Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Superman Kryptonite Cake (and Sugar Glass Recipe)

I made this cake a year ago for a little boy turning 2.  The parents wanted a Superman cake and I wanted to make something different and this is what I came up with, a Kryptonite Superman Cake!  How I was going to pull the Kryptonite off?  I did not have a clue.  I spend weeks trying to figure out how to make a Kryptonite crystal that were edible...making and growing your own sugar crystals to working with much learned!

Making the Kryptonite:  I originally tried making them from gelatin sheets that I trimmed into the shape of crystals but they just tasted awful and looked nothing like a crystal or the way I was envisioning it to look.  After failing at finding a mold to use, I improvised and made my own mold using a toaster oven rack and foil.  The foil was dented in between each section to form a well for the sugar to sit with the ends curled up to help contain any sugar that may seep to the ends.  The foil along the sides were tightly tucked under - PLEASE take precaution when working with hot, molten sugar!  It is dangerously hot.  Have all your stuff ready and in one place, and be super careful!

Sugar Glass Recipe:
1/2 Cup Sugar (see note below)
1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
Combine the sugar and corn syrup into a sauce pan over medium heat.  Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature and keep boiling until it reaches 300°.  Add any coloring and/or any flavor oils.

NOTE:  Do not add the coloring before 300° or else the finished, cooled product will be tacky.

NOTE:  Granulated sugar turns a golden yellow color when boiled.  If you want it to remain clear, you will need to use Isomalt (sugar free).

Note:  If they sugar glass looks a little cloudy, you can rub/polish with a little bit of vegetable oil

I used regular granulated sugar since I was coloring it green using ChefMaster Green Candy Colors.

I lightly brushed the foil mold with vegetable oil so that the sugar wouldn't stick to it like glue and very carefully poured the hot, boiling, 300° sugar glass over each well.  Being very careful and doing it very gently to also avoid getting air bubbles in it.  Let it sit for about an hour until completely cooled and hard.  Then, peel the sugar glass off the foil.  Store the sugar glass in an airtight container with a silica gel packet (helps absorb moisture).  Moisture will make them sticky/tacky and putting them in the fridge will melt them...did you watch the Cake Boss episode where he used isomalt to make coral for an aquarium cake?  I got my silica gel packet from inside those Nori Packets (the seaweed sheets used to make sushi).

Break off the pieces and apply to the cake.  I found that the best thing that worked at holding the sugar glass up against the fondant cake were tiny little pieces of fondant brushed with a little bit of water.  Icing didn't work...well, it didn't stick to the sugar glass, and straight water did nothing.  I'm sure you could use piping gel but I didn't have any on hand when making this cake.
Superman Cake Topper:
I made him out of fondant, all different colors put together like a puzzle, engraved in the details, then painted in the highlights using gel colors diluted with almond extract (you can use Vodka but I never have any on hand and the almond evaporates quickly and dry - using water will just leave a tacky mess behind).

The entire cake was covered in buttercream then with yellow-green tinted MMF.  I originally wanted to make it blue but the green sugar glass did not look right up against it so I settled with this color made with both AmeriColor Electric Green and Wilton Bright Yellow.

  I made some skyline silhouettes of buildings to add around the back of the cake.

The Superman symbol was cut free-handed into a"2" for the little boys 2nd birthday.

Finished off with more Kryptonite around the front of the cake.  Notice the Daily Planet globe on top of the building =).  I love adding those tiny details that pull the theme together!

Cake:  9" Chocolate Sour Cream Cake filled with White Chocolate Mousse.


Laura said...

kryptonite is a master touch!

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes...just what I was looking for! Doing a Superman groom's cake and thinking of adding skyline and crytals from krypton. Thanks a zillion!!

geojam224 said...

Ok, this is awesome, but kind of scary. I wanted amethyst crystal spikes on my wedding cake in clusters like how they look naturally, and I'm even willing to get plastic prop ones. I really want them to look as real as possible, zoned and everything (that means how it gets a deeper color towards the tip and almost clear towards the base), but I can't find ANYTHING! I think sugar molds are my best bet, like this recipe you gave, but I was hoping for larger crystal clusters. Any tips?

SugarSweet said...

@ geojan224. Sounds tricky. If you have the plastic ones, you could make a mold out from them, get an extra set of hands and heat up both clear and dark sugar, pour at opposite ends and hope they blend into each other smoothly. Haven't tried it but let me know what you end up doing. Good luck!

Sonia said...

Thank you for this! I've been looking everywhere for a simple kryptonite recipe. My niece is turning 21 this week and wants a Superman cake. I guess you really never grow up, right? :)

Anonymous said...

very right!

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