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This site is dedicated to sharing what we have learned with you! Enjoy our tutorials, and if you have a question please feel free to ask! I know one of our sugar enthusiasts will either know or try to find the answer.
We all have something to share...and we all have something to learn!
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Life's A Beach!

Life's A Beach!
Celebrate Summer by Creating a Beachy Topper! Click on photo for tutorial!


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Lights- SWEET! by Jen Dontz



 


This  tutorial is a step by step on making the isomalt Christmas lights.  Super easy to do and very, very pretty!  These lights can be strung on a cake or used individually on cupcakes.  Either way, they are sure to please!
 
ISOMALT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

1.  I'm using our large Christmas lights mold (we also have a tiny one, too).  Also, the small silicone cup and clear isomalt sticks.  We also carry clear isomalt nibs if you prefer. If you click on a picture on our website, it will take you to the information/order page where you will see measurements for the molds.

Lites tut 1




2.  ALWAYS ALWAYS use protective gloves.  Hot sugar STICKS to skin and will continue to burn.  You can peel a glove off quickly, but not your skin.  We have some wonderful protective gloves by Cake Play.  See here.
  We carry these gloves in three sizes, small, medium and large.  
Melt your isomalt in the microwave.  I use 50% power and check it every 30 seconds or so.  This is sugar so it can burn, don't over nuke :-)  I run a stick through it JUST to make sure all is melted.  I should be bubbling. 
 
 I did color this clear mix by adding a drop of Americolor to it.  Gel coloring is recommended, not liquid or powder.  Shake your Americolors up well before using.  Add the color once it comes out of the microwave and is bubbling.  You will hear the color sizzle on top of the bubbling sugar.  Wait until it stops sizzling and the water is burned out of it, then gently stir into the isomalt.
 
  You also can add disco dust at this point if you want a glittery finished piece.  We have a nice variety of discos available. Let the mix sit on the counter a few minutes until most of the bubbles have come to the top and popped. 
 
 Gently pour into your molds.  I take a toothpick and make sure all the sugar is stuck to all the nooks and crevices.  
 
~One helpful tip~
 If you find your sugar is hardening faster than you can get it to all the nooks, you can warm your mold in the microwave at 50% power for about 20 seconds.  Starting with a warm mold will give you a longer "work" time to spread the sugar.  
 
Another thing you can do is put the mold on a heating pad and warm it that way.  That will give you even more work time.  No need to add anything to the mold like a grease.  Leave the mold as is.

Lites tut 2



3.  Unmold the lights.  You usually can tell when they are ready to be unmolded if the mold is no longer warm to touch on the backside.

4.  Now it's time to torch them if you want them crystal clear.  Any food grade silicone mold will "gas" and create a ever so soft texture on your piece.  By taking a creme brulee type torch and gently torching the surface, it will clarify it.  This is the torch I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond (don't forget your coupon :-)  You also can use a grill lighting type Aim N Flame but those are harder to use because they can burn the sugar easier.  At least that is my experience. 
 
 Hold the sugar piece with a pair of tweezers and move it closer and closer to the flame until you can see it clarify.  Be careful not to burn it.  Safety is first and foremost here friends...PLEASE read the instructions for your torch!!

Lite tut 4

5.  Next, I took my sugarcraft gun with the small string disk and piped out two lines of fondant.  I colored this using avocado Americolor.  You also can use gumpaste as well.

Lites tut 5


6.  Let the strings dry just a little and then twist them together like a real light string would be.


7. I like to paint the socket part with silver hi-liter dust.  Simply mix some dust with vodka, I do this in the lid.  Mix to the consistency of maple syrup.  Then paint the socket part.  Let the dust completely dry in the cap before putting the cap back on your container.  In doing this, no dust is wasted.
  You can see the difference of the torched lights, two on left, and the not torched, on right.

Lites tut 3



8.  Here they are!!  As always when using isomalt, we recommend you place your pieces on the cake the day of the party.  
 
Lites tut 6
 
You can make them far in advance, but you need to store them in an airtight container with desiccant packets.  These will keep your pieces crystal clear.  Humidity can affect your pieces so that's why we recommend placing the day of the party and using the desiccant packets.






Tutorial by Jennifer Dontz
owner of SugarDelites
all rights reserved 2012
This material may not be reproduced in any form with 
expressed persmission from the author.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Building a Gingerbread house



After designing and baking your gingerbread house, it is time to assemble and decorate. Here are a few tips for assembly, followed by suggestions for decoration. Ultimately, it is your creation, so you can keep it simple or make your house as elaborate as you desire

Supplies

  • Gingerbread pieces
  • ½” foam core
  • ¼” foam core for small houses
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Xacto Knife
  • Royal Icing **
  • at least 4 unopened cans to use as weights to stabilize while drying
  • small embroidery scissors
  • gelatine sheets

Lay out your gingerbread pieces out flat with house corners touching on a sheet of paper.
Move two facing sides inside the corner by exactly the width of your gingerbread. If your baked pieces are ¼” thick, then move two sides inward by ¼” each side.
With a pencil, trace the inside space. Straighten lines and shore up the corners to be a perfect right angle (90 degrees,) then cut the pattern for your foundation.
Lay the pattern over ¼- ½” foam core. Trace the pattern and cut the foamcore. If you are adding additions to your house, cut the addition to your pattern. The additions will be built on separate foundations and secured together later.
Run a bead of royal icing around the edge of the foam corn and set up two corner walls, securing with royal icing.
At this point, it is easier to secure your windows. Using embroidery scissors, just cut a square of gelatine sheets and secure with royal icing.

