Charitable Confections  



Schooling the world, one sugary snack at a time



   Television Show: The Charitable Confectioner

Our new, live series for Cambridge Community Television can be watched locally on channel 9 or via the station's livestream on first and third Tuesdays of each month here: .

Sugar shaping whilst discussing modern day slavery during the July 6th episode with Professor Timothy McCarthy of  Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Graduate School of Education, and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.      Frock by Dolce & Gabbana

Time lapse video -- set to Flight of the Bumble Bee -- from episode 5 with Harvard Graduate School of Education professor, Katherine Merseth, and author and adventurer, George Meegan. Editing by Daniel Wang.  Frock (on Linda) by Zimmermann.

Past & Upcoming Episodes:

After each episode airs, we'll post an image of the artwork created, materials used, and tips and tricks.  

Episode 1:   April 6, 5:30 -6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "Lack of Access to Safe Water Worldwide"

Guests: Carolyn Meub and Tracy Adams from Pure Water for the World ( joining   us from Vermont.

Artwork: Pulled sugar (isomalt) swan tableau with baby madeleines (in a nod to Proust's Swann's Way)

Tune: Handel Water Music, Suite No. 2 in D Major

Products used for Demo: Isomalt, AmeriColor food color gel in sky blue and bright white, Chefmaster edible color spray in pearl, and Academy Artists panel canvas.

Tips & Tricks: For pulled isomalt art, heat syrup to 320 F/160 C ; for cast pieces heat to 340 F/171 C.  Folding food coloring in primary colors will yield a more translucent, glass-like finish, while using white food coloring will make the sugar piece resemble porcelain.


Episode 2 :       April 20, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic:  "Importance of Education in Developing Nations: Armenia Edition"

Guest: Harout Nercessian, Armenia country director for Armenian Misisonary Association of America ( joining us from Yerevan, Armenia.

Artwork:  Tree of Armenia/Disputed     (isomalt, potato starch paper, and dried & pressed organic flowers)

Tune: Aram Khachaturian's Waltz from Masquerade Suite

Products Used for Demo: Isomalt, potato starch paper (thick for the photo of Mt. Ararat and thin for the butterfly), Edible Ink food coloring pens, Divine Specialities edible gold dust, Blazer Big Shot blowtorch, Canon "edible" printer, which is just a regular printer that's outfitted with food coloring catridges in lieu of ink ones.

Tips & Tricks: Potato starch paper is  stiff and porous, so I sprayed the butterfly with water and a touch of oil, then placed it in the mini tea cup in order to mold it into a more realistic, 3-d shape. The thicker grade of paper is a bit less porous, and will, therefore, deliver more realistic looking photo prints when using an edible printer. However, it is too stiff for creating shapes such as butterflies and flowers.


A rerun of episode 2 will air on May 4.


Episode 3:  May 18, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic:  "Addressing the Homeless Issue in The States"

Guest: Michael O'Callaghan , homeless rights advocate and inventor of micro-living unit boxes, joining us from Portland, OR.

Artwork: Box of Betterment     (white chocolate house with isomalt pillars and water)

Tune: Claude Debussy's La Mer

Products Used for Demo: Callebaut ruby and white chocolate, Zeoto Heat Pen, N.Y. Cake & Baking Dist. edible luster dust in gold and pink, O'Creme gold dragees.

Tips & Tricks: When pouring melted chocolate into molds, make sure to tap thouroughly to distribute and remove air bubbles. When using the heat pen to carve windows, make sure to wipe the tip after each pass. Otherwise the chocolate residue on the tip will start to burn.


Episode 4:  June 1, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic:  "The Benefits of Building with Sustainable Materials"

Guest: Professor & architect Jan Wampler, MIT School of Architecture & Planning

Artwork: Blooms of Bounty  (isomalt and potato starch paper)

Tune: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee

Products Used for Demo: Isomalt, potato starch paper, NY Cake petal dust in raspberry, Nielsen-Massey peppermint extract, Blazer Big Shot blowtotch .

