How to make a Penguin with modelling paste with Louise Wilson
How to Make Sugar Paste Penguins
Sugar paste, also called gum paste, is a sweet dough that can be molded and formed into edible decorations. It’s similar to fondant, but the major difference is that sugar paste is made with egg whites instead of gelatin. One adorable decoration idea that you can make with this dough is a sugar paste penguin, which is a perfect topper for cakes and cupcakes, or can be used to make a winter scene for a gingerbread house or other holiday treat.
4 egg whites
6⅔ cups (833 g) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons (30 g) tylose powder
5 teaspoons (25 ml) vegetable shortening
Black food coloring
Orange food coloring
¼ teaspoon (5 g) tylose powder
2 tablespoons (30 ml) warm water
Making the Sugar Paste and Glue
Start a day early.To make sugar paste penguins from scratch, you must first make the sugar paste and edible glue. These both need time to set and mature, so it’s important to start one to two days before you want to assemble the penguins.
- Once you make the sugar paste dough, it needs to sit for 24 hours before you can use it.
- After making the edible glue, it requires 12 hours to set before you can use it to assemble the penguin parts.
Gather your supplies.To make and assemble the penguins, you'll need your white, black, and orange sugar paste, along with a few tools. Other supplies you'll need include:
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl
- Paddle attachment or electric beaters
- Two sealable plastic bags
- Small mixing bowl
- Fondant rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Small decorating brush
- Small oval cookie cutter, about three-quarter inches (19 mm) long
- Small round cookie cutter, about one-quarter inch (6 mm) in diameter
- Black edible marker
Beat the egg whites.Place the egg whites into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat the eggs in the stand mixer or with electric beaters on medium speed for about 10 seconds, or long enough to break up the egg whites.
- If you're using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to make the sugar paste.
- When you're making sugar paste, the dough will have to sit for 24 hours, so start this one to two days before you want to make your sugar paste penguins.
Beat in the sugar.Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add 6 cups (750 g) of the powdered sugar, beating it in one cup (125 g) at a time. When you’ve added the 6 cups of sugar, continue beating until it takes on the consistency of icing.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and beat the mixture for two minutes, until the mixture starts to form soft peaks.
- The soft peak stage means the mixture will form peaks, but they’ll melt back into the mixture within a couple seconds.
Mix in the tylose.Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly sprinkle in the tylose powder. Continue mixing for about 30 seconds, then turn the mixer to high for 30 seconds.
- As the tylose is incorporated, it will thicken everything to a dough.
- Tylose powder is a food additive that’s also called carboxymethylcellulose. It’s used to make thick pastes that harden when they dry, which is why it’s great for making sugar paste.
Knead the dough.Dust a flat surface with powdered sugar and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough, gradually adding the remaining ⅔ cup (83 g) of powdered sugar, until you have a soft dough.
- When the dough is ready, it will be soft and pliable, but not sticky to the touch.
Let the dough rest.Place the dough into a sealable freezer bag. Press out as much air as you can to prevent the dough from drying out. Seal the bag, and then place that bag into a second sealable bag.
- Move the dough to the fridge and let it rest for 24 hours.
Make the edible glue.In a small bowl, combine the tylose powder and warm water. Whisk the two together to remove as many lumps as possible.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or put a lid on. Transfer the mixture to the fridge and let it set overnight, about 12 hours. As the mixture sets, it will become thick and syrupy.
- This mixture will form an edible glue that you can use to attach different parts of the penguin to the body.
Coloring the Dough
Warm and divide the dough.When the dough has had 24 hours to relax, remove it from the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature.To make the penguins, you'll need black dough for the bodies, white dough for the stomachs and face, and orange dough for the beaks and feet. To divide the dough:
- Cut the dough in half and set one half aside for the bodies.
- With the remaining dough, use your eye to divide the dough into thirds. Use a knife to notch the one-third divisions into the dough. Cut off one-third of the dough, and leave the remaining two-thirds intact.
- This larger section will remain white, so you don’t have to add any food coloring to it.
Color the black dough.Drizzle a flat work surface with some of the vegetable oil. Take the large half of dough and turn it out onto the oiled surface. Add about 10 drops of black food coloring, and gently knead the color into the dough.
- Knead in more food coloring in 10-drop increments until you achieve the desired intensity of black for the bodies.
Color the orange dough.Clean off your work surface so there's no leftover sugar, oil, or coloring. Drizzle fresh oil on the surface. Turn out the small one-third section of dough, and knead five drops of orange food coloring into the dough.
- Knead in more color until you achieve the desired intensity for the beaks and feet.
Assembling the Penguins
Make the body.Remove enough sugar paste from the black dough to form a sphere with a one-inch (2.5-cm) diameter. Roll the dough into a ball, and then roll it into an oval to create the body of the penguin. Press the top and bottom of the oval to flatten them out.
- Flattening the top and bottom of the oval will give you a platform for the head and allow the penguin to stand.
- To make a larger penguin, increase the amount of dough you use to create the body, and use proportionally more dough to create the other body parts as well.
Add the belly.Roll out the white sugar paste into a circle that’s one-sixteenth inch (1.6 mm) thick. Use the cookie cutter to cut out an oval.Dip the decorating brush into the edible glue and coat one side of the oval with a thin layer of glue. Press the white oval onto the center of the black body and apply delicate pressure to secure the belly.
- If you don’t have small cookie cutters, use a knife to cut out the oval.
Shape the head and face.Remove some sugar paste from the black dough and roll it into a sphere with a half-inch (1.3-cm) diameter. To make the face, use the round cookie cutter and punch out a white circle from the white sugar paste.
- Use the brush to apply some edible glue to the face, and gently press the face onto the head.
- To make the eyes, apply two dots of edible marker to the penguin’s head.
- If you don’t have an edible marker, you can use two black sprinkles, sesame seeds, or tiny balls of black sugar paste instead.
Make and attach the beak.Break off a pea-sized piece of orange dough. With your fingers, roll it into a teardrop shape. Gently flatten the teardrop between your fingers. At the wider end, flatten the curve a little so it will conform to the shape of the penguin’s head.
- Dip the brush in the glue and apply a thin layer to the beak before pressing the beak gently onto the head. Center the beak below and between the two eyes.
- With your knife, cut a slit on either side of the beak to make it look like and upper and lower half.
Attach the head.Apply a layer of glue to the bottom of the penguin’s head. Gently press the head into the body, being careful not to squish the beak or alter the shape of the head or body.
Shape and attach the wings.For the first wing, break off a piece of dough that’s about the size of two peas. Roll the dough between your fingers to form it into a teardrop shape. Flatten the teardrop between your fingers. The rounded half will be the top of the wing.
- Apply some glue to the rounded half of the teardrop. Attach this end to the left side of the penguin’s body where the head and body meet.
- Repeat for the right wing.
Mold the feet and attach them to the body.Break off a piece of orange sugar paste that’s about the size of two peas. Roll the ball into a teardrop shape, then flatten it with your finger.Apply some glue to the pointed end of the teardrop, and attach it to the body.
- Attach the foot to the front of the body, slightly left of center.
- Repeat with the right foot.
Video: How To Make these Adorable and Super Easy Penguins - Cake Decorating Tutorial
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