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Reverse engineering a "glass shard" !

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sean907 Mar 4, 2012 10:19 AM

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. chefj RE: sean907 Mar 4, 2012 10:26 AM

    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
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      sean907 RE: chefj Mar 4, 2012 10:37 AM

      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
        chefj RE: sean907 Mar 4, 2012 10:46 AM

        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. cowboyardee RE: sean907 Mar 4, 2012 01:59 PM

      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
        babette feasts RE: cowboyardee Mar 4, 2012 10:42 PM

        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. s
        sean907 RE: sean907 Mar 4, 2012 09:49 PM

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

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