Do you remember my gingerbread gym? Here are a couple pictures of it if you forgot:
Well, I finally said farewell to it this week and escorted it to the big dumpster in the sky…I mean backyard. It’s always a little sad getting rid of the annual gingerbread house but it also ignites new ideas in my brain for next year’s entry. I’m already starting to look forward to next year’s competition.
Goodbye Ginger Gym
Before I completely lay the Ginger Gym to rest, though, I wanted to share with you one of the techniques I used when creating it. Gym walls are always covered in mirrors so I knew I would have to place some mirrors on the wall of my gym.
The problem is that everything has to be edible. Making an edible mirror was something I had never done before. I tried searching for ideas online but I couldn’t find much. I then talked to another cake friend who gave me some suggestions. After messing around with her suggestions and tweaking them a bit, this is what I came up with.
I wanted to share it since there isn’t much out there for ideas on making edible mirrors. Of course, it doesn’t really have the same kind of reflection qualities of a real mirror but it gives the look of a mirror and has a slight reflection to it, as you can see in this picture.
Here is what I did.
The supplies I used were black fondant, Tylose Powder, a rolling pin with thin guides, silver luster dust, vodka, a flat paintbrush, a metal cutter (don’t use plastic), and clear isomalt. I ended up using about 3 1/2 sticks for my mirror (and probably should have used a little more), although there are only 2 in the picture.
If you aren’t using gumpaste, knead some Tylose into the black fondant. I don’t ever measure it, I just use the shaker on top of the bottle and sprinkle some into the fondant then knead it through. Using the rolling pin with thin guides, roll out the fondant, making sure it is large enough for your cutter.
Take your cutter and cut out the mirror shape. (This is a cutter I made specifically for my gingerbread house using a cookie cutter making kit. You can use any metal cutter. Don’t use a plastic cutter though, because later you will be pouring boiling isomalt into it and you don’t want it to melt.)
Now place the mirror on a piece of parchment paper and set it on a cooling rack to allow to dry. I let mine dry overnight.
Mix some luster dust with a small amount of vodka to make an edible paint and then use your paint brush to cover the mirror in silver. Use long sweeping strokes to prevent brush marks. Allow to dry then paint a second coat. Allow to dry again.
Place the mirror on a clean piece of parchment paper. Rub a small amount of shortening on the inside of the cutter and place it back around the mirror.
Break up the isomalt sticks and place them in a heavy duty glass measuring cup. Heat them in the microwave until completely melted. (If you are using isomalt granules, follow the instructions on the bag for melting.)
Allow the isomalt to sit for a couple of minutes until almost all of the bubbles have gone away. Here is how it looks as the bubbles disappear.
Carefully pour the isomalt into the cutter, completely covering the mirror. Isomalt is very hot and can cause terrible burns so be sure to wear protective gloves when working with it. You can get thinner gloves that are easier to move in but I just quickly grabbed my silicone oven mitt for this example.
I have to say that I wasn’t real happy with the way this mirror turned out for this tutorial. This isn’t the same mirror I used in my gingerbread project, I was just trying to recreate it for this tutorial. I think I used about 3 1/2 sticks of isomalt but I should have used more because the stream of isomalt got too thin about half way through pouring and it caused some streaking in the coloring. Also the little drizzles of isomalt that came out at the very end, when I had just enough to fill the cutter, ended up splashing along the sides of the cutter and causing pieces of isomalt to stick up the sides of the cutter. You are better to start with more than you need and fill the cutter evenly because you can always pour your excess onto a piece of parchment paper and allow it to dry then reuse it later. I always end up using way more isomalt than I think I am going to need.
Allow the mirror to dry completely and then the cutter should easily slide off from around the mirror.
As you can see in this picture, the isomalt adds some thickness to the mirror.
You can use more fondant to make a frame around it or just use as is, like I did in my Ginger Gym. On my gym wall, I used the cutter to cut out the fondant where I wanted to place the mirror, then poured a small amount of melted isomalt directly on the gingerbread wall and attached the mirror to it. I did this before I constructed the walls so that it was able to lay flat on the counter while I attached it.
I hope this helps with your projects. If you have other ideas for creating edible mirrors, please leave me a comment below, as I am always looking for better ways of doing things.
Until next time, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.