Hey everyone! It's been a crazy few months. I finished up my internship just as things at school began to heat up....literally! It's been ridiculously hot in the kitchens, and it certainly didn't help when you're working with intensely hot sugar! That being said, I loved working with the stuff. I was so much fun to be able to pour, pull, and blow sugar. Part of the point of this unit was to begin desensitizing our hands to heat, and boy did we ever! We were cooking sugar to well over 300 degrees and then working with it with our hands, wearing only some regular old latex gloves.
We started with poured sugar, which is pretty straightforward. You cook sugar until it's super hot, and then pour it into the shape you want! We made owls. Here's mine!
In our next class, we began learning to pull sugar. You have to set up heat lamps that keep the sugar hot and pliable in order to pull the shapes you need. It's hot hot hot, let me tell you, and my fingers were tingling until the next morning! We added different kinds of feathers, and well, I don't think mine came out quite right. He looks rather, um, different. Oh well, with the heat and humidity at school, the whole thing melted into a sugary mess almost immediately, so my shame didn't last too long.
However, we also learned to pull sugar ribbons and make bows, and I think mine looks pretty nice!
After pulled sugar, we moved on to blown sugar, which was really cool, even if it often ended in explosions. Basically, you take a piece of pulled sugar and attach it to an air pump. You then carefully pump air into it to form a ball, or whatever shape you're aiming for. It's fun, but if the sugar cools too much, or you pump too hard, the whole thing explodes with a loud pop, almost like glass. Here's a generic ball I made...it could almost be a Christmas ornament, no?
After we had learned these techniques, we began our sugar project, which was a group showpiece. Our theme was the Rainforest, and I took part in pouring the base (which probably took 20lbs of sugar on its own) as well as making trees, some ponds and a river. Other people took care of the waterfall, animals, plants, and rocks, and it came out really well!
And that's sugar! Sadly, it's not very likely that I will get to do this much sugar work again, since it's not something that's done very often. Hopefully, something will come along, though!