Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres

Jolly Holiday Figure

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 figure



  1. Before you begin this recipe, please take a class from a professional on working with sugar. This is a skill that professional pastry chefs develop after years of experience. Working with sugar will burn your fingers so know before you start that your fingers will develop burn blisters. 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. To do this, dip a clean brush in cold water and brush the inside of the pan clean. Pour the cooked sugar onto 3 or 4 silicone baking mats. If you want to color and/or flavor the sugar with food colors and/or flavored oils, this is the time to do so. Add a few drops of color to the sugar. Mix with a wooden skewer. To get started, push the sugar from the sides toward the center. This process takes a little while. Try to keep the sugar divided by color. Use the mat to push the firm sugar around the edges toward the center. Use a folding motion to accomplish that task. The next step is to pick up the sugar with your hands. Place each color under the heat of the sugar lamp. Pull the sugar until it becomes glossy and the color is evenly distributed. You will need to pull the colors simultaneously. Keep them under the sugar lamp but keep an eye on them. The lamp can melt the sugar so it is important keep rotating it and folding it onto itself.
  2. You will need to repeat the following steps for each color. Try to do this somewhat simultaneously to keep the sugar from melting under the lamp. Pull the sugar to incorporate air.
  3. Cut pieces of sugar and form into shapes. Make 2 arms. Use a sugar pump to blow sugar inside. Put sugar around the pump. Anchor by heating the metal and wrapping the sugar around the hot tube. Fold the sugar onto itself to be sure it is the same temperature and same consistency everywhere. Add the larger sugar to the pump. Carefully fill with air while shaping. You need to work slowly and consistently, always holding the sugar piece in your hand to continually give it shape. Use a blow torch to melt the edges slightly and stick them together. You?ve made the shoes, pants, body, arms, head. If necessary, make a belt to hide the seam where the shirt and pants meet. Position the arms in different ways to give him some action. Make a base. Stick the shoes to the base. Stick the pants into the shoes. Adhere the body to the pants. Add the arms. Make his head. You can paint his facial features or make them from sugar. Add a hat. Put a candy cane in 1 hand and a lollipop in the other hand. Use the base of the presentation to display the other candies you have made.