 You can also use poured sugar windows made ahead of time, then glue in with royal icing. It is easier to affix the windows while flat, but you can also place inside before you place your roof, if you like.
Set cans against the two walls to secure.
Repeat the process with the two remaining walls.
Pipe an extra line around each corner and allow to set for a few minutes until secure.
Pipe a line of royal icing around the top edge of your walls.

Place the roof. Depending on how large your house is and how heavy the roof, it may be necessary to secure with reinforcement (extra cans).
Pipe royal icing at the seam where roof meets on top.
Allow to set until dry.
Steeples and Chimneys can be constructed at this point, securing with royal icing.
Allow to dry before attaching to roof.


*If you have additions on your house, construct separately and allow to dry, then attach to the rest of your structure. At that point, you can add the roof.

Let the house completely dry before moving to the next step…the fun part! Decorating the house!



When the icing securing the roof has completely hardened, your house can be decorated with Fondant, Pretzels, Cereals, Candies ( gum drops, mints, pastilles, skittles, hard candies ect) Shredded wheat, Pastas, bitesized crackers, lentils, or beans!
 Just use your royal icing to secure the decorations.
 When dry the icing will act as a glue and hold the decoration firmly in place. For my houses, I cut fondant strips and overlaid them on the exterior.


For one house's roof, I textured a rectangle of fondant to make a shingled roof,

but pastilles can be used to make a wonderful shingled roof or siding too.


For a fast and easy shingled roof, just pipe scallops directly onto your gingerbread roof!


 You can also spread a layer of "snow" made of royal icing.


There are no rules now. Anything goes as long as it is edible.
Wilton makes a product called Sparkle Gel.
I used it to make icicles, but you can also pipe icicles using royal icing.

Just be creative and have loads of fun. That's what it is all about!

**Royal Icing Recipe

6 Tbsp meringue powder
12 Tbsp water
2 lbs powered sugar
Mix all ingredient until moist, them beat at a low speed for 7 minutes. Keep icing covered with a moist cloth when not in use to prevent hardening.



On the final gingerbread tutorial, a few ideas for accessorizing your landscape, and adding life to your edible abode!

Copyright - All rights reserved   Jacque Benson 2012
Material from this website cannot be republished or reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ballet Slipper tutorial by Shirley Wilson



 Shirley Wilson's Sugarpaste Ballet Slipper Tutorial


STEP 1-


 I bought the smallest pair of childrens ballet slippers ( size 7) from Payless Shoe Source for $19.95 but they can be used to make more than one pair. Cut off the elastic strap from shoes, it wants to pull the sides of the shoe in too much, without the elastic it may be too wide. So I made a large basting stitch with thread going from side to side and over the instep. to get the right shape. VERY IMPORTANT, Lightly coat the entire outside of shoe from toe, sides and heel with Crisco shortening so the gumpaste will release easily. Stuff inside of shoe with wads of plastic wrap inside the toe and instep. Put a 1/2" styrofoam ball inside the heel area.

 STEP 2-

Roll out pink gumpaste to 1/8" thickness and into an oval large enough to cover entire shoe with 1/2" excess around the entire bottom of slipper.

 STEP 3-

Carefully cut out center of paste from the instep and smooth cut edges with your fingertip.. Allow to dry for at least 30 minutes or until gumpaste will hold it's shape.

STEP 4-

Allow to dry for at least 30 minutes or till paste holds it's shape. Carefully remove paste from the real shoe by turning the slipper upside down into palm of your hand. Carefully ease the fabric slipper away from the gumpaste. Then turn slipper right side up. Carefully tuck 1/2" overlap of gumpaste under the slipper sole

STEP 5-

 Remove plastic wrap and styrofoam ball from shoe. roll out some white gumpaste to 1/8" thickness. Lay dried shoe on top and cut around to make the sole piece, also cut a small piece to fit inside the instep of shoe. Glue on with gum glue and allow to dry completely.

 STEP 6-

Make some pink gumpaste strips for the ribbons. Attach with gum glue to sides of shoe and overlap a bit to inside of shoe. Arrange strips into a furled ribbon look. I did the top stitches and little bow with gumpaste in a clay extruder and attached with gum glue. Allow to dry completely and then dust with super pearl luster dust for sheen. These shoes will fit on the top of a 10" round cake.






This tutorial and photography is the property of Shirley Wilson- copyright 2012- and used with permission from the author. This material may not be used, copied or printed without expressed permission from the author, Shirley Wilson.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Cherry Fudge



This recipe begin as an experiment. 

Having found fresh black cherry juice at the market, I began to search for
recipes including it as an ingredient. I found very few.  
But the taste of the juice was so good, I just had to try to use it in a recipe,
 especially with Valentine's Day on the calendar! 

