Friday, August 28, 2009

Technique: Sugar Bottle

I'm working on a project (to be posted next week) where I need a bottle made of sugar. On my first attempt I've melted isomalt and poured it to form a rectangle.

I then layed it on a lightly greased bottle and heated it with a heat gun to wrap the rectangle around the bottle.

That worked okay, but not cleanly enough for my liking, and it made the neck and bottom difficult.

Right now humidity is not my friend so this project is really struggling...but it will be done by the end of the month. (ETA - be sure to read my newer posts to see the final result - its already posted)


Gfron1 said...

Larry - since you're possibly the only regular reader at this point (Mark is traveling I think), this is for the TGRWT this. I have a super idea if I can execute this bottle.

Tri2Cook said...

Intriguing. I'd like to offer some ideas but I don't have a clue how to go about making a sugar bottle. The only thing I can think of other than what you've already tried is maybe blowing it. That's beyond my skill level but it's an option.
I have a nasty feeling I'm not going to get anything done for this one either. The deadline is pretty much here and I've got nothing. I was looking forward to it too.

Manggy said...

Hi Rob! Back from the dead temporarily-- I love these "technique" posts, by the way :)

How did you plan on making a complete bottle using this method? Did you do it by halves and piece it together later?
Is it important that the bottle is clear or is some surface irregularity okay?
Some ideas:
1. You could create a mold of bottle halves out of an existing bottle using clay or plaster, but the problem would be popping the sugar cast out without breaking it. If you had the resources to mold silicone (which is possible as you know), that would be excellent.
2. You could instead of pouring on a silpat pour directly (I'm not sure if you'd have to do multiple layers for durability) onto a greased bottle-half. Clean away the excess, then piece together two halves.
3. If you could piece together a bottle from other nonstick forms (two cylinders, one bigger and one narrower), then melt through the roof of one of the cylinders to make a mouth for the bottle.

Tri2Cook said...

Yeah, fusing together two halves might work too. Good thinking Mark! However you go about it, I'm looking forward to seeing what you came up with.

I think I have an idea for this round if I can put it together before the deadline. I have today free. Nothing as cool as a sugar bottle but at least it will keep me from having missed yet another one if I get it done.

Manggy said...

Thanks Larry- I just thought also- if you could make a cylinder and warm the upper half so you could ease it into a neck slowly by squeezing it, that would be a little easier than blowing it :)

Gfron1 said...

Here's a few thoughts for you all on this one. If I wanted to be a perfectionist, I full bottle would be important, but really, for a dessert that someone will eat, a lift-off-able bottle top would be better. It would be cool to shatter the sugar glass to get to the dessert, but then you have the shards that you won't want to eat. when i realized that, the product changed for me. That's what led to the wrapping idea. Wrap sugar 2/3 or 3/4 around a bottle, set the dessert inside and enjoy. But the bottom becomes the problem then - meaning, getting an aesthetically pleasing bottom. I thought about blowing but that would be too difficult to get correct. In the end I have a food grade silicone kit coming which I'll mold a bottle from, then pour/slosh hot sugar around in.

Kate at Serendipity said...

This is fascinating. What's the project? Oh, wait, you'll post that when it's done. I'll be back!

I was thinking that if you're going to lift the bottle OFF whatever's in it, then it probably doesn't need a bottom. That way you could mold it over the top of a bottle and leave the bottom off?

Ok, now I"m hooked.

Natalie said...

Very interesting! I'm curious to see what it looks like finished. Could you wrap it around a coke can and try to stretch out the top to make it bottle like? I can see how making the neck of the bottle would be difficult.

My favorite tool when working with sugar in this element is a torch. If the top is drying in a shape you don't like, torch it and mold it again!

Jada said...

how very cool! I've never worked with sugar like this before--interested to see how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Flour in a large bin can be used as a half-mold, use a bottle to make a well in the shape you want, and pour/lay the sugar mix in. Make a couple half-bottles and glue them together with fire or more sugar.

Gfron1 said...

I hope everyone will check out my latest post (9/6) to see the final technique. And anonymous' suggestion of a flour mold is interesting. I wonder how easy it is to pour the molten sugar and have the form keep its shape. I also wonder about texture. My final product had too much texture with silicone, so I would think that flour would be even worse.

Anonymous said...

make a silicone mold of a bottle and then pour your sugar liquid into the mold,wait couple seconds and pour the liquid out and after it hardens you will have a hollow sugar bottle. I saw it on a website but can't remember which one....will try to find it but search for make a sugar bottle and maybe it will come up.

Anonymous said...

Here is the video that I watched.