To make sugar paste
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by [name]

This entry is a re-creation of a recipe from Ouverture de Cuisine (France, 1604 - Daniel Myers, trans.), entitled "To make sugar paste". [insert a brief description of dish here, possibly including any or all of the following: characteristics of the final dish, when or how it might have been served, and why you selected it]

The Source Recipe
The original text of the recipe is as follows:

To make sugar paste. Take fine sugar well sifted with a fine sieve, then take gum tragacanth well tempered with rose water passed through a strainer as thick as you want it to pass, then put your gum into a mortar of copper or other & stamp well your gum, and put therein a little of the sugar until you make a workable paste. Note that the more it is beaten the more white it will be: of this paste you can form that which you want, like to make in hollow molds, or trenchers, or plates or cups that you want, & put it into an oven that is not too hot, you can make it as gilded or as strong as you want to have: watch well that the oven is no longer so hot that it makes the paste raise into bubbles, that would not be like anything, because it is necessary that the paste remains firm.

Related Recipes
While interpreting this recipe, I also considered the following recipes that appear to be related:
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10 - A most delicate and stiff sugar paste, whereof to cast Rabbets, Pigeons, or any other little bird or beast, either from the lie or carved moulds. First dissolve issinglasse in faire water, or with some Rose-water in the later end; then beat blanched almonds, as you would for Marchpane stuff, and draw the same with creame and Rose water (milke will serve, but creame is more delicate): then put therein some powdered sugar; into which you may dissolve your Issinglasse, being first made into gelly, in fair warm water (note, the more Isinglasse you put therein, the stiffer your work will prove): then having your rabbets, woodcock, &c molded either in plaster from life, or else carved in wood (first anointing your woodden molds with oile of sweet almonds, and your plaister or stone moulds with barrows grease), pour your sugar-paste thereon.

A quart of creame, a quarterne of almonds, two ounces of Isinglasse, and foure or six ounces of sugar, is a reasonable good proportion for this stuffe. Quaere of moulding your birds, rabbets, &c. in the compound wax mentioned in my Iewell house, in the title of the Art of moulding & casting, page 60. For so your moulds will last long.

You may credge over your foule with crums of bread, cinamon and sugar boiled together, and so they will seem as if they were rosted and breaded. Leach and gelly may be cast in this manner.

This paste you may also drive with a fine rowling pin, as smooth and as thin as you please: it lasteth not long, and therefore it must bee eaten within a few daies after the making thereof. By this meanes, a banquet may bee presented in the forme of a supper, being a very rare and strange device. [Delights for Ladies]

13 - The making of sugar-paste, and casting thereof in carved moulds. Take one pound of the whitest refined or double refined sugar, if you can gette it: put thereto three ounces (some comfit-makers put six ounces for more gaine) of the best starch you can buy; and if you dry the Sugar after it is powdered, it wll the sooner paste thorough your Lawne Searce. Then searce it, and lay the same on a heap in the midst of a sheet of clean paper: in the middle of which masse put a pretty lump of the bigness of a walnut of gumme dragagant, first steeped in Rose-water one night; a porenger full of Rose-water is sufficient to dissolve one ounce of gum (which must first be well picked, leaving out the drosse); remember to strain the gumme through a canvas; then, having mixed some of the white of an egge with your strained gumme, temper it with the sugar betwixt your fingers by little and little, till you have wrought up all the Sugar and the Gumme together into a stiffe paste; and in the tempering, let there be alwaies some of the sugar between your fingers and the Gumme; then dust your woodden moulds a little with some of that powdered Sugar thorow a piece of Lawne, or fine linnen cloth, and having driven out with your rowling pinne a sufficient portion of your paste to a convenient thicknesse, cover your mould therewith, pressing the same downe into every hollow part of your mould with your fingers, and when it hath taken the whole impression, knock the mold on the edge against a table, and the paste will issue forth with the impression of the mould upon it; or, if the mould be dep cutte, you may put the point of your knife gently into the deepest parts heer and there, lifting up by little and little the paste out of the mould.

And if, in the making of this paste you happen to put in too much gum, you may put in more sugar thereto, and if too much sugar, then more gum; you must also work this paste into your moulds as speedily as you can, after it is once made, and before it harden: and if it growe so hard that it cracks, mixe more gum therewith: cut away with your knife from the edges of your paste, all those pieces with have no part of the worke upon them, and worke them up with the paste which remaineth; and if you will make sawcers, dishes, bowles, &c. then (having first driven your paste up on paper, first disted over with sugar to a convenient largenesse and thicknesse) put the paste into some sawcer, dihs, or bowle of a good fashion, and with your finger presse it gently down, to the insides thereof, till it resemble the shape of the dish, then paire away the edges iwth a knife, even with the skirt of your dish, or sawcer, and set it agsint the first, till it be dry on the inside: then with a knife get it out, as they use to doe a dish of butter, and dry the backside: then gild it on the edge with the white of egg laid round about the brim of the dish with a pensill, and presse the gold downe with some cotton; and when it is dry, skew or brush off the gold with the foot of a Hare or Cony. And if you would have your paste exceeding smooth, as to make cards and such like conceits thereof, then toule your paste upon a sliced paper with a smooth and polished rowling pin. [Delights for Ladies]

14 - A way to make Sugerplate both of colour and taste of any flower. Take violets, and beat them in a mortar with a little hard sugar; then put into it a sufficient quantitie of Rose-water; then lay your gum in steep in the water, and so work it into paste: and so will your paste be both of the colour of the violet, and of the smell of the violet. In like sort you may worke with Marigold, Cowslips, Primroses, Buglosse, or any other flower. [Delights for Ladies]

To make Cinnamon Sticks. Take a pound of this paste & two ounces of cinnamon ground well fine, & beat your paste in a mortar then & long enough that the cinnamon is well incorporated with the sugar, then make the covers well thin larger than a half quarter, take then the sticks fatter than a finger, & roll the paste thereon like one makes little cakes, then rest a little sliding off the end of the stick, & put it on the paper, & put then into the oven. [Ouverture de Cuisine]

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The original recipe calls for the following ingredients: [edit this list as appropriate]


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Searchable index of "Ouverture de Cuisine". Medieval Cookery.
  <>. Accessed on January 22, 2018, 11:00 pm.

Searchable index of "Delights for Ladies". Medieval Cookery.
  <>. Accessed on January 22, 2018, 11:00 pm.

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