Wednesday, January 24, 2018




Sugar confectionery is made up of a wide array of sweet confectionery, commonly known as sweets.  This analysis includes boiled icings, gums and jellies, liquorice, lollipops, marshmallows, other sugar confectionery, panned, as well as toffees and chews.The main ingredient used in the manufacture of sugar based confectionery is sucrose. Through varying the types of ingredients used, boiling temperature and shaping methods, confectioners are able to make a wide range of sugar treats.

Where does Sugar come from ?

Sugars are found in the tissues of most plants, but are present in sufficient concentrations for efficient extraction only in sugarcane and sugar beet .Sugar beet, a cultivated variety of Beta vulgaris, is grown as a root crop in cooler climates and became a major source of sugar in the 19th century when methods for extracting the sugar became available. Sugar is a staple ingredient used widely all over the world, mainly used for desserts, sweets and confectionary.There are number of sweeteners available such as honey, glucose etc still sugar is majorly used specially for sculptures and showpieces.

Innovative Sugar confectionary

The innovative sugar confectionary is the edible art & innovative craft using sugar (grain, icing, castor sugar, etc.) & transforming them into different forms that includes Pulled sugar, spun sugar, Nougatine, Gum pate etc.Creating showpieces and sculptures etc.Showcasing chef’s skill, talent, techniques and uniqueness.Innovative sugar work also includes the sugar garnishes which are made to give an highlight to the desserts . Like the spun sugar used in gateaux st.honore , sugar strings and sugar designs ., confectioners are able to make a wide range of sugar treats.

Types Of Sugar

Granulated Sugar - is a highly refined, multi-purpose sugar. It's also sometimes called refined, table, or white sugar. The grain size is bigger compared to other forms.
Caster Sugar - is superfine granulated white sugar. Because the crystals are so fine, they dissolve much quicker than standard granulated white sugar, which makes it ideal for making meringues, syrups, and cocktails.
Confectioners Sugar - Also referred to as powdered sugar and icing sugar, this is a type of white sugar that has been ground into a fine powder.

Pearl Sugar - sometimes called nib sugar or hail sugar, pearl sugar is a variety of white sugar that has a coarse, hard texture and an opaque color.
Sanding Sugar - is used mainly for decorating. It has large crystals, which are fairly resistant to heat and add extra texture and crunch to cookies and other baked goods.
 Demerara Sugar - is a variety of raw cane sugar that is minimally refined. It has large grains with an amber color and a natural, subtle molasses flavor.

Turbinado Sugar - is another type of minimally refined raw cane sugar. Turbinado sugar has a delicate caramel flavor and is commonly used to sweeten beverages and can also be used in baking.
Light Brown Sugar - is refined white sugar with a small amount of molasses added in. It has a wet, sandy texture.
 Dark Brown Sugar - Like its lighter counterpart, dark brown sugar is refined white sugar with molasses added in. It contains more molasses than light brown sugar, which gives it a stronger, more intense flavor. Light and dark brown sugar can be used interchangeably.

(Measure with Candy Thermometer )

Sugar Confectionery using Grain Sugar

Most of the sugar confectionery is prepared using sugar in grain form which is actually cooked into a syrup to the required temperature & techniques like Poured, pulled, blown sugar etc. are applied.
 Basic ingredients used are
 Sugar – cooking it into a syrup without any crystals & to the right temperature is the key. High quality sugar with less impurities gives better results.
 Water – provides moisture that helps in dissolving sugar for even temperature distribution while cooking.
 Glucose – it has different attributes, usually helps in strengthening the sugar & helping it to be stretchable.
 Acid – helps prevent crystallization & also makes the sugar elastic enough to pull & blow.
 Colours – are the key for an attractive work. Usually powder colours dissolved in water or gel base colours are more suitable.

ž  A Gas Stove – is the most suitable since the heat can be controlled easily & quickly. However a hot plate may also be used.
ž   A Pan – traditional pans are made out of copper because it is a good conductor of heat. Otherwise steel or aluminum pas may also be used.
ž   Candy Thermometer – specifically designed for checking the temperature of sugar cooking.
ž   Pipette Bottle – to enable us to add the acid drop by drop.
ž   A Brush – to clean the splashes stuck on the cooking vessels while boiling.
ž   Ladles – for stirring the sugar for faster dissolving. 


ž  Carefully boiled sugar is the basic requirement for a successful sugar confectionery work.
ž   Use high quality sugar with less impurities.
ž   Dissolve the sugar over a slow heat stirring constantly to avoid any crystal to settle down.
ž   Wash the splashes down off the pan edge quickly with a brush dipped in water, so they do notcaramelise or revert to crystals & make sugar impure.
ž   Remove the scum as they are the impurities such as chalk remains, plant proteins etc. The amount of scum is an indication of how pure the sugar is.
ž   Check the required temperature properly before the sugar cooking is stopped which is the key for a successful sugar work.

