Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres
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40 min
30 min
10 min
1 poured sugar centerpiece



This is a very simple technique for making an impressing centerpiece. First, design your centerpiece. I drew 3 artistic shapes onto cardboard and then cut out the shapes to make templates. Roll out the PlayDough and cut long ropes that are about an inch wide and 1/2-inch deep. Place a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet. Using the template as a guide, recreate the shape with PlayDough formed directly on the baking sheet.

I also used concentric circles to form all of the base pieces of the centerpiece. I used 2 (12-inch) cake rings, a 10-inch ring, and an 8-inch ring. Lightly coat the inside of each ring with vegetable cooking spray. Set the rings on baking sheets covered with silpat baking mats. Now you are ready to cook the sugar.

Place the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Insert a candy thermometer and cook until the sugar reaches 320 degrees F. Use a pastry brush to keep the inside of the saucepan clean as the sugar cooks or the sugar may recrystallize. When the sugar has cooked, add the color. I used a whisk to mix in some white color. Then, I added red but I did not mix it completely. Let the heat of the sugar mix the red.

Immediately pour the marbled sugar inside the cake rings and inside the PlayDough forms. Allow the sugar to cool completely.

To stick the sugar pieces together, use a blow torch. The process is using the flame to gently melt the place where the 2 pieces will be joined. I "glued" my largest upright piece to my largest circle. Make a few passes with the flame and you will see the sugar start to melt. Use that process to put all of the pieces of the centerpiece together.

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