Have a Magical Spring!




Flower Fairies Cake

Friday, December 7, 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 secure them 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 the house 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!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Halloween

Whoo Hoo! Halloween is officially here!!!
Yippee! I would be doing handsprings if I had the body of a 12 year old!
But since that isn't the case, I am celebrating Halloween with an


Edible Punkin Patch!


First You will want to start off by making a batch of Rice Krispies Treats.
Now you can just use the original recipe or try my take on a Butter Pecan Krispies Bar
that I drizzled with Butterscotch Glaze to resemble Hay Bales.
Recipe is Here on this blog
Once you have your "hay bales" made, reserve some of the butterscotch glaze in a piping bag
for your Scarecrows and Indian corn.


Marzipan Scarecrows


Ingredients






Roll out a red and blue ball the size of a large gumball
and a white and gold ball the size of a small gumball.
Keep covered in an airtight container as you work.


Roll out the blue into a cord about 3- 3-1/2" long
Cut in half to make legs- and make an indention on one end of each leg.
Place on the edge of a clean styrofoam surface. I let this one dry out too much
while taking pics. But for a scarecrow, I liked the tear in the knee of the pant, so
I didn't redo it. If your marzipan dries too quickly, knead in a very small amount
of vegetable shortening to restore.
Flatten the red ball and create a T shaped piece (as shown above)
Using the back side of a knife, make indentions for the "shirt".


Divide the gold ball in half. Press one half with your finger to make a
straw hat brim.
Flatten the other gold ball slightly for the top of the hat. Brush the bottom of the
hat with a brush dampened with water and secure to the brim.


Take the white ball and make into a square. With Edible pens, draw
a face on one side


Using the butterscotch glaze ( You could also use buttercream if you choose)
pipe "straw" on the bottom of trousers. Pipe "straw " on the arms of the red shirt.
Secure the shirt to the trousers with piped "straw" and the head to the shirt in the same
manner.  Pipe more straw around the head and place the hat on top.
You can make these ahead of time and place on your "hay bales"
Or build them on the "hay bale" as you go.


Indian Corn




Candy Corn
Butterscotch Glaze or Gold Buttercream


For the Indian corn, Pipe the glaze in a V shape over candy corn as shown above.


Then continue to pipe lines around the outside of the V to create the corn shucks.


Punkin Patch Sign


Popsicle stick
small amount of white gumpaste
gum glue ( 1/4 tsp Tylose mixed with hot water )


Snap off about 3/4" on one end of Popsicle stick
Roll out gumpaste very thin and cut into a 1x2" rectangle
Cut another smaller strip of gumpaste about 1/2x1"
Brush the stick with a bit of gum glue and place face down on gumpaste
Brush the small strip of gumpaste with gum glue and place over
popsicle stick and gumpaste, as shown above.
Allow to dry completely face down.


When dry, write your wording with an edible marker.




Find a pretty plate and stack the Rice Krispies Hay bales.
Place your scarecrows, securing if needed with a bit of butterscotch glaze.
Continue to embellish with Indian corn, Mellowcreme Pumpkins


So Cute and a great way to start off the holidays.
Happy Autumn !!


Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson 2010 all rights reserved
This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sugarpaste Silver Spurs ( a tutorial)




Gray colored firm gumpaste. This really needs to be a very firm paste.

Fondant roller




Gum Glue ( 1/4 tsp Tylose mixed with 1 tsbp hot water )

(for decorative use only)




Roll out gumpaste about 1/8"(*or a bit more) thickness on a well dusted board.( *A bit thicker is better

on the spurs to maintain stability during the drying process.)

Using wheel cutter, cut one using pattern. Flip pattern and cut one more.

Cut one spur using the daisy cutter.
***
Texture your spurs using a textured roller or impression mat. Or find something around your house that

would make an appropriate texture. In this case, I used an ivory cased carving set. It worked great to

make a western style impression.

