Having grown up with a mother who constantly made pretty things in food and fabric, it is somewhat inevitable that I too would do so – both in my modern daily life and within the SCA.
In 2012, I began actively playing with marzipan, sugar plate (gum paste) and illusion foods or warners. Some of this was using the molds and recipes inherited from my mother, and others from the beginning research at Stefan’s Florilegium. At 12th Night in 2013, I chatted with Mistress Anne of Cleavages, who was coming back to events again, and she offered to share some of her knowledge.
Thus began a small monthly class learning to play with various garnish techniques, sugar plate, marzipan, chocolates and making numerous types of candies for four eager foodies.
We started out learning to make fruits and vegetables out of marzipan, then playing with it in molds. Roses and other flowers or fantastical shapes were created from fruits and vegetables to garnish platters. Experiments in making sugar plate and shaping figures, plates and bowls, or if we could repair pieces that shatter. How to temper chocolate, what things could be done to make beautiful patterns in the chocolate as well as dipping a wide assortment of nibbly bits in it. Rolling mints or candies and then plating things to make them pleasing to the eye.
Together, we made enough marzipan and sugar plate for folks to taste at Kingdom Feast, as well as having two of Anne’s signature pieces to display.
Next is testing how the recipes I have from Anne hold up against trying to re-create the ones redacted from period documents.