Thursday, May 15, 2014

Make Your Own Gelatin for Molds

I have used a commercial gelatin product to fill my bead molds. It was excellent and very easy to use. I needed to re-order the product for a cake I was making and the company was out of all of the colors. Their product was on back-order, but that did not help me because I needed the product immediately. I researched the internet for a recipe and found several. I made the different recipes of gelatin, but did not have very good results. The beads I would make looked fine at first, but would dry out and shrink up. I was not able to use any of the recipes I had found. I started experimenting and developed this recipe. It is very easy to make and very economical.

Here are a few cakes showing what can be done using the gelatin and a mold.

The gold bead work on this cake was made with the gelatin. I added a little gold color to the gelatin and then dusted the finished beads with a gold highlighter.
The red border was made using a border mold and the gelatin was colored a dark red.

The yellow top and bottom borders are a "smiley face" border. The gelatin was colored a bright yellow. 
The pink bead borders made using a pink colored gelatin.
You can use any mold you have. The flexible molds work the best, but even a solid hard mold would work. It just may be a bit harder to remove the gelatin once it has set.
It is easy to make this product and this recipe will make 3 pounds of product. I store my extra in a zip lock baggie in the freezer. It will last a very long time and can be used immediately out of the freezer.
I suggest you use the Great Lakes Beef Gelatin. If you use the Pig Gelatin it will have a very bad odor! It also makes a tall foam when cooked. So, buy the Beef Gelatin. I do find the Great Lakes brand works the best, but you can use the Knox brand. It is important to weigh the gelatin. It must be the exact amount. Use very cold water and regular sugar. Use glucose, not corn syrup. I get the 8 ounce containers so I don't have to worry about measuring it. If you cannot get all of the glucose out of the container, put the container in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm up the remaining glucose. It will pour out of the container.

Your ingredients

6 ounces of gelatin
Add to 2 1/4 cups of very cold water in a large sauce pan.
mix well
Let this sit for 5 - 10 minutes so the gelatin can "bloom",
this will be very thick.
Cook on a medium heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
When the gelatin is completely dissolved, add the sugar and mix well.
Add the glucose and continue stirring the product.
Add your flavoring.
Add 3/4 cups of glycerin and continue stirring.
Cook the product for about 10 minutes, be careful to not over-heat the gelatin.
Let the finished product rest in the sauce pan until it firms up, or you can speed up this process by putting the sauce pan in the refrigerator or freezer. When the product is firm, lightly score around the top edge.
You can now pull the harden piece of gelatin out of the sauce pan.
Cut the gelatin into 4 sections. A pair of large scissors will work.
Cut thin strips of the gelatin, and then cut the foam off the top.
Cut the gelatin into small pieces and store it in an air tight container. Zip lock baggies work great for storing the extra gelatin.
Put the amount you will need into a small container and melt in the microwave. Usually 20-30 seconds will work. Do not over heat the gelatin, it just needs to be liquid.
you can add any color you want. The liquid gel colors work the best. If you want  solid color, start with a white base. Then add the other color you would like. If you want a more translucent color, just add the color you want.
The gelatin on the left had red color added, the gelatin on the right had white color added first. Then the red was added. The gelatin ion the left would be translucent and the gelatin on the right is opaque.
Use a syringe to suck up the gelatin from the bowl. You can find large syringes at a farm animal supply store.
Carefully squeeze the gelatin out of the syringe and into the mold. When you are finished put the mold into the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up. It will be very easy to release the gelatin from the mold. Be sure to immediately empty the excess gelatin from the syringe and wash it out. Otherwise, it will harden in the syringe and be difficult to clean.
You can dust your beads with any type of luster dust for a very pretty effect.
 Store your finished beads on a cake board and cover with Saran Wrap. I usually store all of my pre-made pieces in the freezer until I am ready to use them. This product will dry out and shrink a bit, but if stored properly, the pieces will be fine for a few days on the cake.