Without a doubt we are successful because of our primary ingredient which adds the colour, flavour and sweetness to all that we do.
We use it daily in nearly everything we make in one form or another, sweetener, caramlisation of baked goods, caramels, sauces, candies, decorations and showpieces.
Depending on where you're cooking you either use a lot of it or a little.
Something I never thought possible until I journeyed to Asia and found that the favoured dishes are those with very little sugar and sweetness, this differs to my years in the Middle East where sugar would be the coating to many of the traditional sweets in form of syrups, while sweet dishes stood pride of place for my years in North America as well.
Glucose , Fructose, Sucrose, Lactose, Maltose or call it plain old sugar
When I first started in Pastry I was fortunate to attend Ewald Notter's original school in Josefstrasse in Zurich and was amazed at how a professional could take sugar from crystal sugar and could form it into the most complex sculptures my young eyes has ever seen.
Sugar was and is just one of hundreds of amazing ingredients we get the pleasure of playing with as pastry chefs.
As a youngster I chose chocolate above all others to specialise in and enjoyed decades doing so, still do.
Recently though our Executive Chef reminded the team NOT TO FORGET THAT AS CHEFS that work was one thing, but that reminding ourselves of old skills and pushing ourselves for new ones - was a key to not only us breaking boundaries in the future, but also to invigorating our team.
As chefs we need to push our selves and our ingredients to new levels to make sure our guests receive the best and nicest dishes we can create and our team needs to be taught skills we may have passed up for new ones, because the basics are from where all creation begins.
And so, we started with sugar, a basic sweetener that can be formed into numerous other potentials in food , for sauces and for decoration and adding fantasy to our creations. It's been fun and I thought Id share the experimentation we have done.
From Opaline and crystallised sugar discs to balloons of sugar to domes for encasing your desserts, we have all been spell bound by the possibilities this incredible ingredient can be utilised for.
Ill keep adding to the blog as we push sugar further, but in the mean time we are moving forward to other ingredients in an effort to both remind ourselves of skills and techniques we have not done for some time, to newer techniques we need to learn or have been too busy to practice.
Pastry is an evolution of skills, techniques and self improvement. Thankfully we have the support from above to do so.
Until next time, Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.
It honours me that so many countries do, and am humbled when I see so many people stopping by to read and view the blog from as far as Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Philippines, Ukraine, India, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Canada and the USA to name just the most prominent of viewers. Thank you all and hope you keep coming back for more.
A mixture of Glucose, Fondant and sugar. Cooked and cooled and then crushed and seived into shapes or through chablons or stencils and cooked again until clear to create amazing forms for decoration.
|Gorgeous feathers of opaline to create Invisible decorations- a touch of understated class and finish.|
A syrup of 1000g sugar and 400g water brought to the boil and cooled. poured into shaped forms and seeded with fresh sugar crystals, left 24-48 hours depending on your kitchen environment, the sugar crystallises to form a firm "skin" this can be removed and dried to create a thin gorgeous finish for cakes or desserts.
A technique we have all seen but probably rarely tried. Successfor this remains with the quality of your plastic wrap. We used between 16-18 layers of plastic firm over a mixer bowl, poured just 50g of sugar and then pressed down a cake ring which creates the sugar dome by pushing the air up the centre of the ring. A gorgeous decoration for any cake. I believe the original was created by Cordon Bleu lecturer Jean-François Deguignet and I give full credit to its creator, I'm merely a student learning by others techniques on this one.