How to make a Renaissance sugar sculpture I Pleasant Vices recipe

So welcome to the final episode of the
Pleasant Vices series and today we’re going to end on a sugar high. We’re
making a renaissance sugar plate recipe. Sugar plate is a paste which was used
for sugar sculptures during the Renaissance period. These sugar
sculptures would have been primarily for display and not necessarily for eating
they’re actually rock solid you would probably break your teeth in them if you
tried to eat them but as a material because they were made of sugar because
it has that association with luxury and wealth it was a perfect medium with
which to display your power and your status. So, the sugar plate recipe is made
from icing sugar, gum tragacanth and rose water. for anyone hasn’t heard of gum
tragacanth it’s a bit like gum arabic where it’s a resin so it’s like an
natural gum, it’ll thicken the mixture. And rosewater is what I’ve decided to use
because equally use water if you can’t get hold of rose water. The three
ingredients are mixed together into a paste which is a bit like a mixture,
texture-wise, between clay and bread so it’s quite elastic but it’s quite firm
at the same time. So we’re going to start by sieving 454 grams of icing sugar, which is about a pound. So you want to sift the sugar so that
the mixture is very fine we don’t want any lumps or anything in there. We want a
very smooth paste at the end so definitely no icing sugar lumps. So to the
icing sugar through our nice powdery icing sugar, we’re going to add 28 grams of
the gum tragacanth this is also in powdered form so don’t get the solid
stuff you want to buy in a powder form this is normally quite readily available
because it’s used for cake sculpting and things like that. So mix your two powders
together and then we’re gonna add the rosewater. I’ve pre measured, this is 61 millilitres of rosewater. I would say you want to use
between 60 and 70 millilitres. You want the final mixture to look like a sort of rough large breadcrumb. So once we’re at this sort of stage, start using hands and you’re kneading it a bit like bread You should end up with a very clean Bowl and a nice lump of sugar paste mixture. So that’s our final dough and it will start solidifying pretty quickly so what you
want to do is get it in a bag so it can basically cure for about half an hour
so just some like simple sandwich bags Then put it in there and leave that for half an hour. So, after you’ve left your sugar plate for half an hour it should have firmed up a little bit so I’d
recommend using a vegetable fat something like Trek’s and just loosen up
a little bit and message it in. There we go I’ve loosened it up a
little bit now because I’m working with the British Museum they’ve kindly
produced a mold based on an item from the collection. This relief here was created through 3D printing. The object in the Museum was scanned using a process called photogrammetry the item wasn’t touched at all with
photogrammetry just need to take photos of an object and build it into a 3D
render on the computer that 3D image is then inverted and 3D printed to create
the reverse of what we’re making in sugar today. And for the molding that we’re gonna do I’m gonna roll out a nice heavy rolling pin on a firm surface, you don’t need to flour or anything because it’s not sticky, it’s just malleable. So we’re going to take our mold and I’m gonna roll it onto this mold. All right, so gonna whip that off an there’s our imprint in sugar I’m gonna use a scalpel to just cut around this. I’m going to just neaten up the edges by hand and there’s our sugar copy. So after you’ve cast your sugar sculpture whether you’ve hand sculpted it or used a mold we want to leave it to dry at room temperature just somewhere cool and dry and for about a week so this is one I made yesterday and even after 24 hours
it’s pretty hard. If you don’t want to do a block like that so for this one I cut
around the whole mold so it looks a bit more like the object to the museum
equally while it’s wet you can still cut around it to create a standalone mold
but after they have solidified they should keep for hundreds of years as
long as you keep them cool and dry sugar is a natural preservative so you can
have something to keep not just for dinner but maybe even for centuries. So sadly our Pleasant Vices series comes to an end if you’ve missed any of the
previous episodes click the link here and if you’d like to subscribe to the
British Museum YouTube channel click over here thank you so much for watching
and I hope we’ve given you plenty of food for thought…awkward smile.


  • Jim Fortune

    Really? Those are all the pleasant vices you can think of?

  • Media Addict

    Wait so no more pleasant vices but why !!!!

  • Media Addict

    I do not approve at all I really enjoyed pleasant vices. This channel needs pleasant vices

  • Jeffery Rowan

    I really enjoyed this series. Thank you.

  • HypeasaurusRex

    You want ants? This is how you get ants.

  • Critter T

    I’ve so enjoyed your series honey.
    Hope there will be another in the
    near future🎈

  • clothescircuit

    oh no, this was a great series!

  • 8ml8

    I would watch hundred of videos like this one. I wish this serie would continue!

  • sail2byzantium

    Ending too soon. And where's the Egyptian wheat beer recipe?

  • Richard Lund

    Why the rose water if you can't eat it? Is it to make it smell nice?

  • Adam Bond

    Hope they are selling those molds and the little easels at the gift shop.

  • Tommy Ohlrich

    What? FINAL?! This isn't forever?? 😭

  • قناة أمير البصراوي للباسميات والحسينيات

    I am from Iraq and I have an antique piece of copper and I do not want to get one of those who deserve it

  • Tommy Ohlrich

    And what's the difference between a mold and a sculpture? Wouldn't this be a mold like you call it? Who titled this thing?

  • dingo king 5

    damn ima miss that hair cut and all of its protective capabilitys.

  • Aly Lulu

    Oh, I’ve really enjoyed these! I hope you come back for a second season!

  • hermeticbear

    why rose water and not regular water? does the rose water add a odorous component to the sugar sculpture?

