Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

molded-foods-msg – 8/20/07


Period and modern molded foods. Molds.


NOTE: See also the files: sotelties-msg, aspic-msg, illusion-fds-msg, Warners-art, candy-msg, sugar-msg, cookies-msg, mamouls-msg, marzipan-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 16:58:03 -0500 (CDT)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )

Subject: SC - Re: Julleran's Sugar/Candy Glass


Julleran wrote:

>Would candy molds that you can buy at art stores work, or are they

>just for chocolates which I imagine would have lower temperatures than

>melted sugar?


If you buy the same kind I do, no, they won't work. Plastic molds will

melt with the high temperature or at a minimum will warp. The rubber

ones probably won't work either because of the high temperature.


Master Dyfan ab Iago from AEthelmearc made a large sugar swan from

melted sugar and used one of the "ice" molds that one freezes water in.

I'm assuming it is metal - Never saw it, but I do have a photo of it.


Alys Katharine



Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 18:13:35 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #277


>  If you buy the same kind I do, no, they won't work. Plastic molds will

>  melt with the high temperature or at a minimum will warp.  The rubber

>  ones probably won't work either because of the high temperature.  


>  Master Dyfan ab Iago from AEthelmearc made a large sugar swan from

>  melted sugar and used one of the "ice" molds that one freezes water in.

>   I'm assuming it is metal - Never saw it, but I do have a photo of it.


>I thought he used a rubber mold, which was thrown away afterwards. I am not

>sure.... I wasn't paying that much attention at that feast.  (I think it was

>the same feast with the hart that bled red wine: a period soteltie).


Nope. It was a rubber ice sculpture mold that he DIDN'T throw away. He was

going to re-use it for the same purpose recently until horrible bout with

Carpul Tunnel Syndrome scotched the idea (did someone say Scotch?). It seems

the sugar is poured in, and the mold must be held at various angles while

the sugar cools enough to stay in it's area. Then more sugar is poured in,

etc.....  The swan is hollow in the end, and we had plans for a procession

of them, lighted from inside with candles, necks decorated with marzipan

rose wreaths. Sigh. It would have been wonderful.





Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 17:02:39 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Re: Illusion food


>You already probably know of "apples" made from meatballs; hollow

>walnuts made of sugar paste with trinkets inside; and the

>above-mentioned bacon and hard-boiled eggs of marzipan or sugar paste.

>Can we invent something similar?


>Alys Katharine




I've also been known to mold butter into another form, harden, unmold, and

press fresh herbs, edible flowers,  and thinly sliced pieces of vegetables

cut to fancy shapes onto the surface of the butter. You wrap it up, chill it

again, and simply unwrap to serve. Letting it stand a while will make it

soft enough spread.




Just a few ideas off the top of my head.





Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 07:45:49 PST

From: "Erika Thomenius" <ldygytha at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - medieval cookie molds


I apologize if this has been posted before, but I found a site that deals in

historical cookie molds.  It's www.houseonthehill.net. They have some

medieval and renaissance marzipan molds, as well as some cookie molds that

appear to be copies of carvings done in other media.


(if you go, don't miss the oddities section.)



Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 13:31:56 -0400

From: "Hupman, Laurie" <LHupman at kenyon.com>

Subject: RE: SC - molds


>>>Oh!  I hadn't thought about it until Niccolo said this but liquid latex

would work.  People wear latex gloves when they're doing food prep, right??

I have a friend who's in the circus and she uses it to make her noses.  I

wonder where you could get such a thing...... If nothing else feasible pops

up let me know and I will call her and see if she can find out where they

get theirs.




Well, now that you've mentioned it, dental alginate would be just about

perfect.  It sets really quickly to a sort of hard rubber consistency and

you don't have to worry about it not being food safe.  Mix up a bit, press

your peach pit into it to make a mold, et voila!  I actually have a bunch at

home, and I'd be more than willing to part with a bit, or you can order it

online from Monster Makers (www.monstermakers.com, I think -- my net

connection is down at the moment).


Rose :)



Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 10:19:36 -0400

From: "Hupman, Laurie" <LHupman at kenyon.com>

Subject: RE: SC - molds


Dental alginate takes such a good impression that when I used it to make

commedia masks last summer, the mold showed the pores from the actors'

faces.  If you pour it into a mold, you will get an *extremely* detailed

piece.  If you take a casting from it, you'll need to support it somehow,

since it is very wet, even when set, and prone to tearing.


For the peach pit, I would think pouring some alginate into a cup and then

pressing the pit into it would give a most swell mold. The alginate mold,

however, won't last more than a day or so, since as it continues to dry

overnight, it also shrinks a lot.


