After my epiphany and realising what a bad little blogger I am.. I have finally gotten my act together and sorted out my pics to write this next post.
I've been in the States for about 3 months now. In that time I have seriously never had so much bad luck, emotional break downs but fun and rude awakenings to reality. I was the victim of crime, admitted to hospital, had no identity for about a month, eaten enough bread to last a life time, travelled ALOT and partied like I was 18 again hehehe.
In this time I also started as a student at the Notter School of Pastry Arts (never noticed it before but if you say the name really fast or in my case with a supposed "Aussie accent", it actually sounds like Not A school of Pastry Arts lol). I did promise to blog about it all but like most things in my life at the moment. I haven't had time or energy to do so... until now.
So without further adieu, I will present you with one of the Professional Classes I took at Notter, taught by the infamous Ewald Notter himself. Sorry I lie, just a bit about Chef Notter first... (just incase you havent heard of him). He is one of the world's leaders in Confectionary Arts and has won many accolades including the honour of "One of the Finest Confectionery Chefs of the World". His forte is Sugar Pulling and Blowing and Chocolate.
This was one of the pieces that Chef Notter did in class, he was able to put this together in a matter of mins it was amazing watching him demo.
The class that I took was called "Sugar Fundamentals and Trends" and.. it was AMAZING!!! I had only started at the school a week before I took this class and I was absolutely blown away. We learnt to make sugar show pieces (obviously not to the magnitude of what the pros out there can do) and how to blow and pull sugar.
The first thing we learnt to make was this small flower piece.
There are several techniques that are used to make this piece.
Firstly, pulling the sugar to incorporate air. Basically it is pulling the sugar and bending it over so that it is side by side. Then you wrap it around to form a tube and repeat the process. Eventually you will end up with a tube with air inside like shown in the picture on the right.
Secondly, the ribbon. Similar to the branch (above) you place the coloured sugar side by side with the white then you pull, bend it over side by side and pull again until you get the pattern you want. Once you get the pattern you rub the sugar whilst pulling so that it becomes really thin. Use a heated spatula or knife to cut into the ribbon size you want. To shape the ribbon, place it under the heat lamp so that it softens. You can curve it or manoeuvre it any way you want this way.
Finally, the petals. To make these you need to pull it from the main sugar mass with your thumb then shape it in your palm to get the petal shape. These were a pain in the butt! The heat lamp was really hot and the sugar itself was even HOTTER. I managed to get blisters on my thumbs by the end of class :S
Since everything is made out of sugar, to assemble you just need to heat the sugar so that it melts and then glue the pieces you want together. Sounds simple but when its 100 deg plus, the shape isn't staying because the sugar is still soft, then as the sugar cools and becomes delicate and brittle and breaks with too much pressure..... it gets pretty frustrating.
These are some of the other pieces we learnt to make.
Onion Man - others made a snow man or a clown ... i decided to be creative and make a cross between an onion and snowman lol. We made this by blowing sugar, which is pretty hard especially getting it perfectly spherical... really need a midas touch for it.
This is my favourite piece. It's so elegant! I love the rose and the swans! ... although the making the rose was the death of me. I was ready to smash the damn thing! lol
This was the last piece we made, it was such a fun piece. Oh and I got to finally use an airbrush machine :) I painted the fish using the airbrush machine which was very cool. Can you tell that my fishy is a girly one... like? :)
Overall, an immense 3 days of fun fun and hotter than hot!! But totally worth it :D Here are some of the other mind blowing show pieces that Chef Notter has made.
ps. If your interested in seeing the step by step pics of how to make each of those sugar pieces please visit The Dainty Baker Facebook Page ... and dont forget to LIKE it :)