Monday, October 24, 2011

Have Mercy Turkey Tutorial in Fondant

October 22, 2011

I decided after many requests for a tutorial on how to make the gum-paste Thanksgiving Turkey that I made for our cake club challenge, it was time to create a site where anyone could come and view the tutorial so that they would have some idea as to how this little guy is made. I had not taken pictures during the process of making the first one pictured here, so for now, all you will see is the original Turkey I made, and then I will re-create him and take pictures during the process of making him. The colors and shape may vary from the original. Have fun making this little guy for your next Thanksgiving Holiday!
                        Have Mercy Turkey Tutorial by Linda Wolff
 Today is 10/23/2011 and I have mixed up all the colors for our turkey out of fondant. If you prefer to use gum paste, you can. The largest amount we will use is the lighter brown for the body, legs, wings and tail cut-outs. The color list that I used for the body parts are as follows:

AmeriColor Super Red  (for the gobble)
AmeriColor Super Black (for the eyes and a small rolled out piece to go around the hat and square for the buckle, also a small amount mixed with white to create gray for the hat) 
AmeriColor 135 Gold (for the feet and the beak)
AmericColor Chocolate Brown (for the body, wings and tail feathers, and a few drops darker for the neck) 

White fondant with no color mixed in (for the whites of the turkey's eyes, the collar around his neck, and the sign.

Keep all of your sugar paste wrapped up in Cling Wrap, or some other plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. As I was doing this tutorial, I noticed that mine was getting dry and I have cracks in my fondant. Also, have handy about a tablespoon of Crisco or other shortening handy on a small paper plate or waxed paper piece, anything just so you have the shortening at hand.
First seven steps: 
1. Pinch off a piece of the light brown sugar paste (about 3 or 4 tablespoons worth, look at the picture of it in my hand, and it will give you an idea as to how big). Work up the paste in your hand into a smooth ball, using a small amount of shortening if it seems dry.  
2. Once the ball meets your satisfaction, start to form the ball into a fat heart shape with one end being thinner than the other and 3-D in appearance. See picture. Place the heart shaped dough with the fat end on the bottom onto something where you don't have to keep picking up your dough. I used a cardboard circle. You can use parchment paper, waxed paper, paper plate, anything that you can move around in order for you to not have to pick up your dough as little as possible. 
3. Place a cut 3-to 4 inch piece of dowel or skewer, or even a toothpick down the center of the heart shape at the pointed end, and pull the dough up around the stick. Pull the stick out, and drop a little sugar glue (made with broken pieces of fondant or gum paste and water) and then place the stick back into the hole it originally came from. Let this dry for about an hour so that the body can become stable enough to hold the weight of the neck and head.
4. Roll out the darker brown paste into a neck and head shape, making sure you have enough to cover the dowel that has been placed into the body. 

5. Work a dowel or pointed stick into the neck first before actually 'feeding' it onto the stick in the body. Place a small amount of glue inside the neck, then feed it onto the stick. 
6. Pinch the sides in on the body so that the legs will fit snugly on the sides once we form the legs. 
7. Cut a drinking straw at one end in half to form a half circle. Push the straw in gently starting at the bottom and working up, to form feathers. You will only have to do this in the front and a little on either side. Let this dry for awhile to set up.

8. Using the same color as the body, pinch off enough to form two 'drum sticks'. 
9. Using a ball tool, push a fairly deep hole into each leg. 
10. Using the gold colored sugar paste, roll out a thin rope about 2" long and cut in two pieces. Using a small broken off piece of spaghetti, push into one end of each leg, pull out again and paint a small amount of glue in the hole and replace the spaghetti. This will help keep the leg from breaking off or out of the thigh part of the leg. Form a beak and do the same thing with the spaghetti, and roll out 20 small balls for the feet. For the feet, using the spaghetti as an anchor as well as part of the claw of the foot, thread a small piece through one ball and then through the yellow end of the leg. Make sure you leave about 1/8" of the spaghetti showing as a claw. Once you have that step done, push the the yellow legs into the thigh/leg using glue inside the hole in the thigh.
11. Push a toothpick into the head approx. where the beak will be, then place a little glue in this hole. Push the spaghetti in the beak into this hole and gently tap the beak into place. Use a toothpick to make holes on either side of the beak.

12. Let's finish up the feet. Each foot will have 10 round balls. The first one that you finished up with the leg, then three stacked together with a piece of spaghetti threaded through it and glue to keep it strong. Spaghetti should stick out of each stack of three on either end; one for the claw, and one to push into the leg, using glue to hold it. Use the drinking straw to define more feathers on the thigh. These legs are fragile, so once we anchor the thigh in with spaghetti using the same technique, and finish to step 15, the turkey needs to set up for a few hours.
13. With the ball tool, push in some sockets for the eyes. You will also see a better picture of the feet here.
14. Roll small balls for the whites of the eyes and glue in the sockets. 
15. Form even smaller black balls and place onto the white balls with glue. Use a very small ball tool or toothpick and push in two holes for the highlight to be placed in the eye. You will see that in the next steps. Let the whole turkey set up for several hours now.

16. Place very small white balls into the holes made with the toothpick in the black part of the eye, using glue.
17. Roll out a piece of the sugar paste that was used for the body about 1/8" thick and cut out one circle using a Fat Daddio scalloped cutter that is about 2 1/2" to 3" circle. I used the second largest for the large one and the next one smaller from that for the small one.

18. Cut down the center, and then count out four or five scallops  and cut two wings out. (I started out by cutting out 5 scallops, but then cut them down to four, and also cut the wings down so they weren't so long.) 
19. Use the drinking straw tool again to press in feathers.