Rose :)



From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 08:50:00 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Early Pastries


I commented and Stefan quoted and wrote:

>Alys Katharine commented:

>>  The Manuscrito Anonimo from the 13th c. lists

>> a castle (and its furnishings) made of poured sugar.


>In the *13th* century? Just how big was this castle. And who was

>it made for (ie: who paid for it) and where was it made?

>My understanding is that sugar was pretty expensive in that time

>period. That must have been one real expensive trinket.


This is from Charles Perry's translation, and appears on p. A-71 of

Cariadoc's _Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks_, Vol

II, Sixth Edition, 1993.  The cookery book is _An Anonymous

Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century_


"Cast Figures of Sugar"

"Throw on the sugar a like amount of water and rosewater and cook

until its consistencey is good.  Empty it into the mould and make of

it whatever shape is in the mold, the places of the 'eyebrow' and

the 'eye' and what resembles the dish you want, because it comes out

of the mould in the best way.  Then decorate it with gilding and

whatever you want of it.  If you want to make a tree or a figure of

a castle, cut it piece by piece.  Then decorate it section by

section and stick it together with mastic until you complete the

figure you want, if God wills."


As far as expense of sugar, yes, sugar could be expensive, but keep

in mind that Spain was occupied by the Moors, and it was in the

Arabic world that sugar refining began.  It might not have been the

expense that it would have been in France or England.  The shipping

would be "just" across the Mediterranean, not overland through

Europe. As to size... I may be old, but I'm not _quite_ that old to

have seen a construction in the 13th century.  I suspect it might

have varied in size, but if they are talking about rooms, and

furnishings, then it wouldn't have been tiny.


Alys Katharine


Perry noted that "eyebrow" and "eye" might be technical terms for

parts of the mould.



From: "Stephanie Howe" <showe01 at earthlink.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] peach pit molds, period utensils

Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 11:13:48 -0500


My molds are unglazed- marzipan *loves* to stick to non-porous surfaces like

glue... spoons, counters, tile wall, eyeglasses...:)  Try rolling your

marzipan in sugar before pressing.





From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] peach pit molds, period utensils

Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 18:01:16 +0000


>My molds are unglazed- marzipan *loves* to stick to non-porous surfaces like

>glue... spoons, counters, tile wall, eyeglasses...:)  Try rolling your

>marzipan in sugar before pressing.




My sculpy molds aren't sticky.  The first one or two in are the only ones

that are a little more stubborn.  After that the almond oils cover the thing

and they all slide right out.  Maybe you might try "priming" the molds each

side seperate.





Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 21:10:51 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Regrets about foods.... OOP


Gretchen M Beck wrote:

> On topic, to change things slightly, ever made something that you

> thought looked and smelled and (if you could bring yourself to taste it)

> tasted vile, but everyone else seemed to love?

> toodles, margaret


I entered a contest once upon a time ago.

It was "Best Representation of a Shamrock

in Any Medium." I made an authentic Irish

carrageen (seaweed) moss boiled milk mold

in the shape of a shamrock. It was this

ghastly green color and it tasted "awful"

to say the least. I won the contest with

a really good currant shortcake cookie, but

the mold was unbelievable. It was authenticly



Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway



Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 22:10:13 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Marzipan creations, & experiments


Jennifer's comments about molds reminded me that

Beryl's Cake Decorating and Pastry Supplies

catalogue was advertising a product called

CREATE-A-MOLD. It's a reuseable non-toxic

molding gel that can be melted in the microwave.

See it at: http://beryls.safeshopper.com/130/4850.htm?452

or at http://www.beryls.com/mainpage.htm.

It's priced at $15 for 8.5 ounces.

Has anyone tried this???

She also sells silicone plastique for molding.


Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway



Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 16:41:24 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: [Sca-cooks]Sotelties was OT Rudolph an icon???


"Mark.S Harris" wrote:

> Speaking of icons, Icons are small portraits/paintings done in

> the Orthadox Church (see Icons-art, icons-msg in the RELIGION

> section of the Florilegium). I wonder if you could do one in

> sugarpaste/marzipan using food colors to make a soteltie? Any

> evidence of this having been done in Byzantium? I doubt sotelties

> were strictly a western European thing.

> Stefan li Rous


Peter Brears' All the King's Cooks, 1999, has

a color photo of a moulded Marchpane. It is a

large dinner plate sized marchpane that has been

unmoulded and then colored. It was made using a

reproduction wooden mold based upon

an illustration printed in 1827 of an early 16th original.

He has a full description with instructions.

He also has a great deal of information regarding

sotelties and sugarpaste works in general.


As for Byzantium, we may learn more about the foods and

cookery of that era when Andrew Dalby,


comes out from Prospect Books in England.


