Kim's kitchen

Make this sugar swan

By KIM M. SIMONS
Posted 4/27/22

I’ve been fascinated by birds since childhood. When I see a hawk in flight, I know I’m going to have a good day.

I’m lucky that I live in the mountains of Wurtsboro, NY, because …

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Kim's kitchen

Make this sugar swan

Posted

I’ve been fascinated by birds since childhood. When I see a hawk in flight, I know I’m going to have a good day.

I’m lucky that I live in the mountains of Wurtsboro, NY, because my property is populated with blue jays, cardinals, crows, golden finches, robins and grackles. A bald eagle now lives a few blocks away. My husband and I were even raising guinea hens until a hungry bear broke into their coop last fall. (We plan on trying again—with a sturdier structure, of course.)

Swans are among my favorite birds. They’re certainly beautiful to look at. They’re also symbolic.

“The meaning of a swan is grace, beauty, love, trust and loyalty,” writes Garth C. Clifford in “Swan Symbolism and Meaning,” online on worldbirds.com. “Swan symbolism is also linked to inner beauty and self-love. A pair of swans represent soul mates for life.”

With warmer weather finally taking hold, I thought this sugar swan would be an ideal project this month. You can use it as a cake topper or as a stand-alone piece. It would even make for a unique gift.

A word of caution: this project requires heating up and pouring isomalt, which can cause severe burns if not handled correctly. But don’t let that keep you from trying. If you’re reasonably careful and follow the directions, the small risk is more than offset by the beautiful and elegant reward.

Display your Sugar Swan in a humidity-free zone, and it will last a surprisingly long time.

For a step-by-step tutorial and detailed photos, visit riverreporter.com/kims-kitchen.

Kim M. Simons is an award-winning artist, cake artist, and food artist. She and her team—The Bah Hum Bakers—were the champions of Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” in 2019. Kim was recently seen competing on Food Network’s “Halloween Wars,” which can be streamed on Food Network’s app or on Discovery +. She is also available to teach classes. Visit Kim at www.cakesbykimsimons.com.

Sugar Swan Steps

  1. Lay out transfer sheets. Grease the insides of metal cookie cutters with cooking oil.
  2. Place cookie cutters on transfer sheets.
  3. Heat up isomalt (in your choice of colors) in silicone cup until it bubbles. Use gloves to handle isomalt. (Note: heat isomalt for 30 seconds, then in 15-second intervals until it bubbles.) Using gloves, pour isomalt into metal cookie cutters. Use blow torch lightly to clear bubbles. Let cool 15 to 20 minutes (test surface with cake tool).
  4. Remove isomalt shapes from cookie cutters. Use blow torch and/or cake tools to help.
  5. Assemble heart pieces, gluing together with isomalt.
  6. Paint edges and center heart with Jewel Colors. Decorate with sprinkles.
  7. Heat up more isomalt. Pour onto silicone mat. Use mat to combine/mold/cool isomalt until it’s pliable like clay. (Gloves are recommended).
  8. Shape pieces of isomalt into wings/tail. Shape other pieces into swan’s head-neck-body. Let cool.
  9. Detail wings (the Zeoto Pen is recommended).
  10. Glue wings/tail to head-neck-body with isomalt.
  11. Heat up black isomalt. Dab onto head to create eyes.
  12. Glue swan to the heart piece with isomalt.

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