Monday, August 31, 2009

DIY Pastry Tool

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts to make, be it the traditional coffee kind or my own green tea version. I also like to make a stenciled pattern on top with icing sugar, after the coco powder or green tea powder, to give it a little something extra.

In the past, I've always had to ask someone to help me with this taks, either to hold the stencil or to do the dusting. The problem with that arrangement is that most people who are not pastry chefs, or surgeons, don't have steady hands. My helper gets really nervous when I ask her to hold the stencil just above the cake, without either touching the cake or moving the stencil. Her hands end up shaking violently. But when I asked her to do the dusting while I hold the stencil, she ended up dumpling mounds of sugar in some places and skipping other areas altogether. Trying to point her to the right direction without moving the stencil was next to impossible because you essentially have to hold your breath in order not to move the stencil. The husband faired slightly better but he's not as readily available.

Months went by where I had to put up with substandard stenciled pattern. Then I remembered one of my pastry students who always commented that there should be a tool for every pastry need. I started looking around the kitchen for something that can be turned into a tool to facilitate this particular pastry task. Lo and behold, the toasting rack for the microwave oven!

I attached three binder clips to the stencil, then attached the clips to the three legs of the rack with rubberbands, adjusting the length of the bands by wrapping them around the legs so the stencil would be suspended at the right height. I then carefully slid the tiramisu under the stencil and Voila! A DIY stencil sling!

Is it too premature to apply for patent?