In the world of pastry arts Pastillage and Marzipan are old friends; however not as popular as pulled Sugar and Chocolate. That being said both of these classic preparations can be used to create stunning showpieces. For those who are not familiar with them Pastillage is a paste made with powdered Sugar, Gelatin and white Vinegar. Marzipan is made from Almond Paste, Powdered Sugar and a small amount of Glucose or Corn Syrup. Pastillage is made by rolling out the paste into sheets and then quickly cutting them into shapes. The pieces are then allowed to dry. After two to three days they are then sanded to smooth out any rough edges and then put together with Royal Icing. Pastillage is one of the mediums used in sugar art production for showpieces and decoration of cakes and pastry. It provides a good contrast to the shiny pulled, caste or blown sugar components when combined together in a showpiece.
Marzipan is very popular in northern Europe and is often made into small figurines such as animals, fruit and clowns where it is sold in many pastry shops. It is also used as a bon bon when flavored with a liquor and then dipped in chocolate. Marzipan is also used to create flower decorations such as the daffodils and rose buds that I used to decorate the pink macaroons.
Macaroons are currently very popular and served in many varieties of flavors. In this photo I set them on a White Chocolate base which was made by spreading out tempered (crystalized) White Chocolate on a transfer sheet that was embossed with a light green colored Cocoa Butter decoration. I also cut the diamonds, meant to represent leaves, that I used on the top of the Macaroons. Transfer sheets are sold by pastry supply distributers and come in many styles and designs. Many pastry chefs also use acetate sheets and then spread or pipe on their one designs with colored white chocolate or cocoa butter then adding a back ground layer with white, milk or dark chocolate. These sheets of acetate or transfer sheets can be cut and used as flat decorations (called plaques) or twisted or rolled up to create ribbons or curls.
When techniques and clean workmanship is combined along with original ideas beautiful results can be created. Putting in the time for practice is also needed to create stunning results.