Saturday, October 30, 2010

Glowing sugar for a special order

I asked Ben what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, and I swear he had to have been saving this up.  The order: A boy, trick-or-treating in a ghost costume, with glowing red eyes and a candy bag next to him that was as tall as he was.  Oh, and a number six coming out of the bag.

I immediately wanted to point out that glowing red eyes changed the boy to something sinister, but the customer is always right.  Especially for his birthday.  

I made a chocolate bag to put next to the ghost-boy-creature first, then made a batch of poured sugar with this recipe for the glowing eyes.

I found some little battery-operated LED lights in the wedding section at Michaels (at the second Michaels I went to, so if you go looking for these, they may not have them at every store).

When I pulled the sugar off the stove, I added the red coloring and poured it into this silicone mold.  Then I waited.  I was nervous about plunging those plastic covered lights into 300 degree pool, but at some point I knew the sugar would be less forgiving and I wouldn't be able to get them in there.  I poured six molds in the hope of ending up with two that worked. 

As they cooled, all six of them flickered and went out at one point or another.  But eventually, they all came back on.  (Side note:  those lights boast a glow for eight hours. I put the remaining eyes aside to see how long they would last.  One week later, they were still glowing!)

I made the ghost with two six inch cakes and one half of the ball pan, covered in fondant.  I added the sugar eyes (first I covered the back of each eye with a little ball of fondant to keep the plastic materials out of the cake) the chocolate bag, and finally, the number six candle.

Generally, when I make cakes, I bake them the night before I need them and put them in the fridge overnight to help with stability.  I didn't do this with the ghost cake.  I was unwilling to put the cake in there with a red-onion-filled salad.  A thick coat of saran wrap is no match for onions, and I decided to do a flash freeze the next morning instead...but never got around to it.  So after I got it all assembled, the weight of the fondant started to make the ghost-boy a little...fatter.  And fatter.  I'm going to blame it on all of the Halloween candy the kid-ghost would have ingested. 

Ben was happy, so I was happy!

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