Hello, I'm planning to make a round disc of gelatin to be used as the lens on a camera cake. I've got sachets of powder and have never made it before. Could you please give me any advice as to how to make it and treat it - a few questions...
1. Is it better to shape it into a circle before or after it sets?
2. Fridge or at room temp - which is best?
3. When/how do I stick it to the cake - I don't want any softening/melting issues!
Thank you very much!
AI haven't used gelatin on a cake like this but I can answer a couple of your questions. 1. It's probably easiest to set the gelatin in a thin layer on a tray and then cut the size disc you want with a cutter. 2. Keep it in the fridge, it will soften and may even melt at room temperature. If you don't want to put the cake in the fridge, you may be better to use agar, as it sets at room temp. Agar is a vegetarian jelly, based on seaweed I think. In Australia you can get it easily in Asian grocery stores, it's very popular through Asia in desserts. 3. I don't know how the gelatin will behave on a cake. I've seen swimming pool cake instructions that use jelly (gelatin, sorry!) to be the water, and they just throw it on fondant or buttercream. You could use a light brush of water to stick it on, but I'm not offering any guarantees.
Hopefully someone has actually tried this and can give you better advice!
My recommendation is to use isomalt instead of jello. Isomalt will cool and harden like glass, will be easier to handle and may give you the look you are seeking.
I straight away thought Isomalt, like gscout73, you can buy it these days in sticks that you just have to melt. It would look like a glass lense and the gelatine would only have to reach a certain temp and would start melting and softening, not a good look.
Thanks everyone, Isomalt is out of my budget as I have no other use for it at the moment, but I'm going to do some more searches and probably experiment with the gelatin on some fondant (cake's not for a couple of weeks) and let you know what I find out! Any other ideas appreciated :)
AI tend to buy small packs of isomalt sticks as I don't use them all that often. I did a quick google search, there's lots of places in the UK you can buy a 10 pack of sticks for under 10 pounds, you wouldn't even need a whole pack, and the sticks are just melt and mould, so easy. It would be so much lower stress and a better result than the gelatin, believe me.
Thank you, I will keep it in mind. First I'm going to try making the gelatin thicker than usual and see what happens :)
Edible, I asked the people on a thread I frequent about melting candy to get a glass effect, and apparently you can use fox glacier mints. I was kindly given this link by a lovely lady called Mel http://baking-beautiful.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/experiments-in-foxs-glacier-mints.html.
I am also looking for an alternative for isomalt, mainly because I didn't give myself enough time to order some. In the meantime, for a personal cake, I'll give fox mints a try. If you do try it, hope you get the result you need!
Oh yes, I've read that somewhere, can't believe I didn't think of it! Thank you, that shall be my Plan B!
AYou can make edible lace. If you want to I can look up the recipe. It's basically gelatin and water and I think some CMC (?) which gets mixed, soften, heated and then spread very thin on a smooth surface like a tile after it dried (at room temperature, actually I put mine out in the sun to speed up the process), it can be peeled off. It's thin like paper, firm and can be cut ✂ into any shape. I use it for fairy wings...
AI've made many items with gelatin but it always shrinks and crinkles up. If ou don't want to use isomalt, then why don't you melt a clear type of candy like a Jolly Rancher inside of a cookie cutter on a slip at. That should give you the look of a lense.
That sounds good Julia, is it also clear? Does the CMC dissolve into it and I'm asking a silly question? Thank you :)
Cookie4 can I ask, does it crinkle of its own accord or does handling it make that happen? Thanks!
Edible Art Co: As the gelatin dries (which is very quickly at first) it contracts itself from the edges. By the time it dries overnight it very brittle and sometimes bows up. When I cut strips for my bows I usually don't use the outer edges because they are very jagged. If you look at my blue bow cake you can see a texture from a Silpat but it's very irregular. I have a love/hate relationship with gelatin. I love it for butterflies and used it on my daughter's wedding cake. Bows are pretty and can endure high temperatures in the summer, are edible and flexible but not great for everything.
Oh yeah - forgot to mention that you can flavor the gelatin. When I taught a class using this I used some jello powder like Blue Raspberry and my students loved the idea.
AOkay, here's the recipe: Dissolve 2 tbsp of gelatin in 5 tbsp of water, rest 5 mins or until gelatin is soft, microwave in 10 secs intervals on high until gelatin is dissolved/liquid. Strain (optional) and spread on a clean tile or a super smooth plastic board, to about 1/8" thickness. It'll shrink considerably! I would say almost half in size. After about 4-12hrs (very depending on where you live) it's ready and you can carefully peel it off. Yes, the outer edges are jagged as somebody said already. But you'll end up with a super thin, transparent piece of edible lace that has the stiffness of a transparent film sleeve and can be cut into any shape with scissors.
Update: the gelatin has turned out really well, staying solid at room temp overnight (must be cool enough for it here). Only teeny problem is... I can't get it to stick to the icing Does anyone have a suggestion? Edible glue and water do nothing, it just slides right off! Help!
A little bit of buttercream or royal icing might work.
I'll try it, but was hoping to use something clear as it's meant to be a camera lense...
I've made many items with gelatin but it always shrinks and crinkles up. If ou don't want to use isomalt, then why don't you melt a clear type of candy like a Jolly Rancher inside of a cookie cutter on a slip at. That should give you the look of a lense.
This ^ ! Hard candies make beautiful stained glass cookies, why not camera lenses, plus it will taste good. Just gotta find the lightest color you can get your hands on.
Ok, mint shopping I go! Thank for all your suggestions, I will post a pic when it's done
AYour camera is exquisite! The finish, the details, the scale... fantastic job!
AWOW!!! Fantastic job, that's amazing.
Thank you so much! I've never had a cake be called exquisite before :D