Saturday, November 12, 2011

Candy Clay

As a freelance writer, I write about about a wide variety topics from modern and alternative medicine to tenant and custody laws, from botany and zoology to wedding planning and children's crafts. And of course I also write about food and cooking. It was through a work assignment that I discovered candy clay. Once I finished writing my article, I couldn't wait to make some of my own to play with. I first used it to decorate Eric's 25th birthday cake.

Stawberry cake with cream cheese filling and chocolate frosting. 
Candy clay comes from Wilton Candy Melts, available at most grocery stores. They come in different flavors and colors. You can also change the color of white candy melts by kneading in coloring gel.

14 ounce bag of candy melts
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Microwave the candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl for one minute at 40% power or the defrost setting. Stir well. Continue to microwave the candy at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the corn syrup to the melts and stir until blended. Transfer the mixture onto waxed paper and let it dry at room temperature. Next, wrap it up and store at room temperature. Let the candy clay harden overnight.

The candy clay is going to be very hard when you go to use it. Knead a small section at a time until the clay is manageable. If your candy clay becomes too soft, set it aside to harden or put it into the refrigerate for a short time.

Store any unused candy clay in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for several weeks.

Candy Clay Ideas:
Candy Clay Rose
I made candy clay roses to decorate Eric's birthday cake. They are actually quite simple to make. 

Once your clay is pliable, make the base of your rose by taking a ball of candy clay with a ¾ inch diameter and shape it into a cone that stands 1½ inches tall. Create a second ball of candy clay with a 3/8 inch diameter and flatten it into a round petal with a thickness of ¼ inch. Make a total of four petals of this size. Wrap the first petal around the tip of the cone to form the bud of the rose. Wrap the next three petals around the cone. Carefully pinch the top edge of all four petals so they curve away from the cone. Make five balls that are slightly larger than the previous ones and turn them into five slightly larger petals. Using your finger, thin the edge of each petal and form them into a cupping shape. Attach the petals beneath your first row of petals. For a fuller rose, continue to make and attach additional petals.
Candy Clay Leaf
Add candy clay leaves to your candy clay roses. Create a 3/8 inch candy clay ball then mold it into a teardrop shape and flatten it to make a leaf shape. Now you have two options. Use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to draw leaf veins into the candy clay or use a real lemon, grape or rose leaf to imprint the leaf veins onto the clay. Make sure your real leaf is clean and dry.
Candy Clay Basket
 Eric just about thought he had died and gone to heaven when I told him that next year he'd get an edible Easter basket filled with treats.

You will need a 6 inch round pan, 12 3-inch lollipop sticks, waxed paper, two 14 ounces bags of candy melts and one batch of prepared candy clay. Melt your unprepared candy melts, dip the lollipop sticks into the candy, place them on waxed paper, and store them in the refrigerate until they set. Pour the remaining melted candy into your 6 inch pan so you have a depth of ¼ inch. Insert the lollipop sticks into the candy so they are evenly dispersed around the circumference. Place the pan in your refrigerate and allow the melted candy to harden. Remove from pan.

Next, roll out your prepared candy clay into five ropes, 24 inches in length and ½ inch in diameter. Weave your first rope in and out of the lollipop sticks, starting at the base of the basket. Connect the ends of the rope when they meet. Continue to weave the remaining ropes through the sticks, one on top of another. Leave ¼ inch of the stick exposed at the top of the basket. Create a rim for your basket by rolling out two more ropes and loosely twisting them together. Place the twisted rope on top of the basket, gently pressing it into the tops of the sticks. Use melted candy melts to secure the rim if it feels loose.

Once you’ve made your basket, fill it with all kinds of goodies.

Candy Clay Cut-Outs
I haven't done any candy clay cut-outs yet, though I'm thinking I might do some to decorate Christmas cookies this year.

Sprinkle your work surface with cornstarch (for white chocolate) or cocoa (for chocolate) to prevent sticking. Roll the clay out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

For even more candy clay ideas, visit Wilton's website.



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