Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making Hal 9000 – Part 2: Would You Like to Play a Game of Chess?

Read Part 1 of the Hal 9000 Cake Project.

The tricky part was going to be Hal’s eye. I knew that, going in. The plan was to make a clear candy shell for the outside, and a red tinted shell for the glowing center. I hunted around town a bit and found two ice cream scoops that I thought would work for molds. Next, I found a couple of recipes for “stained-glass candy” and counted myself set.

The first batch of candy worked pretty well. I poured the outer layer of Hal’s eye first, then tinted the candy red and poured the “red light” piece. Unfortunately, the candy didn’t behave as I had hoped. It had caramelized slightly, giving the clear candy a yellow-tan tint instead of being crystal clear. I also had trouble making it a shell. I couldn’t pour the inner candy out of the mold, and still have it stick enough to the sides, to make a shell. I was stuck with two solid pieces, each half of two different spheres.

Like any good astronaut, I had a back-up plan, using only colored fondant to make a 2-D version of Hal’s eye. In the end I decided that wasn’t good enough. I would try again with another recipe that would give me better results.

I didn’t find one.

In the end, I settled on embedding the “red light” I had made in the first batch into the outer clear shell of the second batch. This is where the real nightmare began ...

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