  • marsla78

    Renney-sance, not Ruh-nayyy-sance.

  • Robert Curd

    It's been a great series, well done.

  • Kaydiasez

    Why 'last?" So unfair, I love this series, please consider making more?
    Pretty please?

  • LagiNaLangAko23

    That's it? Where's the Spanish fly in a soup?!

  • Swishy Blue

    More vices! Why hasn't history given us more vices?!?!?!?!?~

  • Tara Nagai

    Upset, I was hoping there would be more of this. There is a vast array of food objects that need real life side by side explaintion and examples. I love the British Museums's youtube channel and everything I learn is invaluable. Thank you for showing us what you have learned.

  • Eric da' MAJ

    Nice. I hope you’ll return with more subjects.

  • Steve Abrahall

    Noooooo I want more please! You's is real good …. will miss you! 🙁

  • sam henderson

    Got to love a cook with grill scars on her arms. Great bit. Wish there was more.

  • sam henderson

    Not quite as cool but if you enjoyed this and need another fix there's a history youtube channel called townsends that does history of american food.

  • Scrotie McBoogerball

    I know people always say that you should end on a high note, but I don't want this series to end. It's one of the best this channel has ever produced. Besides I'm sure there are hundreds of other ancient recipes for breads, stews, drinks, clothing, even probably ancient life hacks that could be explored in a short entertaining video like this one. Please, please reconsider!

  • Timothy M.A.

    very pleasant series 🙂

  • Agusta Sister

    So are they selling copies of the mold…i sure would like one.

  • ptonpc

    Thank you for this series. I hope you do another.

  • moremaxxxx

    great series!

  • Arturo e

    Astonishing final episode, you never disappoint. Thank you so much for this beautiful series.

  • leotucuman

    Loved your series! You should do more! Do you know how white (refined) would renessance sugar had been?

  • murdelabop

    More! More of this series, please!

  • Kelly White

    I would love to see a Season 2 of this series. Thank you for some great historical insights.

  • Mara Katz

    This was a lovely series. Thank you for making it.

  • KittenStitcher

    Tasha is absolutely great — I hope she will be doing other videos for The British Museum's channel. Thanks for the lessons! – T

  • Juraj Vrkljan

    can we use any sort of colouring

  • annette c. boehm

    This was a very enjoyable series – maybe you'll make some more episodes in the future. Thanks in any case!

  • MmeLuella

    Loved these! Ya Ya more cool fun videos like this please

  • littlepinons

    I really enjoyed this take on history. Very engaging with a great educator. Please see if you can come up with a season 2.

  • mjk4219

    This has been very interesting, and a good way to get hands-on with some museum subjects, bringing them into an everyday context. I'd love if there were a second series.

  • Jan Davis

    Thank you for a great series! This is too good to end!! Please consider doing another series like this. How about other foods, spices or superstitions throughout history? Well done!

  • ginghambadger

    2 things; 1) What would have been used in the place of the modern sealable plastic bag? and 2) End of the series? Boo! Series 2 please.

  • Gretchen Schroeder

    Great series, thanks so much. I hope to see you in future episodes.

  • hemlockandvervain

    I'm so bummed this is the end! I really loved this series.

  • kittenclaws

    I loved this series! <3 I'd love to see another in the future!

  • Marcia Shindler

    Great series!

  • snowpony001

    This was a wonderful series. Thanks

  • Charmaine Eng

    Thank you Tasha, you're an excellent host. Thanks BM for a great series 🙂 Wish there were more!

  • Clemz

    I'll really miss this series! I didn't expect it to end so quickly.

  • ewserk

    Love it! Thank you so much.

  • Helene L

    Your series was brilliant. Please have a second season! I think you should make a sugar sculpture of the "Noah/Wall" cuneiform tablet for Irving Finkel for his birthday.

  • Lorna McKenzie

    This has been a fabulously informative series, thank you and please do more of them. I loved the beer and chocolate episodes and intend to give them a go!

  • Ana Gomes Branco

    Could we have more of this series? This was amazing! A+

  • deborah rabbit white

    Anyone know what was used to wrap the curing sugar material in, before plastic existed?

  • Vicki Stone

    what were used before there were plastic bags?

  • raised eyebrow

    I absolutely loved this series, and I'm sorry to see it go, Pleasant Vices was among my favorite of the British Museum's content, and I do hope you reconsider! I would be thrilled to see this informative, entertaining series continue. Excellent work!

  • Andro mache

    Too bad it's a final episode. Guess they're afraid people will figure out the ancients ate better than most do today. No worries really, it isn't like people care about patriotism or freedom these days. No one will riot. Everyone has been well conditioned to base all decisions on emotion instead of intellect. You all can continue with the series. People won't uprise.

  • Joshua Rosen

    Thank you, I enjoyed that.

    Unlike some of the other people here who were disappointed that this was the last in the series, I'm lucky. This is the first one I've watched so for me, the last is the first. I shall watch the rest presently.

  • buzz magister

    Reminds me of my mums Christmas Cake you'd break your teeth on her icing . I wish she was here to joke with she used to find that funny and give a little knowing laugh whenever it was mentioned 🙂

  • David Cox

    That's cool

  • c annett

    Please, please do more of these! C from the little haunted cottage in Ireland 🍀🍀🍀👻👻👻

  • blessiowner

    This is one of my favorite series in the curator's corner. And where can we purchase these molds for candy and chocolate.


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