Decorative Tragacanth Ornaments
with Springerle Molds
Tragacanth reached our confectioners in the Middle Ages through the Italian trading town of Venice. This so-called "sweet stuff" became an important component of the traditional confectioner's art in the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
Tragacanth is viscous, solidifies quickly and has the quality of faithfully reproducing even the most delicate indentations of the mold relief.
Tragacanth remained an outstandingly fine decoration compound during the centuries for arrangements on royal banquet tables, many figurative representations and Christmas tree decorations.
Recipe for Tragacanth
1 heaping teaspoon (5 g) of tragacanth powder
1 slightly rounded teaspoon (4 g) of gum arabic
8 teaspoons (4 cl) of rose water
2 egg whites
650-700g powdered sugar
130-150g corn flour (Maizena, Mondamin or Gustin)
Stir rose water, tragacanth powder and gum arabic in a closable jar and leave to soak overnight (not in the refrigerator). Mix this mass well with the egg whites in the food processor the next morning. Then sift, mix and stir in the powdered sugar and the corn flour using dough hooks. This will make a rather viscous mass.
If necessary, knead in more powdered sugar and corn flour by hand until the dough is no longer sticky. Cut off one piece and save the rest in a tightly sealable bowl so that it doesn't dry out.
Powder the breadboard with a mixture of 2/3 powdered sugar and 1/3 corn flour. Roll out the dough at a thickness of 5-8 mm. Also lightly powder this surface and apply the baking mold. Use a straw to make a small hole for the hanging ribbon.
The rest can be easily kneaded into a smooth mass again. If the dough is somewhat too dry, moisten your hands slightly and knead the dough.
Place the formed pieces on a powdered wooden board and let them air-dry for about eight days.
You can find other recipes with the Springerle molds here.