Butter sculptures are form of food art that likely originated in Tibet as decoration for special occasions. Similar to ice sculpting, the butter sculpture is prepared from a solid block and sculpted into artistic designs. The sculpture is then placed near food that is being served. While the butter sculpture is edible, it is typically only created for decorative purposes. You can make your own butter sculpture by understanding the basic principals of butter sculpting.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Wood block
- Ice water
- Food colouring
Set up your work area. The work area should be in cool room to prevent your butter from melting while it is being sculpted. Check the temperature of the room. Your ideal room temperature for sculpting butter is 00 degrees Celsius, but no higher than 15.6 degrees C.
Create a design for your butter sculpture. Draw the design on paper and imagine how you would carve the image into the butter. Keep your first design simple until you feel comfortable with your carving skills to avoid wasting your butter on mistakes.
Remove your butter from the packaging. Place the butter in a large bowl or container. Feel the bowl of butter with ice water. Chilling your butter in ice water will give it an ideal texture for carving. Leave the butter in the water for at least 10 minutes.
Build a base for your sculpture to stand on. Make your stand from a small block of wood. Hammer a nail into the centre of the block leaving the head of the nail sticking out at least 1 inch. Attach wire to the top of the nail. Add and shape the wire in a skeletal structure that you can apply your butter to.
Knead your butter until it becomes pasty and pliable. Cover your wire structure with the butter until it and the base are completely covered in butter. Apply the butter thickly so it can be carved down. Use your carving tools to shape the butter into the appropriate design. Refrigerate your butter sculpture until it is time to be displayed.
Tips and warnings
- Keep a bowl of ice water nearby to cool your hands in from time to time, as the natural heat can cause the butter to melt.
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