Have you ever wondered if there was another way to decorate cakes and other desserts besides the typical buttercream frosting? Do you often find yourself looking for ways to dress up drinks so they’re not “just the same old thing”?
Not many people find themselves faced with this conundrum unless they’re in the food industry somehow, or if they host a lot of events and want to present appealing drinks or desserts. Even if you don’t fall into either of those categories, you may have just wanted to experiment a little bit when baking. Pashmak, or Persian fairy floss, is a great answer to those decorating dilemmas.
Persian Fairy Floss at A Glance
As the name implies, pashmak is a kind of candy floss or fairy floss. Also made from sugar, Persian fairy floss can be served on its own or as a decoration for cakes, puddings, desserts, and even as an accompaniment to fruit.
The texture is similar to regular fairy floss, but the ingredients – apart from sugar – and method of making pashmak differs. Being hand-pulled instead of spun, the latter resembles threads of unspun silk. It’s also flavoured with rose water, orange blossom, saffron, vanilla, sesame, or pistachio. Apart from the appearance, you can tell you’re dealing with Persian fairy floss because it’s denser and heavier than cotton candy.
Storing Persian Fairy Floss
Pashmak lasts longer than regular fairy floss, but that doesn’t mean you can expose it to open air for very long. It still needs to be consumed relatively quickly after serving, as it will melt after being exposed to moisture in the air.
Persian fairy floss can be stored in its original packaging for as long as needed; just make sure you check said packaging if there’s a use-by date so the decorative strands don’t go to waste. Once you’ve opened the package, however, it is critical that any leftover fairy floss is sealed tightly to prevent moisture from getting into the package. The best way to do this is to firmly wrap the fairy floss with cling film and then seal it inside an airtight container.
For best results, you’ll generally want to consume Persian fairy floss within several days after opening the package.
Designing and Decorating with Persian Fairy Floss
To decorate desserts, waffles, and so on, all it takes is a handful or so of pashmak, volumising it, and then resting it on top of the dessert you’ll be serving. For a cake, for example, you can take some pashmak, scrunch it into a ball and set that in the centre. Then take smaller amounts of the fairy floss so you can create tufts of the silky fibres at regular intervals so that each slice gets a tuft. Afterwards, sprinkle some chopped nuts or another garnish on top of the Persian fairy floss. Alternatively, make ‘nests’ out of the fairy floss to rest cake slices in.
If you’re working with just a small amount of Persian fairy floss, you can use tweezers to make it easier to handle. Make sure your fingers are dry when removing the fairy floss from the packaging and when volumising it. You’ll have to use a tufting motion – and gently! – when doing the latter.
All in all, whether you’re a professional or a home cook, vanilla Persian fairy floss can be a great addition to your pantry, for those times you want to add something extra to your dishes. Not only is this decorative element easy to work with, but vanilla works with many other flavours and is a good base to build a flavour profile on. Visit this page to start looking for and purchasing this decadent yet simple and tasty treat.