Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jewels, Jewels, Jewels

With bling being all the all these days, we asked a few of our DTCPUG members for projects using our jewel molds -- Stephanie brings us the first project in both chocolate and sugar -

Hello!  My name is Stephanie and I have been interested in cake decorating and sugar art for the past 2 years.  It started off as a hobby and recently moved into a role at a bakery, and this is my first tutorial.  I hope you enjoy it!

For this project, I used jewel molds with two different mediums- chocolate and poured sugar. First, we’ll look at the chocolate:

·    Method 1: The minimalist. You don’t have a lot of fancy supplies, but you want to give this whole chocolate molding thing a try- this method is for you. 

1.       Take your melting chocolates, break them up a bit and place them into your mold. 
2.       Microwave on high for 30 seconds and check on the consistency.  You’re looking for a nice evenly melted chocolate- if it’s still lumpy then put it back in for another 10-20 seconds at a time. 
3.       Using a toothpick, ‘swirl’ the chocolate around to fill to the bottom of the mold, and level off any extra chocolate at the top. 
4.       Put the mold into the fridge or freezer to set up, and then pop out your completed jewels!

·         Method 2: The perfectionist.
You’re a little bit of a type-A personality. Maybe you like having maximum control over the chocolate at all times, the flexibility to change colors (or use multiple) on a whim, or you don’t want to risk the few potential ‘air bubbles’ involved with the first method.  If this sounds like you, and you’re willing to go through some extra steps and supplies to make it happen- give this method a try!
1.       Gather supplies, you will need:
§  Heating pad
§  Cookie sheet
§  Plastic decorator bags- one for each color melting chocolate
§  Angled spatula, toothpick or knife (to level off the top of the mold)
2.       Set up your workspace.  You’re wondering what the heating pad is for… right?  I find that when I’m working with chocolate if I can keep everything a nice even temperature everything goes much more smoothly (pun intended).  Set your heating pad on high with your cookie sheet on top and your mold on top of that.  This will keep your entire work area at a comfortable melted chocolate temperature.
3.       Melt your chocolate.  Put some melting wafers into a decorating bag and push towards the bottom. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time.  Check your chocolate often, flip the bag over each time, and mush the chocolate around so that no one spot gets too hot.  This is important- as soon as the chocolate starts to be melty, check it every 15 seconds and mush it around each time, or you will end up melting the plastic bag, ruining your chocolate, and making a big mess.
4.       Pipe into the mold. Whenever you’re not using your bags of melted chocolate, they should be sitting on your warmed up workspace to keep the chocolate nice and smooth.  Cut a hole into the bottom of the bag- not too big or you’ll lose control, but not too small or it will have a tendency to set up too quickly.  Start with about 1/8” and adjust from there as needed.
5.       Level off the chocolate. Use whatever you’d like- toothpick, angled spatula, etc. This step can be skipped if you don’t need the jewel to lay really flat, but make sure that you clean up the edges a bit because it’s easier to do and looks better in the end if you do it before the chocolate has set and you remove it from the mold.
6.       Allow to cool, and remove from mold. Put it in the freezer or fridge for awhile, and when it’s set just pop it right out.  The mold is very flexible so you can bend it as needed, just be careful not to snap one of the pieces in half as you are helping it out.  Ta Da! Super cute, no?  At this point you could use a little luster dust to add a sparkle, but I like the way they look right from the mold. 

Lessons Learned
  • You can get great results with either method, in fact, I thought the jewels I made from method 1 were better than those I did with method 2.  This is very likely due to the fact that I did not listen to many of my own steps (didn't have the heating pad, so the chocolate started setting up too soon, and I was re-using bags of chocolate from a past project and many of the holes were too small).  If you look closely at the picture you can see the result- tiny air pockets or holes where the chocolate didn't get to before it hardened. 
  • If you are using decorating bags, I like to push the chocolate slightly away from the tip before I set down a bag to minimize leaks.  You can also save extra chocolate in bags this way and use them again for future projects.  Depending on the type of melting chocolate I’m using, if I let the chocolate melt and harden several times it starts to get cloudy or behave funny, so I would recommend against melting way too much chocolate at once.  When you are microwaving bags of re-hardened chocolate, pay even closer attention to any ‘hot spots’ that might develop- really mush it around and flip the bag over often, and keep pushing the chocolate away from your open tip, too!
  • Feel free to get fancy!  Here's an example of using two colors together- I used method 1 to start off.  Don't swirl too much or you'll lose the 'marbled' effect, but I think I didn't swirl deep enough- I would have liked to see more mixing of the colors on the front.