 I started by working with my old tried and true "Never Fail" fudge recipe and adjusted the ingredients.  While mixing the cherry and evaporated milk, the color turned a disappointing light brown, so I added red powdered food color. You can also use red liquid color until you reach a pink color.  The color, while cooking,  turned a very deep red; but by the time the other ingredients were added, it became a pleasant shade of pink. 

The end result was a creamy, sweet fudge with a nice blend of tartness from the dried cherries. After tasting the mixture while cooking, I opted for the almond extract. I highly recommend using it to flavor the fudge. It really compliments the cherries.

 Try it and let me know what you think!

Black Cherry Fudge


Ingredients

1/4 cup Black Cherry Juice 
Evaporated Canned Milk
1-1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Red powdered Food Coloring
1/2 tsp Vanilla or Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups (9 oz) White Chocolate chips
2 cups (4 oz) Mini-Marshmallows
3/4 cup Dried Cherries
1/2 cup Slivered Blanched Almonds

Instructions:

Begin by preparing an 8x8" pan by generously rubbing the bottom and sides with butter.

Chop cherries into fine pieces. 
Mix together with slivered almonds in a small bowl; Set aside.

In a measuring cup, pour cherry juice to measure 1/4 cup. 
Add evaporated canned milk to the cherry juice to measure 2/3 cup. 


Stir in food color.

Pour into a 2 quart saucepan. 
Add butter,sugar and salt; stirring continuously
 over medium heat until mixture starts to boil.
When the mixture begins to boil, stir constantly for 6-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla or almond extract, mini-marshmallows,
 and white chocolate chips until completely melted. Stir in cherries and almonds.

Pour into  prepared pan, and allow to cool completely.



Cut into squares and enjoy.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Recipe and Photos by Jacque Benson
2012 all rights reserved
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ganaching a Cake--The Upside Down Method by Eleanor Heaphy

Ganaching a Cake
the upside-down method


1.              Cut cake into three even layers, flip the layer which was the top of the baked cake over and attach to a base board (the same size as the tin the cake was baked in) with ganache. Spread ganache over the (now) bottom layer and then add the next (middle) layer of cake. Spread with ganache and then flip the last layer (what was the bottom of the baked cake) over and place on the top of the ganached layer. 
The bottom of the baked cake becomes the top, flat surface.
 
2.             Spread some softened white chocolate ganache on a larger “work” board. Attach layered cake (on its base board) to the workboard. Leave to set or put in fridge for a few minutes (no more).
3.             Trim all around the sides of the cake ensuring a 5mm gap between cake and base board- we will fill this gap with ganache.
4.              Apply ganache thickly to the outside of the cake, ensuring that you bring the ganache slightly above the top edge of the cake.
5.               Use a metal scraper (or straight edge) to remove the excess ganache from the sides of the cake. Place the bottom edge of the scraper against the base board and hold scraper completely perpendicular to the cake side. The bottom edge of the scraper should remain completely in contact with the workboard as you scrape. A turntable is useful here.
6.              Fill any gaps around the sides and scrape again- repeat process until the sides are smooth and perfectly straight.
7.              Using a spatula tip the top edge of the excess ganache over and smooth out towards middle of the cake.
8.              Add additional ganache to the top of the cake if required and make top of the cake as smooth and level as possible. Chill in fridge for 10 mins to firm up.
9.              Prepare a large square board, covering with florist’s cellophane. Using sticky tape on the paper side of the board, stick sides down, stretching the cellophane tightly. Then use scissors to cut cellophane off at corners.



10.              Soften some ganache slightly in the microwave. It should be pourable but not too runny. Spread a circle of ganache  0.5 to 1 cm thick over the prepared board. The circle should be slightly larger than the cake.
 
11.              Take the cake out of the fridge and flip over onto the circle of ganache. Working quickly, use a spatula to loosen the seal between the base board and the work board and remove workboard (we will reattach this later). Using a spirit level on the topside of the cake (ie against the bottom of the baseboard) move cake around on softened ganache until the top is perfectly level. Leave cake undisturbed until bottom layer of ganache is firm, but not hard.
12.              Scrape around the outside of the cake once again, use a heated spatula if necessary.

13.              Scrape and fill sides until they are perfectly smooth and straight.  Reattach workboard to top with a little ganache. Turn upside down and place in fridge for ½ an hour.
 
14.              Remove cake from fridge and use a knife to cut through sticky tape attaching cellophane to board. Remove square board.

 15.              Carefully peel back cellophane.

16.              Fill any small gaps caused by air bubbles on top of the cake. Leave to set up at room temperature for 12 hours before covering with fondant.

COPYRIGHT Cakeage Pty Ltd  2011
This tutorial was published with permission from the author,
Eleanor Heaphy
This tutorial may not to be reproduced without
permission from the author.

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The Tutorials This Week Were Generously Shared by

SHARON ZAMBITO, BOBBIE NOTO, RHONDA CHRISTENSEN & JACQUE BENSON

Thank you
thank you pictures

And to ALL of our Readers...

ENJOY EACH DAY!

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