A couple of posts ago, I showed my attempts at making modeling chocolate for the cupcakes. Well the first of two nights, I actually used the modeling chocolate to make the little houses. It was two long, long, long nights. When I signed up to make these cupcakes, I didn’t really imagine how long it would take to make all the tiny details.
To start out, I picked up the white chocolate that I dried out and then tried to put back together again? Yeah, it didn’t quite work out. When I broke off a piece to being rolling it out, it just immediately crumbled. So, no dice. Impossible to work with. I threw it all out.
It’s a good thing I had the good block of the vanilla chocolate chips. I broke off small pieces of that, zapped them in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, and then used the heat from my hands to roll it out. Below, you can see the three things that I made with the modeling chocolate that actually worked. First, the little huts. Just making simple squares was easy enough to do. The great thing about the modeling chocolate was how fast it dried. I figured out earlier that I couldn’t just drape the roof over the square shape. I would need a little cone to attach to the top. So I then spent another hour and a half making all the little cones. Finally, the easiest part was making the little chimneys to attach to the roofs. I just took a small block and rolled it out. This entire process took about 4 and a half hours. Very tedious work. I left these to dry overnight just to ensure they were solid and ready to be manipulated for the rood attachment.
The next night, or the final day of putting the houses/cupcake decorations together was extremely long. I mean, two episodes of “Friends,” nine episodes of “The Office,” and two episodes of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Yep, that’s right. I spent about 8 hours finishing up the rest of these houses. Holy bananas. The only good thing during this part was how monotonous it was. I say good, because I was able to focus on other things (like the television) to distract myself from cutting out circles.
To start, I used royal icing to glue the cones to the boxes and make the start of the little houses.
I left these to dry while started working on the walkways for the cupcakes. I took out the block of milk chocolate modeling chocolate I made, zapped it for five seconds, and tried to roll it out. I was not successful.
I’m not sure what the issues was. Every time I tried rolling the chocolate into a small ball, it would just crumble apart. I tried kneading it, refolding it, but nothing stuck. I was able to make a couple of strips for the base of the steps, but it was just too difficult to mold. I wrapped up the rest of the chocolate (maybe I can find some use for it in the future?), and decided to go with fondant.
I took some royal icing and dyed it brown to use as an adhesive for the walkway. I made more strips to attach the “rocks,” and then I rolled out very small balls, and flattened them with a cup. I then used the royal icing to attach the rocks to the strips. Now I had my tiny little walkways, and the base of my houses.
I started making the roofs for the houses. Earlier in the day, I went to the store and bought more white chocolate and made fresh modeling chocolate. I forgot to dye the chocolate when I added the corn syrup, so I had to kneed it in. This is supposed to be easy, but as you can see below… No. The chocolate kept crumbling as I kneaded it, and it took an exceptionally long time. I made one circle and tried to put it on one of the houses and it just immediately cracked. This was just not worth it.
I broke out the fondant and decided this was the best course of action. I didn’t want to fight with the modeling chocolate anymore. I’m not sure what was the problem with this batch, or if it didn’t work well being draped, but I didn’t want to take the time to figure it out anymore. I took a ball of fondant and dyed it pink. I couldn’t find any circle cookie cutters the size I needed, so below you can see that I used a metal shot class to cut the circle out. I just had to dip it in cornstarch to make sure it released the fondant.
The circles were just a tiny bit small, so I rolled them out a little more after they were cut. I kept them stacked under a cup to keep them from drying out too quickly. I put a bit of royal icing on the cone of the house, and then draped the fondant circle on top. I took me about an hour to figure out how to get the roof on correctly. At first, it would crack, and the cone would pop out the top. I finally figured out the best way to put the roof on was similar to how you would cover a cake in fondant, and push up on the sides. It took about 5-7 minutes per roof to make sure it was on correctly. Once I got the roof on, I would dip the chimney in the royal icing and stick it on the side of the roof. Possibly in the future, I would use pink icing just to make it blend more, but it the long run it didn’t matter.
There was only one last thing to do, and that was to add the dots on the roof and the doorknob. I spent some time debating if I should actually go through with that. The houses looked fine the way they were, and I already spent so much time making the details so far I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. I finally decided that if I went this far, I might as well stay up and go all the way. I don’t really have any pictures of making the small dots, but that’s because I reached a point of exhaustion I can’t describe.