Problems With Homemade Piping Gel

Baking By kamikasee Updated 17 Oct 2010 , 5:34pm by kansaslaura

kamikasee Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 1:33am
post #1 of 5

Hi, I've been trying to make piping gel using this recipe:

2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups light Karo syrup, or light corn syrup

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small saucepan and let set for about 5 minutes. Heat on low until the gelatin has become clear/dissolved - DO NOT BOIL. Add the syrup and heat thoroughly. Cool and store, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.
I've found this recipe in several different places online, but when I try to use it, it seems like 2 TBSP of water is not nearly enough to dissolve the gelatin. After sprinkling the gelatin over the water, the water is completely absorbed. I end up with a few clumps topped with undissolved (completely dry) gelatin. I tried to forge boldly ahead and just add the syrup, but I end up with few clumps of gelatin in the syrup, and the rest is very thin, about the same as the syrup.

I suppose I could just go buy some piping gel (may have to, if this keeps not working), but I like the idea of making my own ingredients, and knowing what goes in to my cakes. I was wondering it anyone had successfully used this recipe, or had any other suggestions.


PS I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I was planning to use the piping gel to stabilize some whipped cream and also to firm up some buttercream for decorating.

4 replies
Cakegirl313 Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 3:46am
post #2 of 5

Have your tried melting it in the microwave after you let the gelatin bloom? I use the gelatine when making my fondant and I just use a big enough bowl that it make the water spread more so you have more surface area and then after the two minutes you just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt and this will give you the nice liquid state to add the syrup too. I hope this help out.

kamikasee Posted 14 Oct 2010 , 8:10pm
post #3 of 5

Thanks for the advice about the microwaving the gelatin. It worked like a charm icon_smile.gif

In the end, I decided to double the amount of water in the recipe. I realized that the gelatin was not all blooming and that the unbloomed gelatin was getting ruined by the heating process.

I put 2 Tbsp of water in a bowl and sprinkled one packet of gelatin over it. I did this twice (two bowls) and microwaved them both for about 40 s at half power. Then I poured them into a saucepan and added the Karo syrup. I heated the mixture through (until the gelatin was completely dissolved) and then cooled it. Since it takes 2 cups (a whole bottle) of Karo syrup, I washed out the bottle and poured the cooled gel in to store it. The opening is too wide for writing, but works well for dispensing into a cone or mixing bowl.

I've never bought commercial piping gel, so I'm not sure how this compares (as far as thickness), but it was perfect for my needs. I added 2 TBSP to whipped cream to stabilize it and it has (so far) remained nice and firm. Adding some to stiff Wilton Buttercream ( -- made with all crisco -- made a smooth icing perfect for flowers and decorating.

Thanks again for the tip, it made all the difference!

Cakegirl313 Posted 17 Oct 2010 , 5:06pm
post #4 of 5

I am so glad I was able to help out. Sounds like you got just what you needed. I may need to try making this one. I try to make everything from scratch. One more thing for me to try out. icon_biggrin.gif

kansaslaura Posted 17 Oct 2010 , 5:34pm
post #5 of 5

I"m glad I found this thread. I made some homemade gel the other day and had the same clumpy problem. And.. it did not thicken like the commercial gel. It worked ok for my cake, as I was mixing it with buttercream for a water fall effect on a cake, but as far as standing alone as a piping gel, it never would have. I'll try the microwave method next time.

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