Adventures in Sugar and Gingerbread


A gentleman in the pastry business came in today to check out our friendly neighborhood workshop/tool library. One of the things he asked about piqued my interest - he wondered if we could cut sugar sheets on the laser for use in sugar sculpture. After some discussion about materials (and of course pending future experimentation with said materials), I think we could do it.  I mean, we couldn’t do stuff like this with just a laser cutter:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40105227@N00/2266403736/09/never-again-a-gingerbread-adventure/

But we might just be able to cut the geometric shapes that make up the piece. I think that the laser would be even more useful with something like this:

http://www.vc.edu/vc-news/culinard-chef-instructor-represents-school-major-competition.cfm

Straight lines and intricate geometric designs are the laser cutter’s forte. Based on the creme brulee experiment we performed earlier this year, I believe that we could also use the laser to lightly carmelize designs into the surface of the sugar sheets. This is where the laser would really, pardon the pun, shine, especially with intricate and geometric patterns.

I should briefly mention another conclusion we came to during the creme brulee experiment: any food items you put through the laser cutter will taste terrible afterwards. Not to mention we’re not really in the food handling business, either. So, all projects I’m suggesting here are purely decorative. But that still leaves plenty of nifty (and only technically edible) possibilities like sugar sculpture and….

http://yogamum.files.wordpress.com

Gingerbread houses. Can you imagine the structures you could pull of if you had the precision and ease of use of a lasercutter?  And we could definitely do “gingerbread wallpaper” - see the wheat thins experiment below:

Now I can hardly wait for the holiday season. I just hope we can get the attention of some adventurous culinary sculptors in the meantime. This could be awesome.

(pictures courtesy of fortunae2002’s photostream, the Virginia College website, the Yoga Gumbo blog and our very own flickr stream)