Legend of Zelda Triforce Stained Sugar Glass

Difficulty3The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will be released tomorrow, February 13th, 2015. Incidentally, when I made this recipe I wasn’t even thinking about it and didn’t know the exact release date for the game. Happy accidents are happy, yes? Yes. A couple months back, Neo and I had one of our famous Eccentric Post-12 Hour Shift Sunday Talks on our way home from work when one of us came up with the idea for this one. This recipe turned out to be a little challenging but is easily perfected with some practice. In this case, the final product you see is from the third batch. It went a little something like this:

  1. Heated sugar syrup to 250 degrees F instead of 295-300 degrees F because I accidentally misread the thermometer. Sugar syrup thickened but did not set. Whoops.
  2. Success! Called Neo and Jessie to kitchen to gloat, took turns handling the sugar glass, Jessie mishandled it and it shattered.
  3. Complete success!

The third, finished ‘pane’ will be getting hauled off for a midnight release event tonight at a local GameStop and I’m really looking forward to giving out samples. That said, I have a lot of cards to print out for the event so…

Ready? Let’s go!

Gamers, grab your mats:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar (white)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • food coloring, green and yellow
  • lemon juice
  • decorating icing, black – I found mine at my local craft store
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Measuring things. It’s important.

Dump the first four ingredients into a large skillet. The more surface area the better. For the final batch I actually used a pan that was about two inches bigger in diameter than the one pictured above. Stir to combine.

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The resulting contents will be cloudy looking. Don’t worry about it.

Transfer pan to stove top and clip your candy thermometer to the side. Make sure the thermometer is submerged in the liquid but not touching the bottom of the pan. Turn your burner on to the lowest setting.

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And it begins. Pull up a chair, this will take a while.

You now have the dubious honor of stirring this until the candy thermometer reads 295-300 degrees F. This should take around an hour if done properly – sorry about that. You can gradually adjust the temperature upward during the cooking process until your burner is almost set to medium heat by the end of the cooking process. I emphasize gradually here because if this is done too quickly your sugar concoction will turn yellow, caramelize, and possibly even burn. Pull up your chair and get to stirring. As you can see below, I picked up a little light reading…

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A bit of light reading while cooking. GLASS, by Ellen Hopkins. This is not about cooking sugar glass, incidentally. If you haven’t read anything by her, well, why the hell not?

Yes, 500+ pages is light reading for me. You get used to it.

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The most frustrating number you’ll read on your thermometer.

At around 240 degrees F your thermometer will probably stop rising for a bit. This is due to water evaporation. You can turn up your burner a notch but you more or less just have to wait this stage out. As you approach 300 degrees, your sugar syrup may start to get a yellow tint; I found that gradually turning up the heat on batch 3 while cooking gave me a lighter yellow tint than previous batches. With practice you can eventually get a relatively clear glass but a slight yellow tint to this recipe won’t be the end of the world.

Take your sugar syrup off the burner immediately at the 295-300 degree mark and carefully pour into a well greased pan. I used a half sheet pan and this turned out to be an ideal thickness for this project.

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Do not, for the love of Insert-Deity-Here, touch this pan without potholders.

If you get any bubbles, these can be removed by using a needle or safety pin:

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Work quickly, this is going to set up fast.

Allow to cool and carefully remove from pan. I did this by running a sharp knife around the edges of the pan and slowly pulling the glass up. It’s going to be slightly sticky (I mean, come on. Sugar.) so I would highly recommend transferring this to wax or parchment paper, or even a silicone mat. I recommend using parchment paper as you can see through this to trace your design. Print out a copy of the design you want to use for your painting and slide this between your work surface and protective covering.

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In all its pre-painting glory.

My setup for painting the black lines. It’s literally twist off, twist on, and go. Easy. You have some leeway here regarding what size tip you use, but the tip should be round. For best results, follow package directions on how to make the best lines.

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Enlarged for detail. This is the setup I used for piping my icing onto the glass. I used the round tip at the top right. You could get away with a smaller tip if you prefer.

Start painting!

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First test line.
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Getting there…
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The finished central design.

And since this is stained glass, lay out your next lines accordingly:

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Like this. You will also need a border around the outside edges but this will be your last step before the coloring stage.

Now to fill your colors in. Put about 10-15 drops green food coloring and a squeeze or three of lemon juice into a cup and mix together with a small, clean paintbrush. This isn’t an exact science and your volume of coloring will vary depending on the size and complexity of your design as well as your variety of colors.

Wait, am I suggesting you could make other Zelda related designs or branch out to other subject matters? Yes, I am!

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The first two test color panels. Looking good.

You should only need a few drops of your coloring paint in each panel to get these results. Too much will make it too dark. You could get really complex with shading if you’d like, but this will require letting the first layer dry before applying additional coats. For our purposes, flat color is just fine and looks perfectly lovely.

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Almost done.

If you ever get a color where it shouldn’t be, let the offending color absorb into a paper towel. Be very gentle. It will come up.

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All green panels complete! Now for the yellow…

The yellow turned out a little weird for me. I used store brand so I don’t know if this is a factor, but mine came out kinda reddish orange from the bottle. I tried to compensate by using only a couple of drops of coloring and doubling the amount of lemon juice. This turned it to a more golden color.

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The finished stained sugar glass pane. Why yes, we do own an ocarina…

I did end up retouching some of the icing lines the next day for a smoother look. This was a particularly fun project and can be adapted for so many occasions. If you’re local, feel free to come out tonight to the Bridgewater Falls GameStop on Princeton road to geek out with me and get free samples of this sugar glass! Hopefully I will be able to get several pictures together for a special feature later this week, so stay tuned!

Like what you see? Want to see more? Like Skill Up Skillet on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @SkillUpSkillet. You can also sign up for the mailing list and get emails whenever something gets posted. I love hearing from all of you!

Coming up next: Senzu Bean Gummies…. because I’m not dense enough to try jelly beans again.

Cheers,

Leisel

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