Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Easy Cookie Decoration: Chocolate-Fondant-Buttercream Recipe

Hello to all my  sugar friends, for this new post I need to make a statement: "My respects to all of those amazing and incredible cookie artist out there!!!"  those that leave their hands, fingers, wrists and knuckles on every cookie they make. Unfortunately I am far from being one, starting from my baking most of my cookies spread a bit and honestly I don't want to reduce that butter or increase the flour for the sake of the shape; and I am still having trouble understanding what means 10 sec icing or 20 sec or stiff or how much liquid to add to get a medium consistency. So if you are like me and still need mere time to figure out the science behind the cookies, stick with me and follow my recipe to get a nice, yummy easy paste I use to decorate my cookies. It tastes great, it holds it shape, I can bag them, I can decorate them in one day, I can add texture, flowers and so much and still get a pretty decent cookie.  

Here is the recipe: 

  • 24 oz white almond bark, or white candy coating or white candy wafers
  • 3 tbs light corn syrup 
  • 1 cup ready made buttercream or  one day old  homemade buttercream 
  • 1 teaspoon clear flavor 
  • cornstarch to knead (  no powder sugar substitute )
  • 100 grs Fondant (optional)

Melt chocolate in intervals of 20/25 secs, stir and do it again, until almost all cubes or wafers are melted ( the bigger the pieces the longer it takes to melt) set aside so it can cool down a bit. 

I use  Duncan Hines, you can use any brand just make sure is just the regular one and not the Whipped version. You can also use few days old homemade buttercream, now add the corn syrup and  flavoring of your choice and mix. 


Now you can add the melted chocolate, it is perfect to let it cool a bit before adding, this will avoid the fat separate from chocolate. Mix add some cornstarch and knead just a few minutes, You don't want to over knead and put more heat on your paste. Cover in plastic paper and let cool in the fridge for at least 30 min,


Once you take it out of the fridge, it should be ready to color it. Remember that this is in part chocolate so if you are in really warm weather, it can be too stick or hard to hand cut, in that situation, you should combine with fondant. You also need to work in a cool area and if your hands are too warm, you will need to put it back again in the fridge for a few minutes. You can also have some ice inside a ziploc bag  next to you, so you can cool down your hands. 


I added a lot of different textures on these cookies I made for my son's classroom. I wanted to give them a little summer joy.  I got this lovely recipe through a friend, and I also found it in CC, that is a great place to find so many amazing recipes.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Make a Teen Ninja Cake Topper

Finally I can sit in front of my computer and start a new post in my almost forgotten blog. My latest post was in October last year!!! wooow how the time goes by and I can barely see it running in front of me, well I only notice time when I look myself in the mirror,,, that can be theme for a different blog!!! I have great excuses for my absence: I have traveled and teach, that can't get any better; I  started back November and I just stopped May. It's been awesome. incredible and adventurous. I have meet amazing cake artists, cake lovers, I have tried curious, delicious and amazing food like Chow ( seasoned fruit)  in Trinidad, delicious tiny tamarind ice creams  in Equator, amazing Quinoa in Peru, wonderful Cuban food in Miami and the endless Chicago Style Pizza !!! Woooow What a Journey and I do not regret the air plane hours and fear (yes they  scare me  to death) or the common food poisoning or the swollen feet, every single minute is absolutely worthy; but the best: all the amazing friends I have met all these months !!!!!   This was a little update and a bit of excuse about Why my blog is being left on the side, but now I am back and I m have plenty of material to keep filling up my blog with cool info for you all my sugarcrafters , so let's start. 

 We will be making this super cuuute cake topper, please don't ask me to do something that does not look cute because then my brain simple shuts downs. You know these ninja Turtles are all but cute, an dI almost freaked out when I was told the theme: TMNT cake with Michelangelo (that is the orange one) AKA Mike (I can see why he is now called Mike) with Graffiti and standing on the logo sewer and so on. Basically I focus on the topper and I look for a different design and I found this cuter look of a TMNT more on the Kid look, so it was just perfect !!! 

Well, less talk and just Let's start and Learn how to make him:


I always start making the head, basically is the best way for me to have a better view of the body proportions; actually when sculpting or drawings, the measure of the head itself, indicates you how the body will be proportioned,
I use a styrofoam ball inside, either you use a  mousse one  or regular one, this allows you to make a big head, subtract some of the weight and have support for when you place the head over your figurine's shoulders.  I started with about 140 grms of gumpaste or fondant  ( if you need it to dry faster, add CMC or Tylose.  Cover the ball with the paste and keep closing your hands around the ball so you make sure there is no air buckets between the ball and the paste. Push all the creases over the top and just cut the excess.


For the head you will end up with an oval, select the smother side and work the face on that part. With your finger, mark the eyes by pressing down a bit, Also, roll the bottom part where the cheeks should go and push down so instead of keeping an oval shape, you can get more like rounded shape with some cheeks.

Use the modeling tool to mark the mouth and add a color  (Orange for Mike ) stripe of about 1 " wide around the eyes

Cut two white circles using tip #12 from wilton, press down the circles so you can make them bigger and reshape them into the eye shape you would like to use, then glue them on top of the eyes, add the iris color that you would like. Set the head aside to dry.

For the body, I decided to also add a styrofoam ball, same size 1"1/2 . Make the same you did for the head but this time flat it all around the edges.  It  is a heavy topper, so the bigger the topper, the more support you will need. 

The shape you are looking for is more like tapered on the sides and bulky on the front and back. Pull the upper part so you can get the neck and press the center where the legs will be placed. 


Add the shell on the back, I used a different green shade; I looked for the right colors online and it seems like there are many different ways to use the colors on the turtles including brown for the shell, it is all up too you. Mark the lines on the shell, just the way you think is correct, anyways this goes on the back and it might not be seen way to much. 

Add the yellow front and add the "Six Pack" , LOL !!! 

Time for the legs: 

I used about 50 grms for the legs, start with a cone shape of about 2" long. Make two of these.  Then press with your finger so the foot part can pop out of the cone shape.  Immediately  and before it dries, follow the next step:

 I use thick wooden skewers, used for corn in the cob, They are thick, strong and hard to break, if you cannot find them (I get mine at Hispanic markets) or you can use chopsticks. Make sure to leave enough to stick it inside your cake.  Add the detail decoration for the legs.  

Once you add all details, holding the leg stick, pass each leg from  the bottom to half of  the body.  If is not enough just adding water and you find it is a bit loose, use a bit of hot glue to attach the legs, remember there is a styrofoam ball in the body, that can easily be glued together. Then Use another dowel to pass it through the neck.

 End your figurine making the arms and details on them. I crossed them so he can show his attitude. and finally I attach them by adding half toothpick on the side  

Once I attached all the pieces together,  I let it rest with some support on the legs in case gravity starts pulling down. I attach the head later, at least on day later so I am sure head will not smash when I push it on the body 

Ready to place on the top of the cake.  Cake should be cool, better if is cover in ganache and fondant, but if you are working with buttercream, you can add at least one thick straw under the topper so it can hold its weight. This is a large topper, I like to work on bigger toppers and more simpler cakes. This guy is about 7" tall but is the focal center of the cake.  Hope  you all like it and give it a try.  Stay tuned because I am having great material for upcoming posts.  See you next time !!!!