If you looked through my cookbook collection, you would see that I am a bit of an Adriano Zumbo fan. I have been amazed by his creativity and craziness when it comes to pâtisserie treats ever since he walked into the Masterchef Australia kitchen with that croquembouche (oh how I hope to be brave enough to make one of those one day!). Zumbo is certainly one of my favourite Masterchef guests, and I love to see the look of fear on the contestant’s faces as it dawns on them exactly who will be walking through the kitchen doors.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Zumbo graced our tv screens once again, and he challenged the Masterchef contestants to create a cake inspired by Marie-Antoine Carême. And wow. The cakes that they all came up with were amazing! One of the amateur cooks, Julia, made a box out of isomalt, which was put right on top of a cake and then filled with an assortment of sweet treats. It looked so good!
So, fast forward a couple of weeks, and the other day when my Mum heads off to the supermarket Brother 2 asks her to buy a large bag of sugar. He had been quite interested while watching Julia put together her isomalt box, and had began concocting a plan to make his own sugar box! Now, I must admit that I was a little skeptical, and wasn’t really sure that it was going to work. Okay, I’ll be honest. I really thought it wasn’t going to work at all. But, you know what?! It did! I was so proud.
He used a simple praline recipe to make the sides of the box, and had the patience to do this using just one square cake tin (so he had to wait for one side to set before he could start with the next side!). With Dad’s help using the Weber Baby Q, Brother 2 slighty melted the side of each piece and then set in together into a cube shape. Lots of hard work, but it all worked out beautifully!
The sides and bottom of the sugar box, all ready to be put together (they look so pretty!)
Using the Weber Baby Q to slightly melt the edges of each piece.
VERY carefully putting all of the pieces together.
And now…if you’re ready for it…the sugar box!
6 Cups White Sugar
12 Tb cold water
Six different liquid food colourings
1. Combine 1 C sugar and 2 Tb cold water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook without stirring, but instead swirling the pan, until it starts to change colour (it will start turing a light caramel colour).
2. Take the saucepan off the heat and add a couple of drops of your chosen food colouring. Stir until combined.
3. Pour the toffee into a lined 15cm x 15cm cake tin. Let cool, carefully remove, and then repeat the process another five times.
4. Using a heat source (you may choose to use a blowtorch if you have one), slighty melt the edges of each side of the box and carefully assemble.
Brother 2 had fulfilled his aim of making a sugar box (I may be biased…but I think it looked better than Julia’s!), but now what to do with it? We couldn’t have all that toffee sitting there and it not be eaten… Okay, so really we came up with a solution pretty quickly. Break it!
Now, it may just be the Disney/Fairytale obsessiveness in me, but when all broken up, the toffee pieces remind me so much of the colourful diamonds that the Seven Dwarfs find deep down in the mines! ♪♫ Hi ho, hi ho, it’s home from work we go… ♪♫