Step 4: Sculpting the Witch's Body & Head Base
Rice Krispie Treat Base:
5 oz mini marshmallows
3 C Rice Krispies Cereal
Pour marshmallows into a large bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes then stir. Continue to microwave at 30 sec intervals until completely melted. Quickly stir in the cereal.
Working with this stuff can be a nightmare, so here are a few tips:
Place the mixture into a glass bowl and set it on a heating pad, that has been covered with a towel. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then cover that with part of your towel. Set the heating pad to the lowest setting. This will keep your mixture from drying out and also keep it warm and pliable, giving you more time to sculpt with it.
Rub a little bit of shortening on your hands and fingers, and/or a little bit of water. This will allow you to handle it and get it stuck to the pipe without it sticking to you.
Start from the bottom and work your way up. I did a cone shape for the dress, then went all the way up the pipe just past the shoulders. Then I went back and added more here and there to get her shape. You'll want to really pack in the cereal, so that you have a pretty solid form. If needed, you can use a pairing knife or a pumpkin saw to carve in more details of the shape after it has hardened.
Whatever shape you are wanting, be sure to exaggerate it because you'll be covering it with thick fondant and you'll loose some of your "curves". For instance, I knew that I wanted a "hunch back" for aesthetic reasons but also in order for the cape to go flowing off of her back. I also had planned for her to have a hood, so I exaggerated the hump. This helped hold her hood up when I got to that step. Her "butt", I did for similar reasons. It allowed the bottom of the cape to rest on it, keeping it away from her body, thus giving her more dimension.
Ok, so the body was looking good. Next, it was time to move onto the head and neck. I used my personal fav, MMF (marshmallow fondant) and tinted it with a neon green food coloring. You can use store bought, however, it IS much cheaper to make your own. I really don't want to go into particulars here on how to work with fondant or make it (this tutorial is more about the cake construciton), but you can check out my blog at ddpiesslice.blogspot.com for the recipe and tons of details and tips including all of the fondant tools I use.
So, first I taped the eye lights with white electrical tape bending and shaping them into place. Then I taped them more securely to the straw. I started with only a small ball of fondant, shaping it around the eyes. I built on that using smaller torn pieces of fondant. Similar to how you see people creating head busts out of clay. This step only serves as a base for the rest of the head and face, so just worry about the general shape.
Next I shaped the neck and smoothed that down over the tops of the shoulders. I let the whole piece dry and harden over night before moving on to the next step.