Here’s a genius hack that makes it easy to join the edible succulent craze.
No fondant, gum paste, or special pastry tips are needed to top your cakes with fabulous edible succulent decorations. This inspired technique uses fruit chew candy!
For this project you will need:
25 -30 fruit chew candies, assorted colors*
½ cup brown sugar or Turbinado sugar
* Fruit chew candy comes many colors. I used green, purple and red since succulents are most often those colors.
1. Place 10 to 12 fruit chew candies, all the same color, on a small piece of parchment paper. Transfer to the microwave, heat for 20 seconds. The candy should be very soft and semi-melted together, but not completely liquid. If necessary, continue melting in the microwave in 5 second increments until the right consistency is reached.
2. Transfer melted candy to your work surface and let cool slightly. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the candies together into a solid sheet about 1/4-inch thick. (If the melted candy sticks to your rolling pin, it is too hot to work with. Let cool until candy is still pliable and tacky, but not sticky – then roll into a solid sheet.)
3. Use the teardrop shaped cutter to cut “leaves” from the melted candy sheet.
4. To assemble the candy succulents: Spread a clean sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Place a leaf in the center of the parchment paper, with the pointed side facing up. Place a second leaf on top, in the same position, but slightly rotated to the right. Press the bottom of the rounded leaf bases into each other, which will naturally force the pointed end upward, causing the leaves to hold together. Continue adding leaves in a circular, spiraling pattern (think about the hands moving on a clock) until the succulent is the height you want. I used 10-12 leaves to make each of my candy succulents.
The candy will harden as it cools and retain shape. If your melted candies get too hard to work with, soften them up in the microwave.
Once a succulent is finished, transfer to the refrigerator until completely firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
Repeat process with other colors of fruit chew candy.
Tip: Save your scraps! Reuse scraps from your leaf cut-outs. Either fold them together, reheat, and re-roll them to make additional leaves or roll them into pea-sized balls to make a different style succulent decoration.
5. Sprinkle brown sugar or Turbinado sugar on top of the white icing on the cupcakes to create a sandlike effect. Place the finished candy succulents to on top.
This article was first published on the MarthaStewart.com Network on May 24, 2017.
Photos: Steven Karl Metzer