchment from the closest corners putting the sugar on the side away from you. I figured it was safer.
Wrong. we almost had an accident. Try a small strip first so you can get used to the weight of the sugar on the paper.
good luck
post #4 of 12
Take a clear spirit just as vodka,gin, or you can use acetone if it won't be eaten! Paint the alcohol on a silpat or marble slab or a greased cookie sheet. Then just pour the hot sugar at one end and lift the corners has the sugar runs down it will bubble up as it comes into contact with the alcohol. Another suggestion if you want to use it. Basically just follow Pans instructions about lifting the silpat or parchment paper. Other than that Pan pretty much covered you on the rest. I have never tried this so its best to go with someone who has.
post #5 of 12
panini, I've never used ordinary rubbing alcohol. We've always used denatured rubbing alcohol to great results, and I've not a clue whether there ultimately is a difference in the final product. Same technique, and only used for garnish (not for eating). I've only used parchment sheets since the paper allows for a very thin coating of the alcohol, and it's lightweight and easy to maneuver. Question: would the liquid bead up on the silicone sheet? I don't think the results would be same, but then again, I've never tried using a silpat. Good luck, AmberLynn.
post #6 of 12
Yes it will bead, I think....Poured sugar reacts much the same on a silpat has it does anything else. I personally do not like silpats for pulled and blown sugar because you cannot find one large enough to keep the liquid from running off the edge. As such have not done any sugar work for quite a while until I can find a large piece of marble somewhere.The technique is bascally the same no matter what mat you use or do not use. Key is you do not want the sugar to set so long that it loses it heat intensity. I don't know if this makes any sense or not. What do you think Pan...? Oh, and I am with you Pan on the isomalt not sold on it either, for the price regular granulated will serve the purpose, don't know if the resistance to moisture is worth the $$$$$$$$$....
post #7 of 12
I've had great success using isoproply (sp?) rubbing alcohol that comes in a handsspray pump. Just spray it on the silicone paper. I used to paint the paper with food colouring too, until I discovered the Wilton (no this is not a plug...) food colours in spray bombs. Spray the colour onto the silicone paper, then spray on the rubbing alocoh, then pour over the hot sugar.
Have fun!
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #8 of 12
I should have clarified the alcohol. I just went to Sam's and bought rubbing alcohol. We ended up using airbrush colors . We had better luck wiping it on the paper then spraying. It seemed to weaken the parch. (we use pats for general turns in the oven so I buy crappy parch.)
I will have to look at my notes tomorrow but I'm thinking the nicest piece was white, chefmaster gel, put twice on the paper and very lightly sprinkled with granulated copper sugar color.thne spray and pour.
post #9 of 12

Ummm...not trying to be devil's advocate but...

IF it's a sugar garnish, hence: an edible product, AND you can make it using an edible process...but it just takes a little more practice and skill...

Why on earth would you make something inedible that starts out edible? I've used isopropyl alc for a wax melting lamp! That would sort of defeat the purpose of using an edible thing to start with? What about Bacardi 151? Edible and about as pure as you can get to torch something?

I mean, in that case, why not just use glass or plastic? The visual result would still be the same. The difference is: we tend to think of sugar as something you can eat?

Inquiring minds want to know...:roll:

...maybe I'm just old fashioned. I do art the old fashioned way...
post #10 of 12
Its a choice thing. You can make the sugar edible by using a clear spirit such as vodka, gin, or rum. Or make it inedible using actone or rubbing alcohol.The individual has to make that choice before hand. And its not about torching something. The idea here is to pour the hot sugar over the painted surface with the alcohol on it the heat from the sugar evaporates the alcohol and causes the sugar to bubble. The actual sugar mixture is edible. But when poured over actone or rubbing alcohol it absorbs the liquid you would not want to eat that. Most sugar mixtures use isomalt or granulated sugar both edible, except with isomalt I would not want to consume to much unless there was a bathroom handy, its a sugar alcohol, or polyol like mannitol,sorbitol used in candy making and not to mention good tasting LAXATIVES! Sorry for the long rant. Did I make sense?
post #11 of 12
does anyone know what i did wrong when i made candy canes. when i was done rolling them and twisting them together i let them sit and then a hour later they were compleatily flat.

I followed this reccipe

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
red food coloring

Cook sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar to a very hard ball stage (use candy thermometer: 250 to 265 degrees F.). Remove from heat and add peppermint. Divide into two parts and add red coloring to one part and mix well. Pull pieces of each part to form ropes and twist red around the white to make candy canes.
post #12 of 12
Fist off Learner your question was answered in your other thread. Getting back to the question at hand, food safety laws will not allow you in most cases/places to use anything other than alcohol that's used for consumption, vodka, etc. Even on a display piece that's not for consumption you cannot gurantee that there won't be one numbnut that will figure it's for eating!
As far as coloring goes if you put some colors in dribbles and drops on the paper it will not be absorbed into the sugar. That will leave you with pieces of sugar that will break down or at least color your fingers when you touch them. One solution that makes for a very attractive bubble is to boil clear sugar. Right before pouring add a couple of drops of powdered coloring mixed with a little Amaretto or something similar into the bubbling sugar. Do not stir! Let the agitation of the bubbling mix the colors a bit and pour. You'll get a very nice random design.
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