Types & techniques using boiled/cooked Sugar

 PULLED SUGAR - The sugar has been cooked to hard crack stage (152oC to 154oC)  and coloured at this stage if required & then poured onto a silicone mat. The sugar is then folded repeatedly into itself, until the sugar is, while still flexible, cool enough to handle. The sugar is then stretched out and then folded on itself repeatedly. This process incorporates air into the sugar, and gives it a bright lustery sheen. The sugar can then be sculpted by hand into various shapes, made into ribbons, petals, or blown.
 BLOWN SUGAR - a portion of pulled sugar is placed on a rubber pump which is tipped with either wood or metal. Pumps are most commonly hand pumps. While being blown, the sugar can be shaped, often into animals or flowers. Blown sugar cannot be quickly cooled by dipping it in water, so chefs must use fans to cool the sugar, all the while rotating it, so that it does not come out of shape.

ROCK SUGAR - The liquid sugar is blended with a small amount of royal icing. The heat from the sugar causes the air incorporated in the icing to rapidly expand, causing the mixture to grow to several times its original volume. The mixture is quickly poured into a lined dish, and allowed to set. This process produces a sugar mass with the texture of volcanic pumice, the color of which is determined by the color of the sugar syrup.
CAST SUGAR/POURED SUGAR - In this technique, sugar is poured into molds. This technique produces more sturdy pieces than pulled and blown sugar, and is almost always used for the base and structural elements of showpieces. This creates an elevation & proper structure to a sugar showpiece. Moulds made of metal & silicone are more suitable.

SPUN SUGAR - Sugar syrup cooked to either hard crack or caramel is made into long extremely thin strands which can be shaped to make things like birds nests. The sugar is gathered on a fork or a special tool designed for spinning sugar and is flicked in long strokes over succeeding pipes.
NOUGATINE – is a kind of sugar confectionery associated with sugar cooked to caramel stage and mixed with roasted nuts like peanuts, almonds etc. Usually the showpieces made out of nougatine are decorated with royal icing.
GARNISHES – caramel sugar or hard crack stage sugar is also suitable to make garnishes that can elevate pastry products like desserts & cakes. Spirals, almond strings, piped designs, etc. are few examples.

SUGAR PAINTING (Chinese sugar art)

is a traditional Chinese form of folk art using hot, liquid sugar to create two dimensional figures. This snack is popular among children. Selecting a figure is normally determined by spinning the arrow on a wheel.

HISTORY -  Sugar painting may have originated during the Ming dynasty when small animals made of sugar were created in molds for religious rituals. This art form then became more popular during the Qing dynasty. After that period techniques improved, and a more diverse range of patterns emerged. 


Although techniques vary, normally the hot sugar is drizzled from a small ladle onto a flat surface, usually white marble or metal. The outline is produced with a relatively thick stream of sugar. Then, supporting strands of thinner sugar are placed to attach to the outline, and fill in the body of the figure. Supporting strands may be produced with swirls, zigzags, or other patterns. Finally, when completed, a thin wooden stick, used to hold the figure, is attached in two or more places with more sugar. Then, while still warm and pliable, figure is removed from the surface using a spatula like tool, and is sold to the waiting customer, or placed on display

ž  It is the preparation of candies and sugar confections. Candy making includes the preparation of many various candies, such as hard candies, jelly beans, gumdrops, taffy, cotton candy, caramel candy etc Candy comes in a wide variety of textures, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle.
ž  Candy making and consumption increased greatly during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Candy had previously been made by hand, either occasionally at home or by specialists in small, local businesses. Increased mechanization caused prices to drop and production to increase.
       Making candy can be hazardous due to the use of boiled sugar and melted chocolate. Boiling sugar often exceeds 150 °C (302 °F)—hotter than most cooked foods—and the sugar tends to stick to the skin, causing burns and blisters upon skin contact

CUBE SUGAR - is generally seen in restaurants being used for tea and coffee, but confectioner’s have found a brilliant way to use it for sculptures where buildings, monuments etc have to be displayed.Cube sugar works as bricks and royal icing helps as a adhesive to create shapes and structures, sanding paper is used to give neat finish to the showpieces.Innovators have also introduces light effects to the showpieces by connecting electric bulbs and fancy lights to give amazing eye appeal.
PRESSED SUGAR - Granulated sugar is mixed with a minimal amount of water, and is put under pressure. It hardens into a solid piece. Though this is used for showpiece bases, it is less often used because of the time required to produce it, and its lesser aesthetic value.

ROLLED FONDANT - is an edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries. It is made from sugar, water, gelatin, and glycerol. It does not have the texture of most icings; rolled fondant is akin to stiff clay, while poured fondant is a thick liquid. The word, in French, means "melting", coming from the same root as fondue and foundry.

PASTILLAGE/ GUM PASTE – is a pliable dough made of icing sugar, gelatine or any plant source gums, water & that can be  molded into shapes. When dried, it is hard and brittle. It hardens quickly and can be shaped for a short while by hand, and after hardening & smoothened with electric grinders, cutters, sandpaper and assorted files. Some recipes will contain an acid in the ingredients list, such as vinegar or cream of tartar. Mostly used for showpieces which usually last longer & also for dummy cakes.

