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Sugar "glass" for camera cake! ... HELP!!!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi! I just discovered CC and let me tell you: I should have read that warning about this website being highly addictive! I have spent 2 days glued to my computer, researching all kind of topics for my upcoming creation: a camera cake.

I'm making this cake for a photographer, and the cake top will have a replica of his digital camera with some giant zoom lens attached to it. I'm using fondant to cover the carved cake.

I want to make the lens as realistic as possible; and I was thinking that maybe there is a way to create "sugar glass" for the actual lens. I have seen decorations of caramelized sugar that look like broken glass, but I need to have control of the shape as I need a perfect circle! And then, when the caramelized sugar solidifies, how do I prevent it from cracking? Seems to me that it is such a fragile item!

I don't want to use piping gel or anything that looks "liquidy-like". I would like to have something solid but clear, and that's why I thought about caramelized sugar...

Any ideas, suggestions or tips on how to achieve this "glass" effect our of sugar???

TIA!
post #2 of 28
Poured sugar is what you want. You can coat the inside of a round cutter and place that on a Silpat also very, very lighted coated with oil and pour! The ring will be removable when the sugar has cooled. Also Isoalt works better than sugar. And you don't want carmelized sugar, as that will be opaque. Stop well before you reach the carmelization stage.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #3 of 28
Welcome! Isomalt could do the trick, so would clear poured sugar. Heat sugar, water and corn syrup to hard crack stage and then I would use an appropriately sized round metal cutter as the mold. Just make sure you grease it with kitchen spray.
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post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
WOW! You guys are quick! thumbs_up.gif

I'm not familiar with Isomalt (but Google is my friend). Is it available at regular stores in the US such as WalMart and Michael's? I don't think I have enough time to order it online.

In which case, I probably will go with Option B: POURED Sugar icon_redface.gif (thanks for clarifying the term Leah)...

Do you have exact measures for that recipe?
post #5 of 28
OK I am going to go out on a limb but why not use gelatin? Check out this thread and you will see where someone actually made a cellophane bag our of gelatin that looked great.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=630413&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=285

HTH
post #6 of 28
Using sugar I like the recipe on Lorann Oils .com which uses corn syrup. And I also like the Jacques Torres one on Food Network .com which uses vinegar.

I think something with this simple of a design, the cooked sugars would be ok.

If you add color add it while it's still boiling because otherwise it will be sticky.

To get it to release easy put a piece of parchment under your silpat. Otherwise the silpat adheres to the surface of the table and the piece cracks easy.

You'll maybe want to have a blow torch handy
(my favorite part!! bwsshhhoooowh)
so you can pour the sugar into the mold and torch it to remove air bubbles.
bwsshhhoooowh bwsshhhoooowh bwsshhhoooowh

Also you get the least air bubbles when pouring your stuff out onto vinyl.

Sugar thoughts for you.
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post #7 of 28
you dont have to use a silpat if you don't have one. You can use really anything round that wont melt. I used a square Tupperware container lightly oiled with cooking spray, it worked and it didn't melt! lol
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody!

@ Parable: Those gelatin decorations are amazing! But I'm concern about the texture I'll get and if it will be kinda soft. I really need to have something as solid as glass, in which case, I'll stick to the sugar (had no luck finding Isomalt @ the local store)

@ K8: Loved your "sound effects" when using the blow torch!!! icon_lol.gif As exciting as it sounds, I'll pass on that one only because I don't have access to that toy (Christmas is coming, right???)

Thanks for the tip on adding the color. Maybe I'll use a hint of blue on it, even though I don't think it will make a difference as it will have black on the background. Oh well! Maybe the lens will fall off as soon as they cut the cake and everybody will admire the magnificence of my experiment... LOL

@ JustBeck: You are brave! That sugar thing gets freaking HOT! I don't dare pouring it into some tupperware container. Plus the shape of the original lens actually has a little bit of a curve and tomorrow I'll experiment with a mini plate that I have for serving dipping olive oil with herbs!

