Photo: "Soleil Sucre: A Giant Spun Sugar Confection"
Recently I wanted to create a really WOW dessert for a special occasion. What better way to do it than create a fabulous sculpture out of crystallized sugar? (see photo) With a little planning ahead and ingenuity, and a fundamental knowledge of physics, a simple sugar solution can be spun and formed into limitless shapes, like this giant sunburst created for a wedding reception of a dear friend. That's my husband Jim, on the right, and our two sons Evan (far left) and Ethan (in the middle). Note: you will want to have help with sugar scuptures of any significant size.
INGREDIENTS: (and equipment)
256 pounds of sugar (organic)
5 cups food coloring (I used yellow!)
three copies Sunday section of New York Times
25 pounds organic beeswax (or parrafin)
First, begin your sugar solution by heating the 256 pounds of sugar in about 26 quarts of water, in large vat until it dissolves completely. Remove from stove. In a separate bowl, melt all the beeswax (or parrafin).
Meanwhile, taking five sheets of the newspaper at a time, create your desired shapes, like the twisted spirals used here. Tape the paper to keep its shape.
Take the melted beeswax (or parrafin) and slowly pour it into the paper cone spirals, taking care that the wax coats the entire interior of the form. Set aside and let harden.
Now for the fun part! Add food dye to your sugar solution and stir until well blended. Now very carefully, pour the sugar into the cone shapes so that it coats the interior. (Careful! It will be hot!) Allow to harden.
The next day, remove the paper forms from your brilliant crystalline shapes. Who knew sugar could be so fanciful?
Finally, assemble your sugar "stalagtites" into pleasing shapes and use a blow torch to fuse into place. Allow to cool completely before moving into display position.
Now stand back and watch the stunned faces of your guests as they wonder if it is, indeed, edible!
Sadly, the above sugar scupture was dissolved in rain soon after the photo was taken, shown here at the California Palace of Legion of Super Heroes museum, San Francisco.