Tips&Tricks: In order to get good color saturation on the potato starch paper, you must mix the edible petal dust with a food grade alcohol or flavored extract. I prefer peppermint to vanilla, because the former is clear, while the latter is brown and can make the color of the petal dust murky.


Episode 5:   June 15, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "The Importance of Implementing Creative Pedagogy to Create a More Dynamic Society"

Guests:  Professor Katherine Merseth, Harvard Graduate School of Education

             Professor, author, and adventurer George Meegan (Kobe University in Japan/ The Longest Walk/                        Democracy Reaches the Kids), joining us from England.

Artwork: Tree of Wisdom (isomalt painting with edible spray paint and potato starch paper)

Tune: Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 1 in C minor 

Products Used for Demo: Isomalt, PME edible lustre spray in green and pearl, Chefmaster edible color spray in blue, AmeriColor Gourmet Writer in brown and green, ColorPops edible luster powder in pearl blue 2, Conda stretched canvas.

Tips & Tricks: When painting with isomalt, you want to wait until the syrup has thickened a little bit, but not completely congealed. When painting on canvas with edible spray paint, use a paper towel to blend the colors together and give a more subtle effect.


Episode 6:  July 6, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "How Responsible Purchasing Can Offset Slavery" Part I

Guest: Professor Timothy McCarthy, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government/Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights

Artwork: The Cost of Greed (sugarpaste, potato starch paper, edible markers, edible spray paint, isomalt)

Tune: Antonio Vivaldi's Summer (3rd movement)

Products Used For Demo: Satin Ice gum paste, Rainbow Dust metallic food paint in metallic red, PME edible lustre spray in gold and green, Divine Specialities edible luster dust in gold, NY Cake & Baking Dist. edible glitter dust in disco X-mas red, exacto knife, AmeriColor edible marker in black, isomalt, potato starch paper, Conda stretched canvas, Zeoto heat pen.

Tips & Tricks: If one is going to carve an opening in an isomalt bubble, make sure that the shell of the bubble is thick enough to withstand the heat and pressure.  Using an exacto knife when hand-sculpting with sugarpaste can help to perfect the lines. 


Episode 7:   July 20, 5:30-6:00 pm ET  

Title/Topic: "How Responsible Purchasing Can Offset Slavery" Part II

Guest: Professor Timothy McCarthy, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government/Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights

Special Edible Artist Guest: Cinthya Romriell, chocolatier @ Cinful Sweets  Texas

Artwork:  Chocolate sculpture created by Cinthya

Tips & Tricks: Using chocolate "putty" in lieu of freeze spray

Tune: Antonio Vivaldi's Summer (3rd movement)


Reruns of past episodes will air on August 3 and 17.


Episode 8: September 7, 5:30-6:00 pm ET 

Title/Topic: "The Importance of Education in Developing Nations: Haiti Edition"

Guest: Marcel Jean, president and founder of Haiti Scholarship Association (Charitable Confections' charity du jour Haiti), joining us from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

Artwork: Priorities: 64/292  (isomalt sculpture with edible markers)

Tips & Tricks: The color payoff of edible markers is lighter than it is on potato starch paper, so it is best to draw on cast isomalt that is clear.

Tune: Richard Wagner's Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods)


Episode 9: September 21, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "Lack of Proper Sanitation Worldwide"

Guest: Jack Sim, founder of World Toilet Organization (, joining us from Singapore.



Episode 10: October 5, 2021, 5:30-6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "The Importance of Providing Medical/Surgical Care to People Living in Poverty"

Guest: Professor and trauma surgeon Haytham Kaafarani, Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital/Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) .


Episode 11: October 19, 2021, 5:30- 6:00 pm ET

Title/Topic: "Blurring the Divide Between Visual and Culinary Arts"  a special, all about art episode

Guest: Christine O'Donnell, owner and director of Beacon Gallery in Boston's South End (