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Sugar sticks? How do I make them?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

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How do I make those sticks that are on top of the sorbet? I would assume I would let sugar drip down onto a surface creating an icicle-like effect but they all look very proportionate in thickness. Does any one have a technique and what do pastry chefs usually call these besides sugar sticks?

post #2 of 13

The easiest way to do this is to buy ready-to-use "pearls" of sugar - the brand I am most familiar with is from Albert Uster Imports and it's called Venuance; but it is basically shaped/colored sugar that is ready to be heated and then pulled or poured.  Heat the sugar pearls (or sticks) in the microwave on a silpat and then pull.  Make them just before service if you can; they won't last long in a humid kitchen.  Store them airtight with a desiccant packet if you need to make them in advance.

 

The pearls are expensive, the sticks are less expensive.  They work the same way.....
 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

So it's just basically super thin pulled sugar? There's no real technique to do it?
 

post #4 of 13

Long ago....in the old days......we used to make plain old everyday caramel sugar by melting down granulated.

When it was the right consistency a broom handle was placed on top of 2 chairs.

A tarp was placed on the floor.

A wooden spoon or paint brush was dipped into the caramel and with an arm swinging back and forth motion the sugar was allowed to fly through the air and become very thin strings that coated the broom handle.

After several passes were made the strings cooled and could be gathered for use in pastry displays or for plate garnish.

The key is to have the sugar at the right consistency. This takes practice.

post #5 of 13

ChefRoss is right: there is a technique; and it's all about the sugar - the right kind, the right temp, etc.  You can make spun sugar the way ChefRoss describes (I have better luck when I add an interfering agent like cream of tartar to the sugar when boiling it -14 oz of sugar, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 8 oz of water) but if you are new to this, you'll have better luck with the ready to use sticks or pearls and just warming them and when they're pliable, pulling them into thin strands or you can even do curlicues or circles.... you need to work quickly if you're shaping a thin strand....
 

post #6 of 13

I found this under Martha Stewart... she made this hazelnut cake... this I did one time.. the Hazelnut were dipped into melted sugar/caramel then pulled upwards at the right temperature of the sugar.

 

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post #7 of 13

I do not agree with you. The ART of pulling sugar employs many intricate techniques. Temperature and time  as well as relative humidity being  big factors. One must know all the various cooking stages of sugar to get it right. It s probably the hardest of all the arts to master in the pastry shop.

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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

I do not agree with you. The ART of pulling sugar employs many intricate techniques. Temperature and time  as well as relative humidity being  big factors. One must know all the various cooking stages of sugar to get it right. It s probably the hardest of all the arts to master in the pastry shop.

Tell that to Martha Stewart.  She's the one who gave those directions not me.  I am just repeating what she said, and it worked for me.  I don't think pulled sugar is the subject here either.  The original poster was just asking how to achieve what is on the picture and not specifically asking about pulled sugar.  Whether it is pulled sugar or not,  I don't think it matters as long as the same results or looks is achieved.

post #9 of 13

I am answering Jcakes and chefross not you. And your right anyone can make a straight line with sugar if it is cooked correctly. Glad it works for you

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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

I do not agree with you. The ART of pulling sugar employs many intricate techniques. Temperature and time  as well as relative humidity being  big factors. One must know all the various cooking stages of sugar to get it right. It s probably the hardest of all the arts to master in the pastry shop.

You are so right Ed. I can only imagine the problems one would have with humidity down there in Florida. It'd have to be made just before service or kept somewhere air tight.....

post #11 of 13

OK what you do is cook sugar to the crack stage, wether it be isomalt or regular sugar, if you want to work with sugar you should know this by now.

Make a paper coronet and carefully fill it halfway with the sugar, wrap it in a towel, snip the end carefully and pipe it onto a oiled sheetpan, silpat sheet, marble top. It is the easiest fastest way to do this. How do I know ?? Ive made thousands of sticks this way.  Be sure the bag is WRAPPED IN A TOWEL it will keep the sugar hot longer and also when the bag inevitable rips open you wont be going to the hospital. Plastic and regular pastry bags will not work. I suggest you start with smaller bags < 6 inches. Good luck.

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post #12 of 13

I'm  not sure what set you off about my response.  If someone with a screen name description "can't boil water" is asking about making sugar threads for decorating a dish, and I suggest the premade isomalt pearls/sticks as a good way to achieve this, and then chefross describes how to make spun sugar (which is not really what the illustration is, or what the OP was asking about, but is also a sugar garnish).... if you pull the softened pearls or sticks, you'll get what the picture shows. 

 

At a dessert conference 10 years ago, when the sugar pearls came onto the market, the presented warmed some up in a microwave on a silpat, took it out, and brought it over to one of the audience members seated in front.  She pulled a few threads and he did a few curlicues to show how easy it was for someone inexperienced to get a cool looking garnish from the premade stuff.  It is an expensive way to get a colored garnish if you buy pearls, the stick type is cheaper.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCakes View Post

I'm  not sure what set you off about my response.  If someone with a screen name description "can't boil water" is asking about making sugar threads for decorating a dish, and I suggest the premade isomalt pearls/sticks as a good way to achieve this, and then chefross describes how to make spun sugar (which is not really what the illustration is, or what the OP was asking about, but is also a sugar garnish).... if you pull the softened pearls or sticks, you'll get what the picture shows. 

 

At a dessert conference 10 years ago, when the sugar pearls came onto the market, the presented warmed some up in a microwave on a silpat, took it out, and brought it over to one of the audience members seated in front.  She pulled a few threads and he did a few curlicues to show how easy it was for someone inexperienced to get a cool looking garnish from the premade stuff.  It is an expensive way to get a colored garnish if you buy pearls, the stick type is cheaper.

The stick type can also be used in a hot glue gun. Just sayin. The way I posted is the easiest, I used to make hudreds in a matter of minutes

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