There are also several modern cake decorating books that

show one how to use food colors on flat sheets of gumpaste

to make flat artworks that can then be placed on cakes. I have

also seen a cake decorated with painted "gumpaste" minatures of

paintings that were placed on easles on the cake for decoration.


Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway



From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 22:00:27 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jello was Tofurky Report


On 27 Nov 2001, at 9:07, Tara Sersen Boroson wrote:

> Or perhaps... marzipan fishies suspended in blue jello?  Or marzipan

> birds in blue jello with whipped cream.  Or little marzipan devils in

> red jello... or a marzipan santa head on top of a jello santa belly!

> :)

> -Magdalena


Sounds very similar to a recipe in the Neapolitan cookbook.  Whole

fish "swimming" in a basket full of gelatin.


Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>

To: "SCA-Cooks (E-mail)" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jello was Tofurky Report

Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 10:44:11 -0000


> Or perhaps... marzipan fishies suspended in blue jello?  Or marzipan

> birds in blue jello with whipped cream.  Or little marzipan devils in

> red jello... or a marzipan santa head on top of a jello santa belly!

> :)

> -Magdalena


For a long-ago feast subtlelty I made a pond from jelly, with chive 'reeds',

fish carved from carrots and marzipan lilypads and frogs. It was in a glass

bowl so you could see the fish and the 'bottom' of the pond. It looked very

cool - and naturally, no-one got a photo of it!





Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 10:41:19 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Information on silicone molds for foods

To: "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>,

        "sca-cook at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


The September 2003 issue of Pastry Art & Design contains an article on

the use of molds in pastry cirles. Michael Joy's work is described.

He taught a class on molds at the World Pastry Forum in July.

People might be interested in his website and book at:



The book goes into how "Silicone molds can be used fr casting

chocolate, aspic, tallow, fondant, pastillage, salt, pepper, hot sugar,

granulated sugar and ice. Starting with basic mold making skills and

progressing up through advanced techniques, this book reveals how to

make food grade and cost-effective on-food grade silicone molds."


The gallery section has a number of neat photo's of creations from his

studio. One of the interesting links is to a supply source called--

www.chefrubber.com where one can get silicone and supplies for pastry

chefs. www.cherubber.com no kidding.


Given what the basic materials cost the book might be worth looking at

for those wanting to experiment in this area.


Johnnae llyn Lewis



Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 21:36:44 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Marzipan question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Robin Carroll-Mann wrote:

> On 10 Mar 2004, at 13:37, Johnna Holloway wrote:

>> You might check out butter molds. I used a rubber one snipped

> I'll look for some -- that would be less work than the rigid candy  

> molds.


I went and dug mine out from the box where they are stored---

The original box says 1981, so they are still in great shape after all

these years.


Found these on web---






Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 22:32:33 -0500

From: kattratt <kattratt at charter.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Poured sugar

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


wildecelery at aol.com wrote:

> So... getting into my sugar project, which of course needs to be done

> for NL this weekend...  I was thinking of possible adding poured sugar

> to my repetiore of flavored sugar creations.... (I just read Stefan's

> post) What kind of molds do i need for poured sugar? Any ideas on

> places a decent mold substitute can be picked up quickly?


> -Ardenia


I have actually made some pretty darned accurate molds using aluminum

foil.  (Just fold it until it looked like the shape I was recreating in

the first case or Creating in the other case.) However I will warn you

about this method!!!! Use a generous amount of Pam or oil. (If you don't

the poured sugar is damn near impossible to get off the foil or vice versa)

Other places to get molds... Oh Wow I just thought of the coolest

thing.....hehehehehe must look for a Metal, Lamb Cake form.

Antiques stores are good places (duh), Flea Markets or Yard Sales.


  Regardless I would recommend metal molds!!!!  Having been burned by the

Molten Lava that is Poured sugar... believe me when I say that you want

a mold that will withstand high heat.





Date: Sun, 22 May 2005 14:00:57 EDT

From: Devra at aol.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Cake molds

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


I just got an email from Williams Sonoma about a 'sandcastle' bundt cake

mold.  It looks pretty cute, and might do well for a subtlety, with a  

little fussing and decoration.



Devra Langsam




Date: Sat, 8 Oct 2005 10:07:47 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 29, Issue 3

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Am Samstag, 8. Oktober 2005 04:38 schrieb Kathleen Madsen:


> We have not found butter molds from period, but that

> doesn't mean they didn't use them.  Wood does

> decompose, and most of the molds from more modern

> times (1800's) have not survived because they saw

> heavy use.  The wood was not oiled, and they were

> soaked in ice or very cold water prior to being

> filled.  This allowed the butter to set up quicker and

> tip out of the mold more cleanly.