In this photo, I used a textured rolling pin.

***

Cover the spurs with plastic wrap to protect from drying,

and paint the daisy using gold highlighter.


Uncover and turn the spurs over. Using the white colored portion
of your pattern as a guide, moisten the spurs with gumglue.

Place the daisy at the end and gently press the moistened spurs into the daisy.
Now press the spurs together as shown.

Position the circle cookie cutter on the top of a tall water glass.
Place the spur on the cutter ( as shown) to dry.
If your spurs want to slip, secure lightly with tape.
The firmer the gumpaste, the less likely to move or stretch.


When dry paint the spurs with silver highlighter luster dust and retouch the
daisy if necessary, then
spray with sugar lacquer to set the luster dust.

***
Spur Pattern Below

***


Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson
Copyright 2010
This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How To Make a Sugarpaste Heel



Supplies

Gumpaste colored to taste
2 toothpicks or thin bamboo skewers
Gum glue
PME cutter or pizza cutter
Roller & Gumpaste Board
Styrofoam Board
Cardboard center from paper towels (cut into a 3" triangle)
Clean plastic 2 litre bottle & tape
scissors
Wax paper for pattern
ball tool
Confectioner’s Glaze (opt)


Instructions:


Begin with a small 1"- 1-1/2" ball of firm gumpaste.



Start pulling a cord from one end of the ball until
you get the desired length of your heel.



Using the guide below,
find a design for the type of heel you want to make.
Using your hands, form heel to desired size and height.


I usually form a 2 – 2 ½ inch heel.


Then place the ball end of your heel on the board
and flatten.
Use your ball tool to smooth the curves on your heel.


Once it is formed, insert
a tootpick or thin skewer through the heel leaving
some of the skewer extending from both ends.



Pushing the skewer into your styrofoam,
Secure the heel in place upside down and allow to dry.








Once dry, you will cut and attach your sole to the shoe.
But before you do, you will need a form to secure the shoe
while the sole dries.


Kerry Vincent, in her book "Romantic Wedding Cakes", makes a
form for her beautiful gumpaste shoes using an aluminum soda can. But for me, I have found
using plastic is easier to handle and more forgiving
( as I am heavy handed and kept breaking the fragile aluminum form).





While your heel dries, create a form by cutting
a one inch wide strip from a plastic 2 litre bottle.


Measure in inner side of your heel and make the plastic
form the same height.





Once formed, secure with tape.
Now that your heel is dry, turn it right side up on your styrofoam and secure while you prepare your sole. Roll gumpaste out to about 1/8"-1/4" thickness. Place sole pattern over and cut around using a pizza or pme cutter.


If you are making a pair of shoes,
flip the pattern to cut the second shoe creating a left and right shoe.


Position form in front of heel.
Moisten top of heel with gum glue and attach sole to heel.


If you want to line your shoe, this is the time to cut a lining 1/4" inside the line of the original sole pattern. Brush with luster dust and place over sole of shoe.



Just as you cut the sole, roll gumpaste out and cut according to pattern, remembering to flip the pattern if you are making a pair of shoes.

Brush the edges of your sole with gum glue and place the top part of your shoe in place.


Take the cardboard triangle and place into the upper shoe
as a support while it dries.




Add additional trim to decorate the shoe, according
to the design you want to achieve. On this one,
I added white gumpaste strips brushed with copper luster dust.



Check heels and soles from every angle to be sure that they are straight
and allow to dry completely for 2 days.
(Resist the temptation to pick them up and check them---it is hard (I know!)---but the soles will crack if disturbed before they are completely dry.)


If you would like to achieve the look of patent leather,
brush with confectioner's glaze once shoe is completely dry.


And the last bit of advice is to have fun with it. Create, laugh and have loads of fun.
After all, it is only sugar!!




Shoe Patterns




Pictures, patterns and tutorial by Jacque Benson 2007 . all right reserved



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