Candylands' Creative Corner (pg. 19)

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Venetian Mask

Contributed by: Kathy Blankenbiller (Manheim, PA)

Each year I participate in the Lititz (Pennsylvania) Chocolate Walk (this year on Oct. 6), I try to challenge myself to come up with a brand new
creation. THIS year I've come up with a "Venetian mask," made of white compound chocolate, decorated with ALL edible colors, dusts, etc. I  wanted to share it with you and your readers...hope you like it. Oh, and I sent a brief write-up on the REAL Venetian masks so you know that "once upon a time," they really DID exist. Well, not in chocolate, but that's where I come in...

 <see Venetian Mask history here>

 I started with a ceramic mask that I purchased at a yard sale. No, I wasn't quite sure what exactly to do with it but I knew it was a start. Candy making is a hobby for me, not a business, so I always try to find the LEAST expensive method to create my works of art. I had to do a little  extra thinking this time! Fortunately, I remembered a technique that I had learned a few years ago but had never tried. NOW was the time! I took a brand new, empty shoe box and dumped flour (plain old baking flour) and tamped it down evenly. Next, I turned the ceramic mask face down into the flour and pushed hard. When I lifted it off, there was a lovely impression of a face. Success! Or so I thought.

Carefully, ever so slowly, I poured white compound chocolate into the impression. The problem I encountered was that the sides of the impression constantly fell in as I poured the chocolate into it. After about eight tries, I finally managed to fill it completely. Exhausted, I left it alone and took a little rest. (Now begin referring to the photos - from left to right - as you read the information below:)

Venetian Mask - Phase 1 An hour later I returned and gently--oh, yes, VERY gently--picked up the chocolate mask. Unbelievably, it had worked! The next step was to brush off all the flour and then smooth out the face using melted chocolate. In this photo you can see the first step completed.

Venetian Mask - Phase 2 The outline of the decorative portion began with taking tiny dots of melted chocolate and placing them in the proper areas.

Venetian Mask - Phase 3 This is when it started to really "come alive," as I added the non-toxic gold to the outlines.

Venetian Mask - Phase 4 To be honest, as soon as I added the lip color, I was beside myself! I just KNEW this was going to be lovely! Now I added the first base of edible color.

Venetian Mask - Phase 5 Oh, the colors! It WAS pretty!! But something was missing. Hmmm...something to "set it off," make it "pop." Ah, yes, a gold edging would be perfect! For this, I made some "candy clay," a mixture of white confectionery coating and light corn syrup. It worked!

Venetian Mask Phase 1           Venetian Mask Phase 2           Venetian Mask Phase 3           Venetian Mask Phase 4           Venetian Mask Phase 5           Venetian Mask - Finished!


Venetian Mask - Finished Here it is in all its glory! What do you think? I love it! And best of all--it's TOTALLY edible!

 I hope you enjoyed seeing it. Have a great day!                                                                   Sincerely, Kathy Blankenbiller


Editor Note: See Kathy's previous contribution - <Lititz Chocolate Walk>

Nursing Theme Cake

Nurse CakeContributed by: Karen Finney (Avenel, NJ)


Hello again, it's Karen from Avenel. I have just finished my latest cake for a friend of my husband. The theme this time was nursing. The cake came out great and looked great when it did not move my kitchen table. The cakes were covered with butter cream icing and decorated with fondant. The filling was strawberry filling that I bought at your store and fresh strawberries and bananas. I did have dowels and cake plates separating them, but when it came time for me to make the move and deliver it to the party, it almost did not make it. The bottom tier started sliding (and by sliding, I mean about an inch) and we almost lost everything. If anyone can help my out and let me know what to do so that won't happen again that would be great. I was thinking of transporting the cake to the party site and finishing it there or changing to plastic dowels and plastic cake plates and maybe that will help. I don't know, I was so frazzled and sick to my stomach by the time we got to the party, I just wanted to leave. The birthday girl loved it anyway and I guess that is really all that mattered. (please, any suggestions would be great my e-mail is )                                                                Thanks, Karen from Avenel


Editor Note: Karen is a frequent contributor:   <Nursing theme Cake>    <Megaphones & More>   <All Jacked Up>    <Tools 'N More Cakes>   <A Very Formal Cake>

Golf Course CakeSchneider Cake2

Schneider Cake1Contributed by:   Melissa Schneider (Tewksbury, NJ)


Hello! I was so excited when I found your shop - I wanted to make a golf course cake for my brother's surprise 30th party. I'm a foodie from New Jersey :)  I have no formal cooking/baking training other than my vast array of cook and baking books.  I don't like to settle for anything - so I always jump right in (ie no Rachel Ray books, just Europe's Master Chefs).

My brother is rather eccentric and asked for 30 cakes for his 30th birthday party, and I did just that.  I made 30 small cakes but one large one for good luck, and that is where the golf cake came from.All of this came from my imagination (with some inspiration from a cupcake I saw on a friend's Flicker account).  It is a layered dark chocolate fudge Guinness cake filled with a Baileys buttercreme (a S. African friend's recipe which I doctored)  There was no mold used; I hand sculpted it - with a knife (all those sculpting classes came in handy).  Over top, a layer of marzipan then a layer of hand dyed fondant. I then sponge painted the darker grass and added texture to the fondant to create the illusion of short fairway grass.  Afterwards, I dyed some of the buttercreme green and used the Wilton grass pastry tip to make the longer grass.  To make sand hazards, I used a variety of sugars and spices to achieve the texture/color I was looking for.  For the final decoration I used the Golf Decorating package I found in your store (complete with golfer and flags).
I think this came out quite wonderfully, especially for a first timer, and the party was a major success (only ONE serving was left of the cake!)  I look forward to my brother's 31st will give me another chance to delve into this rather challenging, but nevertheless exciting, subculture of cake decorating!                                                                                                  Thank you for your time. Best, Melissa