  •   Chocolate is a great medium for the 3d jewel molds too!  I did this adorable heart mold in a few easy steps- first I made the top piece and popped it out.  Then I filled the bottom, and while it was still warm and melty, I gently placed the hard top piece on top.  I think I needed to fill the bottom just a tiny bit less to avoid the edge, but all in all I'm pleased with how it turned out! 
top view, still in mold
side view
bottom view
On to the sugar! 
This was my first attempt with poured sugar and I'm actually quite pleased with the results. I used a simple lollipop recipe.
I found that spraying the molds with cooking spray was unnecessary and actually caused some tiny bubbles on the surface of the sugar, so next time I'll skip that.
Normally you have to keep washing down the sides of your pan to keep the crystals from forming and dropping into your sugar, but by covering the pan with plastic wrap the steam actually does this for you.

You'll probably want to color your sugar, which you do by dropping in a tiny bit of gel color and then swirling vigorously to incorporate- DON'T STIR. 

I found spooning to work well with smaller jewels, and pouring to work well with larger.  Overfilling was a problem, and it's really hard to fix after it's done, so go slowly!
I was really happy with the results, especially how light reflects off the facets of the 'stones'.

I hope enjoyed this post! Be sure to visit to find these and many other amazing silicone molds. If you have any questions feel free to post comments or you can contact me through my website:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Karen's Conversation Hearts

It's still February!  Who says Valentine's Day is only for one day!  Check out these adorable conversation hearts and the finished project !  Thanks Karen!  They are just way too cute!

This mold makes adorable replicas of the popular Valentine candy. To start, color your fondant or gum paste to your desired shade. For this project I made my fondant pastel pink, green, yellow and lavender.

Then press the fondant firmly into the mold. You will have to adjust how much you put in. It should be just enough so it is not overflowing, you want it to be about level at the top edge of the mold.
After you fill the mold, let it sit out about fifteen minutes or so just to let the fondant firm up a bit. Next turn the mold over and gently push the heart out. You may find it easier to push out one corner of the heart and ease the heart out without altering it's shape.

You can use the hearts for your project as they are or you can follow the next couple of steps to make them look more like the Valentine candies. You will need red food coloring, vodka or lemon extract and confectioners sugar. You will also need a fine paintbrush and a fluffy paintbrush.

Using the fine paintbrush, carefully paint the letters of the words imprinted on the hearts. This takes a bit of a steady hand. You may find it helpful to steady your brush with your opposite hand. Leave them to dry for an hour or so before continuing to the next step.

Next you will need to lightly moisten the outside edge of the heart. If you use vodka or lemon extract, it will evaporate allowing the edge to dry faster. You can use water but you will need to be very careful not to get the edge soggy.

Then roll the heart with the moistened edge in confectioners sugar (10x sugar) and also dip the front of the heart in the confectioners sugar. Use the fluffy brush to lightly brush off some of the excess confectioners sugar.

Below are the finished hearts on cupcakes, so cute!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soda Sugar Bottle

The next DTCPUG project is from Robin Pennington and as I look at the finished product, I sure could go for a slice of that pizza and a soda! Oh wait!  That's cake -- well I could go for a piece of cake.  Please join Robin, as she take us thru the process of creating a sugar bottle using DTC Sugar Bottle mold!

For today's project I chose to make a sugar bottle. Most cakes I see that have sugar bottles Incorporated in them have to do with beer coolers. I chose to make my sugar bottle into a Strawberry soda bottle. Paring it with a cake made to look like a pizza would make this a great cake for a teenage boys birthday. With changing the color of the bottle you could make the birthday boys favorite soda anything from Root Beer to Mountain Dew.

The supplies you will need are:

Sugar Bottle mold from DTC
Venaunce Pearls
Metal utensil ( to heat up to clean up edges of bottle )

The First thing I did was to place the Venaunce Pearls into the mold. The first half I did I placed all the pearls into the mold but learned that the neck of the bottle takes a little longer to melt and therefore the base of the bottle got to hot and the pearls started to burn. So for the second half I placed the color of the pearls I wanted the neck to be and melted those first.

About two 30 second heatings got me to the consistency I needed to place the rest of the pearls into the mold and have everything heat evenly.

Once all pearls are placed in mold continue to heat pearls at 30 second intervals so not to burn pearls. It was about another three 30 second heatings. Of course all microwaves vary so it may take more or less heatings depending on your wattage on your microwave.

Once the pearls were completely melted I tapped the mold to get the bubbles to come to the top and I used a knife to gently scrape them away. As the melted pearls cooled I gently tipped the mold back and forth to get an even coat all over the mold. This makes the bottle hallow and lighter. Make sure if you want the bottom to be closed that you tip the mold to get the melted pearls to coat the bottom of the mold too.

Place mold into the refrigerator to cool completely. I left mine in for about 30 minutes. Use your judgment and take mold out once it is completely cooled and hard to the touch. Remove from mold and set aside. If you want to make a full bottle repeat above steps to make 2nd half.

Once you remove mold from microwave and have tapped out air bubbles and tilted mold to make sure it is completely covered place 1st half of sugar bottle onto the second half while it is still melted and not set. This will fuse your two halves together. Place in refrigerator to completely set. Since it was harder to tell if bottle was completely set I left it in for a couple hours to make sure bottle was completely set.