ROYAL ICING – is a pipeable mixture or batter made of Icing sugar, Egg white & lemon juice which can be of different consistencies based on the technique applied. Piping, stencil work, filigree work, run outs, collars, tube embroidery work, etc. are the work forms of this icing. It is also used as a glue for Pastillage showpieces & also to decorate nougatine showpiece.

 SUGAR PASTE/ RTR – A commercial confection made on the same lines of rolled fondant which is readily available. Used to cover the high fat cakes & modeling work.


ž  Metal Scrapers
ž   Measuring mediums – weighing scales, quart, etc.
ž   Marble or Granite surface
ž   Silicon Mats
ž   Survical/Rubber Gloves – to protect hands from heat, cleaning becomes easy, avoid dampness of hands while working.

ž  Blowing Tube – useful for blowing sugar work.
ž  Fan – for faster cooling of sugar.
ž  Hair Drier
ž   Scissors
ž   Moulds – to provide design & shape as required.

ž  For Spun Sugar:• Metal whisk with end cut off and wires spread slightly or long, narrow metal spatula 
ž  SUGAR STUDIO FOR PULLED SUGAR WORK  This is a assembled cabinet which has a front opening & a infra red lamp hanging from the top. This studio is meant to keep the pulled sugar pieces pliable so that it is easy to pull & blow the sugar as required.
ž   MICROWAVE OVEN– this makes the sugar pliable in a faster way than the sugar studio.
ž   AIRBRUSH SPRAY MACHINE- for colouring  the showpieces
ž  SPIRIT LAMP – to stick the pull sugar pieces together.


ž  Silicone is one such material which is now being extensively used to create variety of moulds for its application in confectionery arts. Especially suitable for sugar casting.
ž   They provide the fastest way to turn sugar confectionery into a profitable & attractive work of art.
ž   This medium is easy to work with & also can be cleaned fast.
ž   Expensive, but durable & worth investing.
ž   Silicone moulds are readily available & also available in liquid form for someone who wants to make their own moulds.

ž  Modelling Tools- The perfect double-headed, ergonomically engineered shaping tools for sculpting, shaping, texturing, and modeling of sugar works .
ž   Plunger Cutters – easy & handy for a faster work as they cutters available in different forms for making flowers, leaves, fancy cutouts, letters, etc.
ž  Sugar smoother

The perfect tool for sculpting, shaping and smoothing buttercream, ganache, fondant, marzipan, and much more.
It’s lightly frosted surface prevents sticking or pulling while working with edible and non-edible ingredients


ž  Handling and storing sugar work and recognizing factors affecting quality and optimizing shelf life.
ž  Safe boiling and handling of sugar and underlying principles of preparing sugar.
ž  Basic first aid for treatment of burns in case of accidents
ž  Working methods used in production and display of sugar work, including the use of equipment.
ž  Creative skills in decoration and presentation.
ž  Defining and applying corrective steps to ensure quality control.
ž  Literacy skills to read recipes, menus, instructions, and orders.
ž  Numeracy skills to calculate portions and weigh and measure quantities of ingredients.
ž  Historical and cultural aspect of sugar work.
ž  Hygiene and food safety requirements.


ž  Working with hot sugar can be dangerous, so use caution.
ž  Use surgical or silicone gloves while working with sugar.
ž   Take care when transporting boiling sugar and when working and molding hot sugar with your hands..
ž   Make sure to have cool water handy in case of an emergency. If hot sugar or water burns skin, place skin in cold water (not ice).
ž   The crystallization process starts with stirring and heat. Crystals affect the sugar’s texture. Avoid crystallization by cooling the syrup rapidly in cold water.
ž   When pulling sugar, take care not to work the sugar too long; over pulling can result in the sugar re-crystallizing and taking on a dull matte finish.

ž  Keep a heat lamp ready for to keep sugar warm and   pliable.
ž   Be careful and appropriate with proportions of the showpiece or sculpture.
ž   Wipe spills on the counters or floors immediately to avoid hardened sugar later. Some sugar work,especially spinning, can be quite messy, so it is a good idea to cover up areas where flicking sugar may drop.
ž   Remove hardened sugar stuck to pans by filling pan with boiling water. Wash down sides with a clean brush dipped in water.
ž  Climate can play role in sugar crystallization. If you live in a damp climate, you may find it more difficult to work with sugar due to high humidity.


ž  Sugar is very hygroscopic it readily absorbs atmosphere moisture that leads to crystallization.
ž  Place decorations in sealed plastic bags with a dehumidifying agent inside.
ž  Decorations will keep many months stored in an airtight container with silica or quicklime.
ž  Sugar showpieces and sculptures should be made according to the time of serving.

ž  Innovative sugar confectionary – the topic deals with what all a person needs to know before being a confectioner, what all knowledge and skills are required apart from that with time what all innovations are coming into sugar confectionary all around the world and how people are developing new skills and working methods for providing brilliant sugar art.
ž  The topic has also taken to educate young chef’s and culinary people about the sensitivity of sugar, precautions, requirements etc,.
ž  The videos displays the practical work done by sugar and how to mould sugar into showpieces and sculptures through different mediums.

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