Sunday, June 7, 2009
I swear this is not going to be a growing trend... but once again, I passed on the Baking Beauties challenge for this week. The reasoning behind this week's lack of participation is my little Avery's upcoming birthday.
My darling baby will be turning one this week. Of course, since I love making cakes, I had to come up with something outstanding for his first birthday, right?! I have settled on a cake which will be shaped as baby blocks. Resting on the cake board with the cake will be some of his favourite play things fashioned out of gum paste.
One of his favourites (for the moment) is bubbles. He just goes crazy for them. He fiercely waves his tiny arms when he sees us take out the plastic wand. He actually has figured out how to blow them himself, albeit not that well. He growls while doing it, but that just makes it even more adorable.
I thought a great addition to the gum paste bottle and bubble wand would be bubbles scattered across the cake board. But how to do it?
After some research, I found a number of helpful instructions on how to "blow sugar balls" (be careful if you type this into google, as a whole slew of NSFW sites come up). The basic idea is to make a sugar syrup which is boiled to 305F. It is then placed on an oiled marble slab and is folded in on itself until it becomes a semi solid. At this point you can (with protected hands) start the pulling process. It is important to aerate the sugar concoction to produce a wonderful sheen on the finished product. The soft sugar is placed around either a wooden or metal mouthpiece attached to a pump and air is forced into it, while the sugar is shaped into the desired form.
Now, there is a lot of "recommended" equipment suggested for blowing sugar balls - heat lamps, air pumps, spirit burner. However, I accomplished the task with a bamboo straw, a hair dryer and some latex cleaning gloves. It was relatively easy and a lot of fun. As soon as things calm down a bit, I might even attempt some other sugarwork. But, for at least another week, my focus is solely on Avery's cake and birthday party.
Posted by Tina at 8:37 PM