Hard candy monograms - how?
- LaureltQ Jun 8, 2011 01:37 PM
My husband's brother is getting married, and the night before the wedding, their mother is doing a rehearsal dinner type thing at her house, but more of a work party to assemble the centerpieces. I have been asked to provide cupcakes for the event. I'd like to jazz them up a bit by making a candy monogram to stick into the frosting of the cakes. The flavors will probably be lemon and peach (wedding colors) so I thought that doing a clear hard-crack candy "C" monogram would be great. Jolly Ranchers could be a great option, as I could even get the "right" flavors, but I'm just not sure how to execute this. Obviously a melted hard candy will be HOT and hard to work with. I am comfortable making candy myself if this is a more viable option, but I thought that if it's less work, and flavored, I'd rather do the Jolly Ranchers.
Is there anything I could use to pipe or otherwise dispense hot candy syrup in a controlled fashion?
And if you're not committed to hard candy Haribo makes gummy alphabet letters (but you'd have to buy in random bulk to get the right ones -- or make them yourself).
Same shop that ferret posted, but a different section:
You can't do hard candies in chocolate molds, but you can do chocolates or pressed sugar. They already have the spike to go in the cupcakes!
I've been having a lot of fun working with pressed sugar lately, which makes a candy-like product and requires no heat. Add a little lorann oil flavoring and you can get some actually very tasty treats! (My favorite so far is lemonade--with a boost of King Arthur's lemon powder. My 7 year old's favorite is cotton candy). Add a little disco dust after they're dry, and they look great, too.
I haven't been able to find scrolly enough molds, their wedding will be very formal and I know they are trying to pull off a very sophisticated vibe, so I was trying to keep the cupcakes from looking at all block-lettery.
If I'm not able to pull off an effective way to do something with hard candy, I'll probably flavor some of those weird "melting chips" that seem somewhat like fake white chocolate, and pipe it onto a silpat or parchment paper.
You could pipe royal icing onto parchment, even over a template you could see through the paper. If you ice them flat or fondant the tops, you could just place a monogram on top. We do this at the bakery I work at. You can add flavor to the royal icing, or leave it simple. I think you'd get a more consistent monogram tracing with royal onto parchment.
I think a dark chocolate would be elegant. Find the font you want on the computer, fill a page at the size you want. Place sheet under a transparency (tape because it will move) and you can trace and pipe. If you want the monogram to be completely flat, put the sheet with the letters on it upside down under the transparency. When cool, remove, flip over. It's an easy way to get elegant uniform letters. If you want white, use white chocolate.
I would definitely do something with pastillage. I don't know if you've ever used it or know what it is, so I'll just be brief about it. Essentially it is a sugar "dough". You can roll it out, press it into molds, whatever - then let it air dry and it becomes hard. A quick google search will help if you aren't familiar with it.
But you could either
1) roll it out and cut out monograms from the pastillage
2) roll it out and cut out discs to pipe a monogram onto with chocolate/colored royal icing/etc
3) buy some molds to make a pastillage decoration (e.g. leaf, shell, whatever) and pipe a simple initial onto that
Lots of options, can be done ahead and then just placed on the cupcakes the day of, and you can buy prepared pastillage (at any cake decorating store) so you don't have to make it yourself.
I was finally able to make it to the store to get Jolly Ranchers to experiment. I have these tiny little silicone prep bowls that I got as a gift and have no use for, so I tried melting a couple in one, and was able to cool it to a consistency where it would pour OK. It's not QUITE as controllable as I'd like, but I was able to get some nice "C"s so I think I can make it work if I can get the right flavor of Jolly Ranchers to get nice colors. :)