***

Thanks for all the great advice and links!!! thumbs_up.gif
As I make progress on this project, I'll post a couple of pics.

I'm short on time this week and I'm concerned because I want to make the camera and lens ahead, BUT I can't get started too early as the cake will be super old by Sunday. Since it's covered with fondant, I can't stick it in the fridge either, so, I'm outta luck there.

And, to make things more exciting, I must travel with my sugary camera and lens as carry on and finish the cake in Buffalo, NY (I live in Atlanta, GA) ... So, this is going to be interesting, but I'm excited about the challenge.

Again, thanks for all your help and advice!
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by solcito_the_cake_maker

Thanks everybody!



@ JustBeck: You are brave! That sugar thing gets freaking HOT! I don't dare pouring it into some tupperware container. Plus the shape of the original lens actually has a little bit of a curve and tomorrow I'll experiment with a mini plate that I have for serving dipping olive oil with herbs!

***
.


Again, thanks for all your help and advice!



Ya, I set it in the sink just in case!!!! lol

The reason I poured it in the tupperware was because I made too much and didn't want it to harden in my pan cause it is a pain to get out. So I poured it in the tupperware thinking i could just throw it away if it ruined it.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Gotcha, JustBeck! Now everything makes sense!

Anyways, I'm glad to report that my sweet experiment was a complete success... icon_biggrin.gif

OK, maybe 1/3 of it went wrong but I fixed it on my second batch.

On my 1st try, temperature went up to 350. I was so focused on my thermometer that didn't even notice that the liquid was starting to caramelize!!! Nothing saved me from losing that one, but I poured it anyways on my "super mold", just to give it a try.

Then I had lots of fun cleaning the pot. (Thank goodness sugar is water soluble!@!@! It just takes a lot of time and boiling water to clean the sticky mess!)


So, on Take Two, I took things easier. Let it boil at lower setting (I did not use the microwave method, just a plain old aluminum pan) and kept an eye on the temperature. It went up to 275 and I was too chicken to see what would happen if I went higher... I poured half the mixture on a second mold and went back to the stove with the leftover sugar... This time I added a little bit of blue food coloring, warmed it up some more and then poured my 3rd mold... Let them sit for about an hour, et voilá!

Now I have 3 beautiful "sugar lenses" ready to go! Of course, one of them tastes like burned caramel (I'll discard it) but I also have a crystal clear one and a pretty blue one too to play with! icon_smile.gif

I couldn't have done this without you guys, so... THANKS AGAIN

I'll post a pic of my infamous cake next week. icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 28
Yay! Be careful that they might cloud some, so since you're so good at it now, you might get to do it again.
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post #12 of 28
Alright! I am so happy for you!
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well, I may have to go for round 3 on this.
The lenses have been sitting on my counter for 2 days now, and the surface is now sticky!

I don't mind doing another lens, but now I wonder: is there a way to prevent sticky fingers on the candy?
Could I just stick them under some running water just to "polish" them? (The other option is to lick them! lick them! lick them! LOL... My dog has raised her paw as a volunteer and I loved chewing the left over drops of melted sugar on my counter... icon_lol.gif
post #14 of 28
Yeah it breaks down--it's not like modeling with sugar pastes huh.

Lick maybe--your puppy is such a friend indeed to volunteer like/lick that. Blow torch or microwave will maybe stiffen it or possibly distort it but sugar's a last minute detail, can't really be made in advance too much.

I mean how does it look? If it's only sticky that's not so bad--just grab it on the sides with plastic gloves.

But practice on this one that's going south--blow torches are only like fifteen dollars-ish which totally is a lot of money but I mean it's not like an air brush amount of money either.

What about fondanting it? to make the frame that surrounds the lens? wonder if that would help? and some lense frames have all the little markings & stuff. I mean that would give you a 'handle'.
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post #15 of 28
Well wait though--if you can keep it sealed from humidity--like if you have y'know the little packs of stuff like so many little salt packets that they pack in purses n stuff~~but it's to keep things from getting too moist--umm can't think of the name of it~~that's another idea. Silicone?
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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