It is almost summertime so you may want to make some shells to adorn your beach-themed cakes and/or cupcakes. In the past I’ve usually used a mold because it is so easy-peasy. Below I’ve shared with you how, when using a silicone mold, to mimic a shells coloring without having to add petal or luster dust.
Creating Realistic Fondant Shells With a Silicone Mold
Normally when you marbleize fondant you just “twist” two (or more) colors together. However, I found out that when I made these cute little seashells if I added various-sized pieces of solid colored fondant onto the marbled fondant it produced a more realistic shell. Another tip is to match your fondant’s striation (markings) in the same direction of the ridges of the silicone shell mold. Once you try this out I know you’ll be happy how easy this is to do.
The above hint was also posted on my fan facebook page on which I call my entries: “Quick Tip Thursday” I sometimes think it might be more apt if I named them: “Things I’ve Learned Thursday”.
Creating Realistic Shells Without a Mold
When I was making my gumpaste/fondant “Piper” I knew I needed to include some large clam shells to finish this project. The only problem was that my lone silicone shell mold was way too small! At that point in this gumpasting adventure I was not willing to take any more time and/or spend any more money to complete it. So, trying to be resourceful, I came up with the idea of using something I knew I already had and that was some real-life sea shells. All I had to do was go out and scrounge around in garage to find them, which I did. So now that I was equipped with several different kinds of clam shells, I was ready to try out my idea for DIY seashell.
Of course I thought it would be really nice to have a cutter as well to expedite the process. If you don’t have one or cutter similar to the one I used, you can easily make a cardboard template to do this part. Luckily for me, it turned out the #780 Tinkertech Two Diamond Jubilee Rose cutter made a perfectly-shaped clam for my needs. Make a thickish piece (about 2mm) of rolled out gumpaste or a gumpaste/fondant mixture and use the cutter to create your shell. If you prefer your lines to be more defined, use straight gumpaste. Before this next step, make sure to dust the outside of the shell really well with a cornstarch puff or the gumpaste will stick to it. Once you have done that take the shell-shaped piece of gumpaste and press it down firmly onto the outside of the shell. This will transfer the shell’s impression lines to your gumpaste piece. It took me a couple of times before I got the hang of pushing it down just right so it would have all of the nice realistic indentations marks all over, so you may too have to practice a bit. Once you are satisfied with your work, take the clam-cutout piece off and carefully flip it over, placing it back onto the shell and gently mold it to the shell to get the concave shape. Try not to disturb the indentation marks by not pressing too firmly. Keep it there until it dries. I used the same process when I used a scallop shell. Once the piece is completely dry, remove it from the shell and lightly dust with the petal dust of your choice. I used Sugar Art’s Diamond Colours Taupe and Coral as well a touch of Crystal Color’ Tree Bark.
Gumpasting Shell Tip
In order to vary the outer texture of my gumpaste/fondant shells I found the best real shells were the ones with distinct growth ridges (i.e. lines) and/or fan ribs (like the scallop shell).
Update: If you would like to learn how to create “giant” clam see: How to Make a Giant Gumpaste/Fondant Seashell.