Today we have a guest post by the Amazing Kara Andretta of Kara’s Couture Cakes:
About the Author
I am a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and have studied under some of the best pastry chefs and cake decorators in the world. I specialize in fondant covered cakes, gourmet cupcakes and cookies, custom designed to perfectly fit each client’s unique occasion. The only thing better than how my cakes look, is how they taste! Ask me about cake!
Kara’s Couture Cakes
making the world sweeter, one cake at a time.
Edible Gelatin Sequins
Oooh how I have been waiting for a project to use these beauties on! I first created these in January of this year while I was experimenting with gelatin for my She Dragon cake. It was a whim and mostly because I had some left over gelatin. But. BUT! I stumbled upon something awesome! Here it is 🙂
*** A side note before you begin: I used sheet gelatin simply because I have lots of it around. You do not need to have the sheet gelatin, it’s more expensive than powdered in general, and less available. If you have powdered gelatin readily available use that! I like to demonstrate how to use sheet because lots of people don’t know how to properly hydrate it. To substitute powdered gelatin click here for the how-to!
I’m using sheet gelatin so my method to hydrate will be different from the powdered. Begin with a bowl of cold water that is deeper than your gelatin is wide.
I used one weighed ounce of silver strength sheet gelatin. One weighed ounce of any strength gelatin will do.
I roll the sheets one by one and submerge them individually into the water so they don’t stick together and hydrate unevenly.
While your gelatin is hydrating (which takes about 7 minutes for sheets) gather the rest of your supplies. I used Americolor Super Black to match my fondant, American Silver Disco Dust, and Super Pearl dust. Now… Before anyone gets worked up about ingesting disco dust or petal dust (especially after the news story recently of the wack-a-doo selling plastic pieces as edible glitter) know that they are non-toxic and can simply be scraped from the outside of the cake at service if you use them in your gelatin mix. You DO NOT need to add them to get the shimmery quality of the sequins. I just go overboard. And to be honest, since the little gelatin sequins are flavorless and mildly tough, people will most likely choose not to eat them anyways. But hey. We don’t eat cupcake wrappers either. Just take it off. (The wrapper and/or sequins. I’m not asking you to get nakey. You can if you want. Just keep it yourself. 🙂 )
A number 1 Wilton tip will restrict the flow of the gelatin when you’re dropping it so you don’t get puddles. It’s still big enough, however, to allow disco dust particles easily through.
If you use sheet gelatin you’ll need to squeeze the excess water from it as best you can. In the end you get less shrinkage and curling in the final dried sequins if there is less water that needs to evaporate. The more water, the more the drop will contract causing irregular waves and curls.
Place your squeezed gelatin immediately into a microwave safe bowl and warm it until it is just melted and there are no lumps.
You’ll want to skim these bubbles off the top of the gelatin before adding your colors. They can get mixed back into the liquid gelatin and create a foamy look to your droplets if it’s not removed. Unlike water or thinner liquids, the bubbles will not just settle out. They get themselves all tucked in cozy and stay put. Kind of like the in-laws. And y’all know how much you LOOOOOOOVE that.
Add drops of color sparingly until you get the desired strength. It really doesn’t take much. Keep in mind that they will seem to intensify in color as they dry.
After stirring in your color add any other sparklies that you may want. Again, you don’t have to.
Stir it up.
Pour into your squeeze bottle and drop by single drop size onto a non-stick surface like a SilPat.
Fill your sheet with little droplets. The less water in your gelatin the more you can fit on each sheet without them running into each other.
Let the drops dry over night…
And by the next morning they will be dry and mostly flat; some will be slightly curved.
Use a thin metal artists palette knife to scrape beneath the sequins to gather them into a pile. Keep you knife as flat as you can to the sheet or they will jump up at you. Spritely little buggers…
These are light, sturdy, shimmery, and ready to use!
See Part 2 coming soon on how to use powdered gelatin.