Monday, 24 March 2014

Gelatine Fun!

The following post was created as a part of Masterchef series organised by Home Bakers Guild, an online FaceBook group, of which m a proud member. Enjoy!!

Gelatine Fun!
Hello lovely peeps, starting the Masterchef Monday Season 3 with a big hug to you all and here's to a new, exciting and super delish season!
Today I m not going to share any baking recipe......but rather sharing an accompaniment or a garnish to our baking..I m going to share a 'technique' to make your own edible cling foil/plastic wrap/ plastic bag ( remember my Lettuce Cake?).

After I posted my Lettuce cake on the guild and my page, many of you asked me how does it taste? Well let's just say it doesn't taste like anything but it won't detract from the taste of the cake either. But you can always use sprite or 7 up or any other clear drink to soak your gelatine, if you want it to taste better.
Second question was, how to store it? It's fairly easy to store, just stack the sheets you have made on top of each other with news paper cuttings between them. And it will keep for months, provided the weather is dry.
Third question was, how to make it ? is it easy to make? Heck yeah...super duper easy!! And about the 'how to make part', well that's what I m here for

But first a few disclaimers, I m using regular gelatine powder available in market. Never tried it with agar-agar, pectin, veg gelatine or any other setting agent. So don't know the ratios for the above mentioned products. Secondly, there are tons of videos and posts out there for gelatine decorations and I urge you all to do your research and go through some of them to arrive at the one recipe most suitable for you with your weather conditions and working environment. The following recipe is the one which worked for me in hot, humid Mumbai weather conditions. Thirdly, I take no credit for the idea as I was inspired by Imaginarium Cakes' Baby Spinach cake. After seeing her cake, I immediately set out to work, as I so desperately wanted to achieve that clear transparent plastic look ( most of you will be familiar with this itch we get when we HAVE to try out something when struck by an idea). Since then, Imaginarium Cakes have also posted a video on youtube sharing her technique. Please check it out guys as that woman is brilliant. However, the following is the way I do it and I am so excited to share it with you guys.

One more thing, While gelatin plastic is easy and open-ended, one aspect which is not as flexible is the drying time. Plan on giving the gelatin plastic at least 8 hours or overnight to completely harden before using it in cake decorating projects. If not completely hardened, it can warp and melt, which we are pretty sure is not the look you’re going for.

Ok here's what you will need
a) 30 grams or 2 tablespoons gelatine
b) 150 ml water ( you can use sprite/7up) , room temperature
c) OHP sheets/ Acrylic sheets with 2 or 3 mm thickness/ or any other board with non stick surface
d) Scissors

Take the gelatin and put it in a bowl with water. Give it enough time to soak up the water completely, about five minutes. This step is called 'blooming'. Remember to use cold room temperature water and not warm or hot water.

After that’s done, put it in the microwave for about thirty to forty five seconds. Gelatin melts at really low temperatures, so that’s all you’ll need to liquify it. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. If there is a layer of scum or foam floating around the surface, just spoon it out. Once cooler, it should look clear, even though a little yellowish in colour. That's ok. It won't matter once the gelatine is set and dried out.

Pour the mixture onto the non stick sheet or board. Pick the sheet and Spread it gently with a back and forth movement to both ensure even coverage and to discourage bubbles. A few tiny bubbles are inevitable, but try to break up cloudy patches or bubble clusters. Don’t fuss with it too much, as the gelatin will begin to set quite rapidly. I have posted a few clicks of me doing the back and forth thingy.

I am using a 2 mm thick acrylic sheet. Notice how I have marked out the approximate size of the plastic sheet I m aiming for. It will serve as a guide to spread my gelatine.

Now you wait. It will begin to harden up pretty quickly, but it takes about 8 hours to fully dry. You’ll know it’s dry because you’ll hear it popping off the board. Now that it’s all dry (and weirdly plastic like), slowly pull it off the board. It’s amazingly strong, so you don’t have to worry too much about ripping or cracking it.

Take out a pair of clean scissors (you could even use fancy craft scissors) and clean up the edges so it’s a nice rectangle. (See the pic).

Now it's time to play . You can use this sheet to make a goodie bag, like I have made mine. Just take a rectangular sheet and stick the ends together by some melted (leftover) gelatine to make a bag. Although I won't advice making the bags in a humid/rainy weather as the gelatine will stick to your fingers if you have sweaty hands....believe me wise words come through experience.

Or wrap around a food based cake, like a pretend cling foil.

Or make some gelatine flowers. Here I have made a ranunculus.

Or once melted, add any food grade colour to gelatine and make nice bows by cutting the rectangular sheet into strips.

Or make your own sparkles to sprinkle upon cupcakes or cakes by using the leftover or crumpled gelatine sheet.

Or you can just pour the melted gelatine in any of your chocolate moulds to make a nice cake topper. Like this glass slipper I made. The ratio of gelatine to water is 1:2 here. One part gelatine and two parts water.

The possibilities are endless, just let your imagination run wild.

A big thank you to KP for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share a few tips and tricks. I hope you all give it a try and don't forget to post your creations so that we all can appreciate your work. Go on now, have fun playing with gelatine!

link to the you tube video by Imaginarium's Cakes showing how she made her gelatine bag.

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