I recently stopped by the Popkiller store and picked up this Space Invaders ice cube tray for $9.00. I made some ice cubes but they weren't all that impressive because they melted in my glass before I had a chance to really appreciate them. Since the tray is made of food grade silicone and is rated for -58 to 446 degrees Farenheit (-14 to 230 degrees Celsius), I decided to use it to make something more permanent.
I went with hard candy first. I used this recipe.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- between 1/4 and 1 teaspoon flavoring
- liquid food coloring
- 1 to 2 teaspoons citric acid (optional, adds tartness)
First I boiled some water to test my candy thermometer. I had just bought it and it only cost $2, so I wanted to check the accuracy. It showed about 5-10 degrees less than 100 degrees Celsius when the water first started boiling.
The recipe is pretty simple. You mix the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a saucepan. I don't have any nonstick pans so I spread some vegetable oil all over my saucepan (this worked out fine). When the candy thermometer showed ~300 degrees Farenheit ('hard cracked' temperature) I turned off the heat. At 275 degrees I added ~6 drops red food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon imitation strawberry flavor. Then I immediately poured it into the mold. I thought it would cool down very fast so I rushed and did a messy job. What was in the saucepan actually cooled down pretty slowly.
I thought it might help to use this cast iron pan as a heatsink.
I laid them out on a piece of waxpaper in the obligatory arrangement. I think the shapes aren't quite true to the original arcade version but that is probably something the company did to avoid copyright issues.
I wanted some better photos (or zoomed in photos) to show how sharp the outlines of the invaders came out, but my camera stopped working...
Taste: they taste just like generic strawberry hard candy. They remind me of the kind that used to come wrapped in a wrapper that was supposed to resemble a strawberry. They are pretty sweet and not sour.
In the future I plan to try green/mint, orange/orange, clear/coconut, and yellow/banana space invader candy.
I also bought some baking chocolate to make chocolate space invaders.
Other future plans: Allen put it into my head to make a carbonite Han Solo chocolate. I'm not aware of any commercially available molds, and I don't want to buy a toy to use in mold-making, so I think I might find a friend with CAD skills (or learn myself) and go from there.
For practicing my CAD skills I might make some Tetris trays. I saw that on instructables and it seemed pretty cool for ice cubes (no small details that will quickly melt away).