20. This was the best shot I got placing the wings on and propping them with a toothpick and a piece of paper towel. I used glue to stick them on. This picture also shows that I rolled out a piece of red sugar paste in a tear drop shape and thinned it down where it is to be placed over the beak. Use glue to hold it.
21. Roll out a small piece of white sugar paste fairly thin and cut out a circle from any size decorating tip. 
22.Then cut a slit in the back, and cut straight lines to create a 'collar'. 
23.Drape this over the shoulders of the turkey and brush glue underneath. Tap into place with a wooden tool.

24. Roll out the gray sugar paste about 1/8" thick and cut out about a 1 1/2" circle. I used the largest circle inside the cutter from a Garret's Frill cutter.

25. Then cut out another circle using a decorator tip. This will form the brim.
26. Form a marshmallow shape (not the size) out of a piece of the gray paste, and using your large ball tool, or your finger, round out an indentation where the 'hat' will fit over the brim area.
27. Paint glue onto the head and using a wooden dull sharpened stick, gently push the brim onto the head. As you can see, I hurried too fast by not allowing the figure to firm up, and the center stick pushed through. It makes for a shorter neck, but the hat will cover the stick.

28. Paint a very small amount of glue onto the inside of the brim, and gently place the hat onto the brim. Make sure your figure has dried for a good time in order for it to firm up. The weight from the hat can pull the neck backward from the body. At this point, you may want to use a prop and allow the hat to firm up awhile before putting the tail feathers on. I placed mine in front of a fan and let it dry until it was a bit leathery.
29. Roll out a piece of the lighter brown used for the body. (If you have found that you did not make enough of this color, just add more fondant or gum paste dough to what you have left and add a little more color. Don't worry about matching the color exact, because you are going to use petal dust on the tail feathers anyway, so a perfect match in color is not necessary). Use the larger cutter for this cut and cut off about 1/3 of the circle.
30. Use a toothpick to mark the center with a dot.
31. I used a Wilton rotary cutter to score the lines of the feathers aiming for the center dot.

32. Make sure that you also make a line in between each feather the same way. You won't have to score it all the way down to the center dot, just about an inch should be enough because you are going to place another smaller tail feathers over the larger one, and it won't show anyway. 
33. Using a toothpick, you can mark where the slant of the feathers will be. I put about 4 or 5 marks on each feather all the way around.
34. Roll out more light brown paste and use the smaller of the cutters and repeat with how you did with the large feather, cutting off about 1/3 of the circle. Brush on some glue onto the bigger feather section and place the second cut circle and mark the center as a guide for the rotary marker to score the lines.
35. Score the lines all around.

36. Using the same tool, score the between each feather about 1" down.
37. Repeat using the toothpick to mark the angle lines of the feathers.
38. Using dark brown petal dust, tip each feather all the way around including the smaller set of feathers with a small soft dry paint brush.
39. With a different brush, do the same thing with yellow and then orange. You can use the same brush for those two.

40. Put a line of white petal dust under the brown on the back feathers.
41. Then use a soft brush to clean up any of the remaining petal dust and to blend the colors.
42. On the side where all of the colors are, paint some sugar glue just at the bottom where the feathers will join at the behind of the turkey. You can also put a little glue on the back side of each leg to give it more security.
43. Prop the back feathers up with paper toweling and a weight behind, and allow the whole thing to dry overnight.

44. The next day, roll out the small piece of black paste and using the rotary cutter, cut a strip long enough to fit around the hat where it meets the brim. Also, cut a square with a chisel type tool for the buckle.
45. Wrap the thin piece of black paste around the hat, painting a tiny bit of sugar glue here and there to hold it.
46. Then cut the remaining off with the same tool as before or a pair of embroidery scissors or x-acto knife. You want the black strip to appear seamless by having it end in the front.
47. Cover the seam with the buckle using a small amount of glue.

48. Mix up a very small amount of gold luster dust with vodka or Ever-clear using a thin liner brush. Paint all around the black square to resemble a buckle.
49. Now to finish up the back side. You want the back to look as attractive as the front. Mix up a little bit of brown petal dust with vodka or Ever-clear and paint a little onto the back feathers stroking the 'paint' in the directions of how the feathers go.
50. Using the larger of the two cutters, cut one more scalloped circle out for the backside feathers. You don't want this set of feathers to be bigger than the center one, so count how many escallops were on the center set of feathers and then subtract two for the size of the back set of feathers.
51. Mark these areas with a toothpick and cut across the circle to form the last set of feathers.

52. Repeat all steps pertaining to putting the texture on the feathers and dusting the colors on as before. You can add red to the mix if you like or any other colors.
53. This time when you glue the feathers on, you will paint the side that has not been dusted with petal dust.
54. Then push it into the center set of feathers.
55. This is a side view so you can see the depth of the layered feathers and a nice clean backside.

56. Now for the final piece. The sign. Roll out a piece of white fondant not too thin.
57. With a small stick roll the paste to the center from both sides to form a higher area where the toothpick will go in and not show through on the front of the sign. Stick your toothpick in and make sure that it does not show on the 'good' side.
58. Remove the toothpick and cut the piece of white in a sign shape, about an inch by a half inch. Roll out any thickness not needed with a stick. Glue the stick in the hole.
59. Thin down some black color gel with some vodka and paint lines and dots all around the sign. Then write your message in the box. I put Have Mercy, but other cute saying are Eat Ham, Go Beef, etc.

60. and 61. Finished turkey! Not quite dry, so the sign is beside the little guy. As you can see, my tutorial turkey is a little bit smaller than my original one. But they both still look cute!

        Happy Thanksgiving!!