Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Candy Clay...........Friend or Foe?

So, I did make the candy clay yesterday like I planned to (amazing, I know!).  Don't have pictures of the process, because I forgot to take them, but I do have a picture of the light blue clay that I used today!

I made two batches, light blue and dark blue.  Do you know they don't sell blue candy coloring in the craft store?  Well....they don't.  Fortunately, they do sell candy melts in these colors!  I bought a 16oz bag of each color, along with one in white, in case the shades needing toning down (I decided they didn't, btw, lol).

Making candy clay is actually spectacularly easy to do, especially with a microwave!  Melt the 16oz of candy melts in a bowl in the microwave.  I did increments of 20-30 seconds, depending on how impatient I was feeling.  Once the melts are all melted, you stir in 1/3 cup of corn syrup.  As you stir, something quite amazing happens.  It doesn't look like much is going to happen at first, then all of a sudden the bowl of liquid candy melts becomes a sticky ball.  It is almost the corn syrup is causing the melts to seize, much like real melted chocolate does when water is introduced.  I actually have never seen chocolate seize up, so really have nothing to compare this too, other than it's the best explanation I can think of.  You then wrap the molten ball of candy melts in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24hours for it to 'cure'.  Then you're ready to use it!

Today's project was to use the light blue candy clay to make roses.  I purchased Hershey's Kisses to use as the bases.  Yeah yeah, I know it's the lazy way out, and I could have made the rose bases with candy clay.  However.....I am about as lazy as they come.  If I can find an easier way to do something, I will (competitions excluded for the most part, lol)! 

I took a round toothpick and shoved it into the bottom of each Kiss.  A word to the is much easier to put the toothpick in BEFORE unwrapping the Kiss!

I decided to make 18 roses, so 18 of the Kisses got toothpicks shoved into them.  Against my better judgment, I will probably end up eating the remainder of the bag, lol.

Tools for working with Candy Clay are similar as those for working with gumpaste.  You have to be gentler with the candy clay, as it will melt if you continue holding it.  Keep an ice pack handy if you have furnace hands, as I do.  Candy Clay is not easy to work with when it melts in your hands!

I used rose petal cutters from FMM.  You don't have to use cutter, you can free-form the petals yourself, but given the inferno that is my hands, I figured I'd have no petals.  Plus, I like to know everything started the same size, lol.

I dusted my work surface with cornstarch, and rolled out the candy clay.  You can't roll it as thin as gumpaste, but that's fine, you thin it out a bit with your fingers.  I rolled it out to an even thickness that I was happy with.  I don't know how thin, I'm not a good judge on that kind of stuff.  I used the 3 smallest sizes of the FMM cutters.  For each petal that I cut out, I used my fingers to thin down the edge of the petal, very carefully to avoid melting it.

 I first used the 2nd smallest to cut out a petal for the center of the rose, and put that on around the point of the Kiss.

Then I used the smallest cutter and cut out 4 petals for each flower.  I put two on, opposite each other, and the other two over the seams of the first two.

Then I cut out 6 petals with the 2nd smallest cutter and put 2 rows of petals on, 3 petals per row.  Lastly, I cut out 3 petals with the 3rd largest cutter and put these on as the last row of petals on the rose, being sure they covered the brown of the Kiss.

I also made pieces for a gumpaste bow this morning.  I usually make my own gumpaste, however I forgot to, so I took some Satin Ice fondant and mixed some gumtex into it.  It's a quick fix that actually works pretty well. 

My plan was to make two different colored blue gumpaste, and marble the two together.  It doesn't look marbled in the pictures, but is in person.  The bow is going on top of an 8" cake, so the bow is planned to be about 6" in diameter.

I made 16 bow loops - 8 from 5.5" strips of gumpaste, and 8 from 4.75" strips.

One of the shorter ones is an inch short because I screwed up measuring.  However, since there are plenty of loops I did not redo it. 

Then I made some bow 'strings' to be put on under the bow loops.  

I also made curliques out of the gumpaste to put somewhere on the cake.  I may make more once the cake is done and put the fresh ones on the cake to dry.

I used the linquini cutter for my Kitchen Aid to get uniform strips of gumpaste to use for the curliques.

The pasta attachment set, IMO, is indispensable if you're going to be making decorations out of gumpaste.

Next step is to bake on Thursday, and decorate on Friday, so stay tuned!!!

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