Wednesday, October 27, 2010
13 Days of Halloween - Creepy Kitchen
I use Wilton Candy Melts when making molded candy (see picture above). They melt nicely, are easy to use, and come in a variety of colors. You can also purchase candy flavorings if, say, you want to tint the red candy to have a cherry taste. You can get Candy Melts at Michaels, JoAnns and speciality stores. I also bought a bag of Brach's Autumn Mix, since I needed small pumpkins, and the pumpkin mold I had was too big for the scale of the cake.
ABC Cake Decorating. They have a huge supply of candy molds for everything imaginable, and lots of awesome cake making supplies too. I let that candy set up, which usually takes no time at all, since it's a thin amount of candy. Then I went back in with the piping bag with the next color I wanted. For example, for the bats, I painted red on their eyes and mouths, then went in with the piping bag and filled in the bat with the black candy. Once it set, I spooned out milk chocolate from the warmer, and filled the rest of the mold until it was level. You almost have to think backwards, or in reverse.
Here's a key step, so pay attention - you need to gently tap or shake the mold, to get all the bubbles out and to make sure the candy has seeped into every crevasse of the image. These molds are surprisingly detailed, but it can ruin the detail if you've got air bubbles or missed filling in a spot. I hold the mold up and look underneath to see if I've gotten rid of all the bubbles. For stubborn areas, I take a toothpick and insert down into the chocolate and get rid of them that way. You have to be careful when you do that, because even though you let the other colors set up first before filling in with the milk chocolate, the heat from that chocolate will re-heat the other layers and you could smear your colors together.
Although, in the case of my little tombstones, I wanted to make a marbled effect for the stone, so I piped in white and black directly in the mold and then swirled and mixed them with a decorating brush. The experiment paid off and it made a streaky, marble gray. You can leave your candies out to set up in room temperature, but that takes forever. I slide my molds into the freezer, just until the bottom of the mold appears frosty or the candy is firm to the touch (just make sure the molds can sit flat in the freezer, otherwise the chocolate won't set up level and you'll have slanted candies). You can tell by looking at it if it's hardened. Then just turn the mold over onto some wax paper and they usually pop right out with little or no coaxing.
Below is a picture of my finished candies, which I then used to decorate a cake (again, there will be more pictures posted tonight). You'll also notice the roof and side pieces of what looks like a house. This is one of my favorite molds. You put the four sides and two roof pieces together, using melted chocolate as the glue, to make a haunted house, which I used as my cake topper. How cool is that? Also, the bat molds are actually shaped to be like cake picks. You know - those little plastic decorations they stick into cupcakes - but instead, you can eat these ones! Again, how cool is that?