[Sca-cooks] Master Bogdan on confectioner's sugar from 2003

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Mon Aug 7 16:10:46 PDT 2006

Before we dismiss powdered sugar with starch,
Here is a message from Master Bogdan (Jeffrey Heilveil) regarding
starch in sugarpaste and starch in modern confectioner's sugars.

It first appeared on the MK Cooks List among other lists.
(And yes I know that there is a difference between wheat starch
and corn (maize) starch and as to what would have been used prior
to 1600.)


[mk-cooks] confectioner's sugar is (sort of) OK for A&S
9/11/2003 9:16 AM

Gak.  Don't believe I typed that out loud.  Of course, if nothing else it
got your attention, right?

So the problem we all have with confectioner's sugar is the 3% cornstarch.
The problem with making our own is carpel-tunnel (for some of us) and time
(for all of us, I hope).  Cornstarch is still wrong.... but starch isn't.

I was doing some background research for an interview I'm doing on mead
making and came across the following:
Hugh Plat _Delightes for Ladies_.
In "the art of preserving":
13. the making of sugar-paste, and casting thereof in carved molds.

"Take one pound of the whitest refined or double refined sugar, if you can
gette it: put thereto three ounces (some comfit-makers put sixe ounces for
more gaine) of the best starch you can buy; and if you dry the sugar after
it is powdered, it will the sooner paste thorough your lawne searce..."

Let's see at 12oz/# that should be 20% starch then....  not 3%....
Wallpaper paste is wheat starch...
It would make for a VERY different sugarpaste than most of the other
recipes I've seen.

Have fun.  Get sugar everywhere.  Remember, it'll dissolve with water


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