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SHADES - A Pulled and Blown sugar show piece

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N.Srikanth is a Lecturer,Pastry & Bakery and Advance European Confectionery working at Culinary Academy Of india.


‘Fill your plate with shades of colors, for what pleases the eye pleases the body as a whole.’

Shades in essence are the different tones across the color spectrum. They vary greatly - from dark to light, warm to cold, and within each color. Research suggests that the human eye can distinguish up to a million shades with more than a thousand within each color. This happens due to factors such as hue, chroma/saturation, and lightness. So when I start thinking of food plating, I automatically think of the various shades I can put onto it to make it look more appealing. But the thoughts and questions don’t end there. Digging deeper other questions rise up - How bold should color be on a plate? Can a tint be used with white and a different one with black? There are many ‘shade’ factors to consider while plating and with this plate, I wanted to highlight the importance of shades.


For the ‘Shades’ theme, my idea was to leverage the different shades available within a single color. This monochrome technique would require me to choose one color and play with the various shades within it. Out of all the colors possible across the spectrum, the one that I chose, is the radiant, vibrant ‘RED’. The color red is a symbol of power, decisiveness, and leadership. It’s bold, encourages action, bolsters confidence. It’s the color of love and passion. It simulates energy, draws the eye, and creates an ever-lasting impact. And with my dish, I wanted to project all these qualities that the color represents.

In order to bring this monochromatic theme to life, I chose to go down the route of Sugar Confectionery. Although it is a challenging and ambitious avenue, I felt that sugar confectionery was the only way to bring my vision and its many shades to life. This is because sugar confectionery is extremely creative and allows for the creation of marvelous wonders all of which can be eye-pleasing.

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To infuse the monochrome theme in the presentation, I decided to use a variety of shades of the color while working with different techniques. These included different ways of making sugar decorations like the pulling method, pouring method, and blowing method. For the pulling method of sugar confectionery, I cooked the sugar and poured the liquid sugar onto a silicone rubber mat before adding coloring to it. After this, I repeatedly folded the sugar into itself while it was still flexible and cool enough. This process allows for air to be incorporated into the sugar while giving it a bright lustrous sheen. The sugar can then be sculpted into various shapes or blown. When it comes to blown sugar, a portion of the pulled sugar is placed on a rubber pump which is tipped with either wood or metal. With this technique, the sugar can be shaped into various shapes like animals or flowers.

To bring the entire dish to life I have accompanied the showpiece with a gateau that also compliments the red monochrome. The gateau I made comprised of a rich and moist crimson-red velvet cake, a crunch and gorgeous vivid-red raspberry crunch, a sweet and delicious bright red cherry confit with a silky salmon-red strawberry mousse coated on top with a shiny red mirror glaze. All this in the shape of the current trends around geometrical cakes.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 BrandCai


Ankit Mathur on May 18, 2021:

Very well explained techniques..worth reading

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