Crackle & Pop! Cake Sculpting With Rice Krispies
Cake decorators may seem like magicians, but sometimes when we need to achieve difficult shapes or need more structure and strength than fondant or modeling chocolate can provide, we need to pull a magic rabbit out of our hat. This rabbit is called Rice Krispies Treats, aka RKT.
Photo via Wendy Woo Cakes
There are many uses for RKT. Today we are going to first discuss how to cover RKT in fondant, and then discuss how to make a RKT figure.
Before we begin, let’s talk about the recipe. Most recipes are pretty basic with Rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows and butter. Some recipes also call for Karo syrup. This addition does make the treats softer, but it also makes them fall apart more easily. That can be a problem when you are carving or forming them into shapes, so I would advise against using Karo syrup.
Forming and covering Rice Krispies Treats
When forming Rice Krispies Treats, it is best to let the pans do most of the work. Spray your pans liberally with cooking spray, and for extra security, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan to make sure it releases easily.
Tip: While smashing the RKT into the pans, spread butter on your fingers or spray the top of the RKT with cooking spray. This will control the stickiness.
Once you have pressed the mixture down, use something flat to smash them down even more. We are going for very compact RKTs.
Let them cool in the pans.
Once they are cool, simply turn over the pan. They should fall right out. If they are being sticking, just run a knife around the walls of the pan to release them.
Rice Krispies Treats can be stacked for height or pressed together. They stick to each other very well and work great for carving odd shapes or difficult designs.
No matter how much you cut, squish and smash your RKTs, they will still be bumpy when you take them out of the pan or cut them into shapes. This can cause a messy look when you try to cover them in fondant.
To fix this problem, it is best to crumb coat your RKT’s with buttercream (try this buttercream recipe for buttercream with a great texture for this project). It may take one or two thin coats to get a nice, smooth look. Let chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes before covering in fondant.
Once you have your RKT crumb coated, decorate it the same way you would a regular cake.
Just like with all cake decorating techniques it is best to not be scared, but just go for it. Carving and forming RKT is much more forgiving than many other sugar techniques. You can add, cut or smash any part of the RKT if needed. If you cut too much, you can always add it back on and start again.
If you are working with figures or shapes that need to be freestanding and hold their shapes, I have found it best to cover the RKT in a thin layer of melted white chocolate or Candy Melts. The chocolate sets firm and holds its shape.
As above, I also crumb coated the RKT to get a smooth finish, then covered it with fondant or modeling chocolate. For oddly shaped pieces, I have found it best to use modeling chocolate or a mixture of fondant and modeling chocolate so the wrinkles or puckers smooth out easily for a nice, clean finish.
To learn more about working with modeling chocolate, check out Lauren Kitchens’ Craftsy class Intro to Modeling Chocolate. You can also learn great sculpting techniques in Mike McCarey’s Craftsy classes, Classic Cars, Timeless Techniques or Advanced Cake Sculpting: Bobbleheads.
Come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow for a roundup of amazing Thanksgiving cakes!