Gelatin Bubble Tutorial

Source: Cake Central

Prep: 24 hours


Supplies:

Small balloons

2 packages (.25 oz each, about 2 tablespoons) powdered gelatin

1 or 2 drops liquid food color (I used 1 drop of red)

4 tablespoons cold water

1/8 teaspoon white or silver pearl luster dust

Clear vegetable shortening

Small artists' brush

Grid cooling rack

  1. Fill a balloon 1/3 to 1/4 full of air. Pinch the balloon at both ends (the blown up/bulbous end and the open end) and tie the two together. This will help the balloon achieve a more round, bubble-like shape. Repeat process with remaining balloons. Balloons tend to attract fibers and particles (hello static electricity!) so place them on a dust-free surface.
  2. Brush the balloons with a little vegetable shortening, then use your fingers to completely coat the balloon. Use a paper towel to wipe off most of the vegetable shortening you just applied. There will still be a very thin residue of shortening left behind. If too much of the shortening is left on the balloon, the gelatin will not stick!
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, quickly whisk together the gelatin, food color, luster dust and cold water. It will become thick almost immediately. Let gelatin stand 5 minutes.
  4. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 10 seconds, or until it is completely melted. Let the mixture stand until lukewarm. 
  5. Hold a balloon by the knot and dip it into the gelatin, rotating it to coat the sides and avoiding the knot. Hold the balloon upright (knot to the bottom) and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Transfer the balloon to the grid cooling rack knot-side down. (I placed the balloon knot into an open grid.) Allow the balloon to dry for 5-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining balloons. Re-dip balloons in the gelatin. You may need to re-heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for 3-4 seconds. The balloons will feel rubbery at first, but will dry to a firm, crisp shell over a 24 hour period. 
  6. Once the balloons are completely dry, you can remove the balloon. Start by snipping a hole with scissors right beside the tied knot. As the air escapes, the balloon should pull away from the sides of the gelatin. Using the scissors again, cut a larger hole in the bottom of the balloon and pull the balloon out with your fingers. If the gelatin layer is too thin, it may collapse. This happened to me a couple of times, but I was able to pop them back into place from the inside.
  7. Place the bubbles cut-side-down when decorating. They can be used on buttercream and attached to fondant with piping gel or corn syrup.
  8. The bubbles will keep for a long time. Store them in an air-tight container or zip-top bag until ready to use. 
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