Remove bottle from mold after it is set. If you would like to smooth out seems use a heated metal utensil to gently run across seam to melt it smooth. You can then decorate the bottle with edible images or gum paste labels. You can also get the bottle cap mold from DTC and make caps to decorate with.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Celebrate President's Day with Giant Money!

In honor of President's Day 2011, I thought I would share the step-by-step for creating giant chocolate coins! 

We currently have 3 sets of giant coins for the wheat penny, mercury dime and quarter.  The molds may be purchased as a set of front and back or each side individually. 

The coins are about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch think for the whole coin about 1/8 for each individual side.

For these coin, I used melted chocolate colored grey for the dimes and quarter; tan for the penny.

Placing the molds on a even surface, carefully dip a teaspoon of chocolate in to the mold.  Be sure to push the chocoalte into the side indentions to prevent air bubbles from forming.  The molds hold about 1.5 teaspoons of chocolate.  Gently tap the mold on the surface to remove any additional air bubbles.  Let stand to dry or put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden.

Once the chocolate has hardend, peel the side of the mold and gently push your thumb under the mold. Turn the mold over and continue to peel away the mold.  Clean the edges if needed with a sharp paring knife.

To make a two-sided coin, make the front and set aside.  Follow the directions for making the coin, let set for just a minute or two, then gently place the previously completed side on top of the just poured chocolate. Press down slightly.

Let the two-sided coin set-up or place in the freezer until set.  Follow the same procedure for removing the coin.  If there is any flashing or rough edges, smooth with paring knife.

I used old gold and nu silver to dust the penny and dime/quarter.  I like to use a sponge brush versue a paint brush for projects like this, the sponge tends to not waste as much dust as the brushes.  Dusting is pretty simple, just a coat on each side - Just be sure to really rub the dust into the chocolate.

Here's a final picture of the several coins that I made while trying out these molds.  Hope you enjoyed the information and the pictures --

Happy President's Day!


Friday, February 18, 2011

High Heel Tutorial

Sugar Shoes! What more could one want?  Well, how about a step-by-step tutorial and examples on how to create them for yourself?  Thanks to DTCPUG member and contributor, Mark Desgroseilliers, for this incredible post! 

Now where can I get these in a size 9?

I am very excited to be doing another tutorial for DTC!  This time around, I will be showing you all how to make a gumpaste high heel.  There are so many different types out there, I decided to so a sandal type shoe.  I hope you enjoy!
Gum paste
high heel mold
shoe former
rolling pin
exacto knife
stitching wheel
gum glue
plastic wrap
royal icing or melted white chocolate


Step One:
Roll gumpaste to approximately 1/8 inch thick. Use template to cut base of shoe. Set on former and allow to dry for several days. It is a good idea to trim down former if needed to match height of heel (I have suggested to Foamstudio that they develop various sizes to match DTC's various molds)

Step Two:
Soften paste with shortening and fill heel mold with gumpaste. Release from mold and rest on small piece of acetate or parchment. Allow to dry completely for several days rotating every other day to allow all sides to dry. Once completely dry, attach to sole with either melted white chocolate or royal icing (better if you have time to allow to dry). There may be a small gap at the back of the shoe where the heel is attached, just fill in and smooth with royal icing or chocolate.

 Step Three:
Now that the base is dry, use template to cut out the inner sole of the shoe. Use the stitching wheel to trace the outline of the inner sole and attach to base with some gum glue. (Note: If airbrushing your shoe as I have in this tutorial, leave this step for last)

Step Four:
Use template and cut out the upper part of the shoe. Use crumpled plastic wrap to make appropriate size supports for these parts. Attach using gum glue. Allow to dry completely. Remember you can attach wet gumpaste to dry paste with glue, but never dry glued to dry! For the shoe here, I used the toe strap as support. Once dried, I cut strips of thin paste, ruffled with a ball tool and layered for a frilly shoe top.

Step Five:
Decorate shoe to achieve your desired design. This may include but is not limited to luster dusts, glitter dusts, disco dusts, metallic highlighter, isomalt gems, airbrushing.....the possibilities are endless!

Tips & Tricks:

  1. Always make a few soles – as with any gumpaste pieces you should allow for breakage! I broke two soles while working on this project.
  2. To give your shoe a satin look, use a sponge paint brush and paint in long strokes with airbrush color. I use Lucks brand shimmer color for best results
  3. Get inspiration from fashion magazines, catalogues and online – the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
  4. Embellish your finished shoe using other molds from Decorate The Cake – they offer many brooch and jewel molds. They also offer various texture mats that could give a cool effect to the shoe tops!
  5. HAVE FUN!!!!


Heel molds, veining mats, jewel molds, etc.

Styrofoam Shoe Former

Airbrush Color

Shoe Template