Pastillage is a mixture of powdered sugar, gelatin, and cornstarch that dries to a porous, rigid form.
With care and patience, it's possible to make very intricate pastillage showpieces, such as detailed flowers, figures, and even delicate architectural details - perfect for victorian trim on gingerbread houses!
Take a look at the detail work on the trees to the right! Aren't they beautiful? This cake topper was created by "chefette" on the eGullet forums (eGullet is a society for culinary arts.)
Because pastillage dries so quickly and is very fragile once dry, it's more difficult to work with than fondant, gum paste, or marzipan. Don't know the difference between all of these? Read this page. Don't be afraid to try your hand at pastillage though. The results can be stunning. Here's a simple recipe, so give it a go.
Steps (how to make pastillage):
You can view and share pastillage photos here. Try making your own pastillage showpieces and comment on others'.
When you've spent a great deal of time making intricate pastillage pieces, it's very frustrating to encounter pastillage cracking. Unfortunately, it happens.
Working quickly with pastillage is the best way to avoid drying and cracking. Still, very fine pastillage showpieces may require sanding with an emery board and that's when cracking or breaking is most likely to occur. Plan for this and make duplicates of any critical pieces just in case.
One tip to avoid pastillage cracking is to allow it to dry on a rigid, absorbent surface. Rotating the pieces occasionally (and carefully) can help with drying (since the water will sink to the bottom.
These incredibly detailed and beautiful pastillage showpieces were made by the owners of chocolatework.com. You can read the details about how each was made here:
Photos of all kinds of edible creations
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