Gelatin Gems

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I came up with this last summer after struggling to try and find a way to fill small candy gem molds with isomalt. It’s fast, cheap and easy when you need a quick gem and don’t fill like working with hot sugar.

You will need:

  • candy gem molds
  • unflavored gelatin (I use Knox)
  • food color
  • paintbrush
  • piping gel or royal icing

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  1. You need to make the gelatin, in order to do that mix 2 1/2 parts water to 1 part gelatin.
    • I normally do 3TBSP gelatin (about a box and a half of Knox) to 7TBSP Water.
    • Mix the gelatin and water together than place in the micorwave, heat slowly (it can boil over easy so start off 30 seconds the first time you heat it)
    • Sitr occasionally till all gelatin is dissolved in the water (it will still will have a brownish color to it but no more clumps)
    • Let it sit at room temp for about 10 minutes, it will form a white foam like surface that you can remove peel off with a utensil. I like to reheat once more, stir and let sit again removing any more white foam you see. Once that’s done it’s ready to use.
    • Keep the gelatin covered when your not using, it forms a clear layer pretty fast.
  2. Next I heat up the gelatin a little at a time since we are using small molds you have to work faster, the warmer the gelatin is the easier it is to work with.
    • Mix the desired food coloring into the geltain once it’s warm. Go slightly darker than you normally would on the colors cause it will dry thinner.
    • Use the paint brush and paint the inside of the mold with the gelatin, you do not want to complete fill in the molds just outline it really good. As it dries it will become thinner if the mold is too fill the gem will pull and loose it’s shape. Let dry, tiny gems can take as short as 10 minutes, large gems have take anywhere from a couple of hours to a day. When you move the candy molds the gems should shake loose.

 

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I thought I could try and make the gems darker by adding a second layer of gelatin to dried gems, the picture below shows why that will not work.

 

 

Always make extra, sometimes no matter what you do they don’t dry right, but it only takes a few minutes to make these and can be a lifesaver when you need gems.

 

 

Gems on the crown were the smallest molds I own, I attached with piping gel. The ones on the side of the cake are the biggest, I added some fondant to them and stuck to the cake.

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These gems I added to these cookies with piping gel, although after I did this I thought about how gross it would be to eat a cookie with gelatin on it. I don’t recommend it. Add these pictures just so you can see the gems. Gelatin is not something you really want a bite of.

 

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I added these gems to the crown with royal icing.

50 Responses to “Gelatin Gems”

  1. I got more pictures under my notes on my facebook page, I never done a tutorial on cakecentral and wanted to share it hoping to helps some follow cake decorators out. When I posted I didn’t realize since I did 2 steps it was only going to let me add two pics. So if I can edit this I will otherwise I got more pics on what not to do and finished pieces there.

  2. I want to try these! looks awesome, quick question: how they handle layered over frosting or fondant? How about refrigeration and heat? I live in Hawaii so I referigerate all my cakes and cupcakes and most people do their parties at the beach.. mahalo DD

  3. http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2300791/gelatin-gem-cake I just put on a test cake I did with these gems. I live in Alaska so hard to say what it would be like somewhere that it isn’t so cold. They went on fondant, a couple of gumpaste tiaras and even royal icing cookies (I don’t recommend using on cookies just cause no one wants to eat gelatin) but they went on and stayed in place. You can use royal icing, piping gel or even fondant. I like piping gel the best since the gems can be slightly transparent you don’t want to see the the royal icing white behind the gem. It went on great using a piece of fondant too. I put them on dried gumpaste with piping gel and had no issues. I even put them on a cake put the cake in the fridge for a couple of days, than moved to the freezer for a couple of weeks than pulled the cake out at room temp for a couple of days and saw no change. That particular cake I used fondant behind the gem to apply it to the cake. Got any other questions just let me know!

