Freitag, 28. Dezember 2012

Good luck charms

On New Years Eve we decorate our homes and especially tables with good luck charms for the New Year to come. In Germany the good luck charms are chimney sweepers (little figurines: guys wearing black clothes, high hats, carrying a ladder) or / and pigs and pots with clover (the plant). Pigs and chimney sweepers are decorated with 1 cents coins or four leaved clovers. I made some charms by hand - as you can see an army of pigs, each pig just a little bit bigger than a walnut. They are small presents for friends. You could easily buy these kind of pigs in every supermarket (tons, everywhere) but I like to make them on my own, just for more fun and pleasure:

I like this one the most - looks so cheeky and happy
Best: all are edible. They are made of almond paste (for pastry), icing sugar, glucose, rosewater and a little food colouring. The raw almond paste has to be knead with icing sugar (ratio 2:1) and a little glucose sirupe mixed with a few drops of rosewater and food colouring. I used red and green colours and a little melted chocolate for the eyes. I used a little solution of red food colouring and glucose sirupe to highlight the cheeks and the snouts (painted with a calligraphy brush).
200 g almond paste
100 g icing sugar (up to, best to knead it in little by little)
1 teaspoon glucose sirupe
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
Tools: wooden toothpick, chopstick, calligraphy brush

To shape the pigs start to make rolls from the almond paste mixture and divide this rolls into small pieces, shape pieces into balls, bigger for the body, smaller for the heads and very small balls for ears and very thin rolls for the tails. The rest is up to the fingers and tools. The paste is soft and slightly sticky, for best results clean the tools and hands with water from time to time. After they are finished they should dry a little, afterwards just place them on a piece of cardboard, layered with  food proof decoration foil and wrap them up in transparent sheets.
wrapped up piggy - with coin attached

army in progress


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

You are quite an artist!

Do you eat the charms, or do you just keep it as a decoration?

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

I hope these pigs will be eaten. But I don't eat the store bought ones - most of the time they do taste bad and are for decoration only (terrible sweet and dry). Most of the time I keep those over the year and afterwards toss them into the garbage bin.

Besides artisan: not really but it is fun. I would not dare to show this piggies to my late grandfather who was a real artisan and grandmaster in sweet pastry. He built figurines with sugar and trained pastry chefs in special skills for sugar forming.

Sissi hat gesagt…

I cannot believe you have made these on your own! What a dexterity! Happy New Year!