Need Help With Candy Jewels!

Sugar Work By sugarMomma Updated 12 Dec 2009 , 5:23pm by -K8memphis

sugarMomma Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 21

After reading a lot of forum posts on the subject, and a lot of opinions on methods, I think I want to try to melted jolly rancher method. The best method seemed to be melting crushed candies in the oven in the jewel mold. Can this be done in the white hard candy molds? I don't own a silicone mold for this.

I have isomalt and hard candy mix on stand-by, but need multiple colors and pouring it into the little cavities seems nerve racking.

20 replies
DianeLM Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 21

The white plastic molds CANNOT go into the oven! However, I've never seen anyone mention trying the microwave for jewel-making. I wonder...

sugarMomma Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 21

Maybe that is an option...I didn't think plastic could go in the oven, but was hoping that maybe it could take a low temp...

Sparklekat6 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 5:17pm
post #4 of 21

Do you have enough time to order them?

sugarMomma Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 5:28pm
post #6 of 21

I wish I had enough time to order them, it would be a lot less stressful. I've even tried looking up candy shops in town for those candy ring pops or anything. This cake has me stumped...

My friend wants a cake to represent her love of treasure hunting/gem digging. She figured I could just make the jewels and put them in chocolate icing to lool like dirt...
I don't know how to keep the cake from looking like a big turd with candy sticking out of it.
I planned on making a gumpaste pick and trowel, but otherwise don't know how to make it look "cute". Her last birthday she wanted to represent her love of ice-climbing...that was a challenge to but I managed it. I wish she would start a hobby of flowers or butterflies or something easy...

DianeLM Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:09pm
post #7 of 21

Actually, pouring into the white molds isn't difficult. If you have a pan with a spout, that's even better.

I can get clear, beautiful gems from the plastic molds. However, from the silicone molds, my gems are always cloudy and lots of air bubbles.

Sparklekat6 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:16pm
post #8 of 21

Haha! It kind of sounds like a sit-com with all the random activities she wants you to turn into a cake.

How about you make a mountain looking cake with a cave and put cute flowers and bunnies and stuff outside and then make the cave lined with that rock-candy stuff, kinda like a geo (sp?). Rock candy should be fairly easy to come by and should stick to a fondant cave pretty easily?

sugarMomma Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:28pm
post #9 of 21

Thats a great idea, I thought about making a geode of some sort. She did specifically ask for rubies, emeralds and amethysts. And pearls...that's not hard but I asked her where she went digging for

Sparklekat6 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:43pm
post #10 of 21

Haha! It kind of makes you wonder how much of a "rock hound" she is. Now i feel like she is just putting you on to see what lengths you will go through for her birthday cake.

That being said, make your mountain by the sea! Hehe! You could always get those gem colors in rock candy. I just know from my rock-hounding grandma that you don't go out and find jewels laying around so it seems a bit counter intutitive to put a bunch of gems on a cake if you're really into actually searching for the gems (outside of jewelry stores that is).

Oh! Another cute addition, since it is called rock hounding, perhaps you could put a cute gumpaste puppy on the outside with a pick in his hands and a little hard hat with a light on it.

KHalstead Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:52pm
post #11 of 21

I think you're making it harder on yourself than it needs to be. She digs up gems right??? Well, they don't come out of the ground cut and polished, so why not just break up some jolly ranchers or rock candy or something and use that as is, in its rough form???? I would think that would be the look she was after. Now if she was expecting to pull up a treasure chest, then you want cut and polished! lol

TitiaM Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:20pm
post #12 of 21

I made an ice cave.... I just poured the sugar out onto a parchment lined pan and once it was set I broke it up into all sorts of shapes--it actually worked really well. Just color the sugar for whatever gems she wants. I think a light background would work better than the chocolate icing (maybe tan, or grey) I don't think they would show up well against the dark brown.

sugarMomma Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 9:33pm
post #13 of 21

I also thought about the fact that the gems would normally be in "rough" unpolished form, but she wants them to look like jewels, I guess to be recognizable for her guests? I think I may do both, kinda make it cartoonish. Gems are cut and polished in cartoons...

I did make the mistake of saying I like a good challenge, so every year she and her Navy Seal boyfriend put me to the test. At last years party he said he wanted a replica of the Natural Bridge in VA since they like going there. Glad they forgot about that one.
I really should post some of those challenging ones she has asked for if I can find which card they are on..

Sparklekat6 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 9:47pm
post #14 of 21

Haha, maybe you could have your own self produced cake challenge show!

sugarMomma Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 12:36am
post #15 of 21

definitely. At least where those two are concerned.

So for my first attempt I used a mix of sugar and Hi-Sweet, which is a corn syrup solid (powder) to replace liquid corn syrup for high humidity conditions. I live three blocks from the ocean and we just had that nasty Nor'easter storm so I thought it was a good idea. And so far so good!

I used white plastic hard candy mold lightly greased.
Melted 1/2 c. sugar with 1/4 c. Hi-Sweet and 1 oz. warm water in a 2 c. pyrex measuring cup.
Stirred thoroughly then popped in the microwave for 2-3 min until candy thermometer topped 290 degrees.
Waited til it stopped boiling and added gel color.
Poured very carefully into molds.
When cooled enough to touch but still pliable I pushed around or cut off the excess sugar that spilled over the cavities.
Not much bubbling or pitting!

Now what to do with those bags of Jolly Ranchers...

sugarMomma Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 2:26am
post #16 of 21

spoke too soon. the gems are already getting sticky. guess I will try isomalt tomorrow.

Jeannem Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 3:24am
post #17 of 21

OK-dumb question--why can you use them if they're a little sticky?? If they stay shiny, who's to know??

sugarMomma Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 4:37pm
post #18 of 21

The problem with the stickiness is that it is related to moisture and humidity. The longer they sat, the stickier they got to the point of melting. Combine that with the moisture on the cake, and it was all over. They started to melt on the cake and drip down the icing.

In the end, nothing worked for me, even the isomalt. I don't know what I am doing wrong so I guess I will just have to buy them next time. I would love to learn to do sugarwork though, so it is a little upsetting to me.

KHalstead Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:01pm
post #19 of 21

you know if you're making gems on a smaller scale (not highly detailed, like if you were to line the inside of a cave or something) just crushing the jollyranchers up a bit they look like chunks of gems!

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:15pm
post #20 of 21
Originally Posted by sugarMomma

I don't know how to keep the cake from looking like a big turd with candy sticking out of it.


I vote for big turd cake!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2009 , 5:23pm
post #21 of 21

Here's a tidbit for you--adding the color after the boiling adds moisture. If you boil after adding the coloring you cook out some of the moisture from the color. So adding the color after boiling is not plan A.

Another idea, what about making chocolate gems in a chocolate mold to get and keep the facets and then painting them with luster-y dusty gem colors.

And maybe use crushed oreos & graham crackers for dirt rather than icing.

Priceless thoughts for you. icon_biggrin.gif

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