Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres

Sugar Stained Glass

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 1 stained glass centerpiece


For the frame:

For the stained glass:

Royal Icing


Special equipment:
Heavy cotton gloves, to help protect hands fromheat
  1. Place the sugar for the frame in a pan, insert a candy thermometer and begin to cook the sugar. It is ready when it reaches 320 degrees F. Have the line drawing ready and enlarged to the size you need. Have 4 heatproof spouted measuring cups in a warm oven, ready for your stained glass sugar. 
  2. Arrange 4 metal rulers on a silicone baking mat in the shape of a frame the same size as your drawing. Pour the cooked frame sugar inside the frame outline so that it is about 1/4-inch thick. When the sugar has cooled, place the line drawing on the work surface and remove the sugar sheet from the ruler frame and place it over the drawing. Place some Royal Icing into a cornet and use it to trace the outlines on top of the sugar frame. 
  3. When all of the outlines are drawn, place the ingredients for the stained glass in a pan, (this is your second batch of sugar) insert a candy thermometer and cook to 320 degrees F, divide the sugar evenly between the heatproof, warm measuring cups. Add a few drops of food color (pick colors that will work with your drawing) to each cup of sugar and stir with wooden skewers. It is best at this point to use some heavy cotton gloves to protect your hands. Pour 1 of the colors into a cornet and use it to fill in the spaces that you want to be that particular color. Use 1 color at a time. You can reheat the sugar in the microwave as long as it is in the measuring cups but you cannot reheat the sugar when it is in the paper cornet. When all of the spaces on your drawing have been filled to your satisfaction, you are ready to display your stained glass masterpiece!

Royal Icing

  1. To make royal icing: Combine the egg white and powdered sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and continue whipping until completely incorporated, about 3 minutes. The lemon juice whitens the royal icing. The royal icing should be light, fluffy, and slightly stiff. You may need to adjust the consistency by adding more egg whites if the icing is too dry or more powdered sugar if it is too wet. 
  2. Place the royal icing in a small piping bag or paper cornet. 
  3. Yield: 2 cups
  4. How to Make a Cornet: From Dessert Circus, Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make At Home by Jacques Torres The Cornet: A cornet is a small piping bag made from parchment paper. It is usually used to make fine decorations. 
  5. Cut an 8 by 12 by 14 1/2-inch triangle from a sheet of parchment paper. Hold the middle of the long side of the triangle between 2 fingers of 1 hand. Take the tip of the triangle on the short, wide end and roll it toward the other tip of that same end while simultaneously pulling it in an upward motion. The tip of a cone will form where your thumb and finger hold it on the long side. 
  6. Release your grip from the long side, so that you are now holding the 2 corners where they meet. The paper will already resemble a partially formed cone. Roll the remaining tail until it is completely rolled into a cone. There will be 1 point sticking up from the open end. Fold it inside toward the center, and crease the fold. Now you should have a cornet. To close the cornet once it has been filled, fold it away from the seam; this will keep the seam from opening. Use a pair of scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut an opening at the tip of the cornet to the desired size.