    Some tips I tried (the pics of this test are on my fb page under my notes, first tutorial didn’t realize when I put two steps I was only uploading two pics)

    1) Don’t fill the gems to the top, they pull away from the side of the molds and get a little funky, just coat the mold well and to the top of the edges really well.
    2) Make extra, these take only a few minutes to make and the small ones can dry within a hour (I have had some done in 10 minutes). You will have some that will pull and curl regardless of what you do. I made these for months to test maybe why some would come out bad and the only thing I can come up with is it might have something with the gelatin getting cooler when I’m still fill the molds so I reheat from time to time if I’m making a lot.
    3) Make the color slightly darker than you plan on, these thin out so if you want to appear to be more solid.
    4) You can not add another coat of gelatin, I tried to see if I could get them thicker by adding a second coat of gelatin, some after they dried, some part way through. Regardless they all shriveled up and were completely useless.

    HTH!

  4. I have a gem mold, too, and I’ve just been staring at it because I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of heating up isomalt. I’ll be trying this really soon, since I adore anything to do with gelatin. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Athenarose, forgive me but I can answer, they not only work great on buttercream, but you can put them in the refrigerator without a problem. The whipped cream one I haven’t tried yet. The only enemy of these is water so I would guess they will last only a little while on the whipped cream before starting to melt.

  6. Brilliant idea, I have just used gems that I bought for my princess castle cake and they were a nightmare to handle, even with tweezers. Any tips on where to buy the gem moulds ?.

  7. Absolutely brilliant!!!!! I’ve played with the Gelatin making bows and butterflies, even stained glass windows for cookies but never thought of making the gems. This is definitely on my must-do list for next week. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Sweetflowers ty for letting me know! I know water is the enemy, I know I got a few drops on some before and it didnt melt but never tried it on b uttercream, most likely the fat in the buttercream, funny how it works sometimes. Let me know about the whipcream :)

  9. if your in texas they have the gem molds at the cake carossel in dallas texas is where i got mine i bought a whole pack of different sizes , its a cake supply place they have lots of stuff and teach classes as well. probly can order online from them as well ….great idea thanks for the info… athenrose

  10. I tried this today…it was easy & they r so pretty!, i have a question, how do u store them? and for how long? also how do you keep them form drying up on a cake?

  11. After cashing out so much money on edible gems, I saw this and thought ‘What the heck… let’s give it a go’. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
    I could not believe how easy it was!
    And so fast as well.
    I thought they were superb so will be making all my own now, thanks to you.

  12. thank you sooo much for sharing I love this :) but i do have a question…is there away that they can taste good also??? i would love to use them on a wedding cake but if they dont taste good I dont know if the brides guests would like them…pls let me know as soon as you can.
    Thank You

  13. Wow this is beyond awesome !!!

    Can I make them in advance and how do I store them? If I want a clear crystal effect, like a diamond can i get that if i dont add color? or will it look yellowish like the gelatin. may b if i add some glitter?? I need to make lots of diamonds in different size for a jeweled cake but if i buy them they r superexpensive and isomalt is a nightmare compared to this technique.

    Again WOW !!!

    Rakhi

  14. I did a glass mosaic cake using gelatin made with juices. One cup juice and two envelopes knox. Poured it onto a cookie sheet and cut .5 inch squares. I did five different juice colors and it looked great! The flavor was questionable. The kids liked it but some of the juices were gross to me. I just stuck them to the icing, Rich’s Bettercream. If they were too heavy they slid off. They also melt if you hold them in your hands too long. If I ever get on my laptop I will post a picture.

  15. I’ve never done gems for cakes before, so here goes: what’s the best way to fill the molds so that they have ‘just enough’ in each one? I wonder if you could put edible glitter in each little spot first, then add the gelatin…and what do you coat the mold with so that they don’t stick in there?

    These are awesome! Made Knox Blox as a kid all the time, maybe I can morph those into these somehow… using fondant cutters and making cut-outs…

    Thanks for this tutorial!

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