> I have several antique molds that I don't use, but you

> can purchase new ones online from suppliers like

> http://www.lehmans.com/


Hey, these are exactly the ones I got! Except I didn't pay $23.95  

apiece. Talk about overpriced.


Thanks for the directions, though. I'll try the ice water trick. I used the

small one for stamping marzipans Thursday and it works very well.  Something

to remember for next feast.





Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 09:07:23 -0800 (PST)

From: charding at nwlink.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making Silicone Molds?

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> Greetings!  Has anyone worked with "silicone plastique" to make molds?  I

> purchased some of this from Sweet Celebrations and the directions say

> "Sulfur ruins Silicone Plastique.  Latex gloves contain sulfur.  Do not use

> latex gloves when working with silcone plastique."  So... are gloves really

> necessary?  Can't you use your hands without gloves? What about using a

> metal spoon to mix? Any hints would be helpful!


> Alys Katharine


you could try nitrile gloves.  I don't know about the sulfer issue with






Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 12:17:34 -0500

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making Silicone Molds?

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,    sca-cooks at ansteorra.org,      SCA

        Subtleties E-List <SCA_Subtleties at yahoogroups.com>


Found this website -- it shows someone working with silicon plastique

without gloves -- it shows them just mixing with their hands:




toodles, margaret



Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 13:16:58 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Making Silicone Molds?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Elise Fleming wrote:

> Greetings!  Has anyone worked with "silicone plastique" to make molds?


This is an abbreviated version of what I posted to the

Subtleties list earlier today..

OK I  purchased a couple of types of these from Beryl's

in Virginia a few years back. I bought a trial kit of Silicone Plastique

and then a jar labeled

Create A Mold which comes from Australia. Both were new items at the time.

I used the Create a Mold to try and create a peacock but the item floated to the

surface and didn't work. It was going to require a great deal of work to get

the item to work for what were essentially small accent pieces.

So that jar was recapped for further work later. One remelts

this stuff and can reuse it.



I would add that price has gone up considerably over what I paid.


I read through all the instruction on the Silicone

Plastique and decided at that time that

I needed more time and space to work with it. So that got repacked.

I just read through my instructions for that again and it refers to mixing it

by hand, so I would just use my hands. Nothing is said about latex gloves or sulfur.  There are full color instructions given in

International School of Sugarcraft: New Skills and Techniques

(International School of Sugarcrafts), Vol. 3.and it also appears in

Sugar Roses for Cakes by Tombi Peck on pages 34-35.


These might not be the same formula.

I just checked on the web and there are a number of these being sold now.



My thought about these is that they'd work probably pretty well for special

small molds for a really special dinner, like HerRM likes a beast for which

one can't find a special ready made mold. Then you could use this stuff

and create your own special mold

(after a number of hours and probably a number of failures.) Then you

create the hundreds of  needed sugarpaste, chocolate, or marzipan

beasts. Fun to play with but maybe limited in what one create.


Michael Joy sells the professional stuff. Expensive, but these are what the

pros use in those competitions. http://www.chicagomoldschool.com/


See make your own mold here



The book is very impressive and answered a number of my questions.





Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 08:28:04 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Molded butter creatures was Hi all!

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Sounds cool. There are some pictures of elaborate butter sculptures in

some of the professional banquet books.

There's an actual description of molded butter figures from just past  



/Le Ouverture de Cuisine/ from 1604 ends with the description of butter

sculptures created for a banquet.

"There were four parks of two feet square, environed in a hedge of butter.

The first was Adam & Eve made of butter, a serpent on a tree, & a

running fountain, with little animals all around of butter.

The second park was the love of Pyramus & Thisbee, the lion by the

fountain, & the trees all around environed in a hedge of butter.

The third park the hunt of Acteon, & the nymphs with Diana at the

fountain, & then of the little dogs of butter.

The fourth park was two wild men, who battled one another with the

masses by a fountain, & little lions of butter all around: each park had

four banners.

**Translation at: http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/ouverture.shtm


This is listed as being from THE BANQUET OF THE ENTRANCE of Monsieur

Robert de Berges Count of Walhain, Esquire & Prince of Liege, made in

the palace in Liege, the year 1557 in the month of December.




Elaine Koogler wrote:

> Sounds cool.  Did I ever tell you about the molded butter dragon I saw in

> Hong Kong years ago?  It was 4 feet or more tall and more than 6 feet long!

> It was at a wonderful French restaurant on the top of Victoria Peak.  What

> they had done was to use rods with refrigerant in them as the armature of

> the beast...it was a truly amazing work!


> Kiri


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org