2024-04-03
HOW TO MAKE EDIBLE SILK RIBBON
Edible Fabric from Gelatin and Chocolate
"Edible Silk" is the term commonly used to refer to a material made from this recipe. It mimics the appearance of shiny, flowing silk fabric. The recipe includes gelatin, water, glycerin, and either couverture chocolate or compound chocolate. The resulting "fabric" itself is sticky, resembling latex or rubber depending on its thickness. To remove the stickiness and prevent the fabric from sticking together or to hands, it is covered on both sides with luster dust. This process eliminates stickiness, enhances a beautiful iridescent sheen, and transforms the material into a flowing consistency.
Два основных ингредиента для съедобного шёлка - желатин и шоколад.
Ingredients:

  • Gelatin, 200 bloom - 60 g (2.12 oz). We used Dr. Oetker's quick-dissolve.
  • Water - 120 g (4.23 oz)
  • White couverture chocolate callets - 60 g (2.12 oz)
  • Food-grade glycerin - 15 g (0.53 oz)
  • White food coloring*

*Uncolored fabric tends to have a slightly yellowish tint due to the natural yellowish hue of cocoa butter, which isn't fully covered up by light luster dust. Add white food coloring if a white or pastel-colored bow is desired. If planning to use gold, silver, bronze luster dust or vibrant colored (red, purple, blue), white food coloring may not be necessary.

This recipe works well with both white and milk chocolate.
In this photo, edible fabric made of uncolored natural white chocolate. We can see that even with light luster dust, its yellowish tint cannot be completely masked.
Instructions.

  1. Soak gelatin in cool water and let it swell.
  2. Melt chocolate.
  3. Gently heat the gelatin on the stove. The temperature of the chocolate and gelatin should be around 40°C (104°F), mix them with a silicone spatula. It is very important that they are at the same temperature.
  4. Add white coloring and glycerin, then mix again with the spatula. Glycerin is necessary for the flexibility of the fabric; it retains moisture well, preventing the edible silk from drying out.
  5. The mixture thickens and sets very quickly, so immediately pour it onto a silicone mat and smooth it out with a spatula. If you didn't make it in time, you can slightly heat the mixture in the microwave. The mixture should be fluid.
  6. The mat should be smooth, not perforated, to ensure the fabric turns out glossy.
Now, let's go through the steps on how to form the bow:

1. Cut out 2 strips of the required length and width: one for the bow and the other for the middle. In our case, the length is 44 cm (17.3"), the width is 12 cm (4.7"), and the width of the strip for the middle part is 3 cm (1.2").


2. Соедините концы полоски для банта, чтобы найти середину.


3. Apply the melted gelatin mixture to the center of the ribbon strip and stick the ends together.
4. Form the bow by sticking together the resulting folds in the center of the ribbon. Secure with a clip.
5. Remove the clip and wrap the bow with the middle strip, applying 2-3 layers. Secure the strip onto the same melted mixture.
6. From the remaining fabric, you can cut out dangling ribbons. Your bow is ready!
Regarding the thickness of the ribbon and attachment to the cake.

For the cake shown in the photo, we made a ribbon with a thickness of 2 mm. Firstly, this thickness holds its shape better, and secondly, the cake was decorated over a day, and we were concerned that a thinner ribbon would dry out at the edges and warp significantly (based on past experiences). However, a downside is that it creates a somewhat heavy and bulky decoration. It was a bit challenging to form the bow and secure the dangling fabric to prevent it from slipping.

The fabric is quite slippery and only sticks to itself or to the same material it's made of. To attach it, it's not necessary to create a new mixture; you can reheat the remaining scraps.

The most reliable way to attach the ribbon to the cake is with small skewers. It's not feasible to attach the ribbon directly to chocolate, or the same gelatin mixture. The ribbon itself can be secured to the cake with florist wire clips. Alternatively, if the ribbon is on top of the cake rather than on the side, you can use skewers. The flowing fabric on the side of the cake tier can be secured with ganache at a workable temperature. The same ganache used to cover the cake is the best and most reliable coating for attaching the ribbon. We have a mini-course on ganaches that we use in our work on our website.

About 1 mm thick ribbon.

For experimentation, we made another ribbon, this time 1 mm thick. Forming such a ribbon is much easier. It turns out to be quite light, but it doesn't hold its shape as well; you need to give it time to dry out. Forming and attaching the flowing fabric to the side of the cake is also easier.

Conclusion: The fabric itself is very simple and quick to make. Anyone can handle it. However, attaching it to the cake will require some effort. Making ribbons from fondant is much faster and more convenient; they can be shaped and attached to the cake much more easily. The gelatin ribbon is like a slippery jellyfish, constantly slipping out of your hands :) Nevertheless, it looks very striking! A cake with such a ribbon emphasizes the professionalism and exclusivity of the cake decorator.

Storage:

For storing the edible silk, it is recommended to place it in the refrigerator, wrapped in foil, especially if it will not be used immediately. When exposed to air, this material dries out very quickly, within 6-8 hours, and loses its elasticity.
We wish everyone beautiful and elegant bows! Tag our profile in Instagram @elsweets.school , we'll be delighted to see and comment on your creations!
For your reference, please watch our short video where we demonstrated how to make a cake with such a bow.