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Mar 4, 2012 10:19 AM

Reverse engineering a "glass shard" !

I attended culinary school in Florence, Italy and for a catered dinner we made a multiple course menu. One of the items was a cake with a sugar "glass shard" garnish. As I was working a saute pan I did not have a hand in making the dessert. I have tried to reverse engineer the glass shard but have not had success yet. I do know it was baked on a silpat but that is about it. Please help!

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  1. What have you tried? Are you sure that it was baked?
    It looks like a thin layer hard crack sugar syrup that was set on a Silpat.
    You may be able to get the same result in a oven by sprinkling a Silpat with bakes sugar and melting it in the oven.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Mostly what I have tried is different ratios of sugar to water. I do not know if it was baked - when I came back to help garnish they were on baking trays with silpats

      1. re: sean907

        I think that the Siplat was used for its nonstickness.
        When you are making a hard crack syrup the ratio of water to sugar is not important. You will be cooking all the water away.
        You cook your syrup till it reaches 300° F–310° F
        quickly pour onto a silpat and spread as thin as you can.(it will help if the silpat and sheet pan it is on is hot) let it cool completely.

    2. Was the sugar glass garnish flavored (beyond being sugary) or colored at all?

      Generally speaking, the process is that you boil a kind of sugar (a mixture of glucose and fondant sugar are often used; also isomalt is very popular because it doesn't crystalize easily) until it's about 300 degrees or sometimes a bit hotter. The boiled sugar is then poured on silpat to cool. Once cool, it is ground to a powder. And then it is sifted onto a silpat sheet in a very fine layer, in whatever shape you'd like. Finally, it is heated again in the oven until the sugar melts. You can mold it a bit as it sets.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cowboyardee

        I was going to say it is probably made with isomalt, but I'm not sure the grinding and sifting is really necessary. Depends on what you're looking for, I guess.

        Sean, if you search for bubble sugar garnish you'll get a variety of methods.

      2. Thank you both for the replies- I have a good idea of how to start now.