....with a bowl of fluffy powdered sweetness; cupful of liquid gelatin and generous dustings of cornstarch?Pastillage! A smooth kneadable sugar dough, versatile, rollable, shapable and ever so beautiful when put together as an impressive showpiece.
Pastillage can get tricky for beginners. Lucky for us eager students, we had no other than the world renown sugar artist; Ewald Notter guiding us along. The past 2 days we've had learning this amazing new ingredient has been filled with lots of both heartache and fun!It was great to finally get more acquainted to this versatile decorative dough. Unlike it's relatively similar peers; flower(gum)paste or fondant; pastillage doesn't like to be fiddled with excessively. He really isn't patient like most... pastillage is known for being difficult when he doesn't have all your focus and attention. A couple of sheer lady stockings filled with cornflour helps ease a little of our pain.
Pastillage really is less forgiving in comparison. It's best to work clean, brisk and efficiently while coming up with shapes or different stencil cut-outs. Most of us could already sense his mischief around the corners of our blade within a minute after we've rolled out our doughs!
Here's some of the showpieces created in class;
and here's mine. We were offered some stencils in order to help us work faster, but I decided to wing it with a different design themed around paisley shapes and a modern interpretation of Indian henna patterns.Some of the pieces in class broke due to the humidity in the room, some broke from the pastillage pieces not being completely dry...and some from pure carelessness. In every class; there's bound to be a bull in the china shop when it comes to brittle and fragile showpieces. I've learnt my lesson well; take photos in class ....the piece might not survive the ride home. Hehe.
Personally; I prefer pastillage to the other decorative sugar doughs. It dries fast when handled correctly, it gives a nice smooth surface to airbrush/paint and it's much sturdier when it comes to structure building. Pastillage is my new best friend.
I wonder how many best friends I'll be picking up along this 6 month pastry journey of mine. *grin* I hope lots!
Talking about best friends and such... Chef Ewald had also taken the time to introduce us to silicone and it's many uses.He really is such a spectacular Chef and instructor. Just listening to him speak about his learning experiences while conveying wise advice to us kids, takes me to a completely different state of mind. I am much more motivated, intrigued and proactive... it's amazing.... it really is. The level of respect I have for him and his accomplishments is just.... ... just WOw! It's almost like I'm learning by example.. he is humble, eager, focused, artistic, meticulous and constantly on the go! If you've noticed; I can barely take a single shot of him without him running off somewhere. *laughs* My camera lenses are having problems catching up with his speed. I really hope to be just like him when I get to that stage; my role model you could say.