Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How To Use Silicone Brooch Molds

I made some new silicone brooch molds the other day and decided to see what the best way to add sugar jewels to them was.

Let me first say that for this purpose, isomalt is probably the better choice to use, as opposed to real sugar. Since you only need a small amount at a time, you'll need to be able to melt a little bit at a time, and isomalt is less fussy when you re-melt it. I've done these with real sugar, but you have to be a little more observant.

First step is to get a silicone mold that can withstand the heat of the hot isomalt. Make sure that it isn't too rigid. If it's flexible it will be easier to get the brooch out of the mold.

Then get some melted isomalt in a container that you can put in the microwave. I use silicone cupcake cups, since they're flexible to make pouring easier, and they can go in and out of the microwave. Don't fill it too much because you're going to be picking it up when it's really hot, so you don't want it to overflow and burn you!

Carefully pour the isomalt into the gem cavities in the mold. Don't worry about going too slow, because you can always remelt the isomalt if it starts to pour too slowly. It's more important to try to keep the isomalt in the cavities and minimize spillover at this point. If you really mess up you can just remove the isomalt from the section you overpoured and re-do it.

For this one I used more isomalt as the backing material. When the gems cooled off I poured a clear sugar on top of them and let it set up.

When you remove it from the mold it will be clear, but to emphasize the individual jewels you can paint the clear section with gold luster dust "paint."

You can also just fill the entire mold with one solid color, then paint it with the gold detail. If you're going to do an all-sugar piece this is the quickest way to do it. Depending on the mold, though, it might not give you the best look.

You can also pour the gems individually, then put one large piece of gumpaste over them and press firmly to adhere the gems to it. I was afraid that the jewels would fall off, but this actually worked really well. I pressed the gumpaste in when the isomalt was pretty set, too, so the jewels weren't still warm.

I painted the gumpaste gold after removing the piece from the mold. That worked well to emphasize the individual jewels.

I also tried pouring melted white chocolate onto the mold with jewels poured in it, and that worked well to hold them in too.

For this one I put it into the freezer for a bit to make sure it was solid, then painted the detail on it with the gold luster dust paint.

You can also pour a solid piece of white chocolate and paint the detail in later.

Finally, you can use a solid piece of gumpaste, then paint it with a metallic color. I've seen a lot of cakes that have either gold or silver gems on them, and they're gumpaste with silver and gold luster dust paint. I'd say that this is my least favorite way to do them, since by comparison, the gems aren't as shiny. If you made the gems one color and the backing gold that might be better, but I prefer the look of the isomalt or sugar jewels.

So give this technique a try, and shine up your winter cakes a little! It's pretty easy to do, and it gives you a good-looking result for little effort.

All of the molds pictured here , along with others  that aren't used in this demoavailable in my Etsy shop in the molds section, are

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


ChatterBlossom said...

I am super impressed! The food versions look completely like the real thing!

Audric Montuno said...

Is there a way to polish or burnish the cast brooches to make the isomalt shinier?

Kara Buntin said...

Audric, if you do anything to the surface of the isomalt it will scratch it, (unless you're melting it with liquid) so as far as I know you can't polish them. You can put vegetable oil on them to make them shiny if they start to get cloudy on the surface, though, so that might work. If I was going to do a wedding cake with a lot of those on it I'd see if there was a way to use lighting at the reception to shine on the cake. Reflecting light is what really makes these shiny to the eye, otherwise they look like clear glass. You could also try to paint the backs with silver luster dust paint, like they do with rhinestones. Also, some texture on them comes from the type of silicone used to make the mold, some of the softer silicones give you a grainier surface on the jewels. I think that I should write another blog post about this, shouldn't I?

E said...

Thanks Kara appreciate the tutorial now we'll give 'er a go ! (etsy purchase) Elaine