Bring your modeling chocolate or fondant creations to life with edible googly eyes. They are so fun to add to modeling chocolate sea creatures like fish, octopuses, snails, and more.
A few years ago I came across a tutorial on making edible googly eyes out of gelatin capsules and edible sugar pearls (large nonpareils) over at Evil Mad Scientist. I thought the idea was truly brilliant.
I just had to try it out. I thought the googly eyes would look cute on sea creatures, so I sculpted a fish, octopus, worm, and snail out of modeling chocolate and added the eyes.
It took a bit of playing to get it to work on the pliable modeling chocolate but I figured out a technique that worked perfectly.
I followed the Evil Mad Scientist's instructions on making the eyes by cutting a few of the capsules and adding some black edible sugar pearls.
To my dismay, the eyes didn't wiggle and were kind of lost on the face.
After playing around a bit, I determined it is best not to cut the capsules to give the eyes more room to wiggle, and that adding a bit of white modeling chocolate makes the eyes more prominent on the face.
My sea creatures really came to life once I added these silly wiggly eyes. They would be a whimsical addition to any summer-themed party. If you make these cute characters using white modeling chocolate which tastes much like a vanilla Tootsie Roll, then you can serve them as individual treats.
You can, if you prefer, sculpt your animals out of fondant and use them to decorate a cake or even cupcakes. Just be sure to add some tylose powder so your figures hold their shape.
Gelatin capsules come in many different sizes, so you can make eyes the appropriate size for your sculptures, just choose the right size sugar pearls or nonpareils to fit in the capsule. This technique can be used to create eyes for any sculpted animal, human, or creature.
This post is really about sharing the method of adding googly eyes to your sculpted pieces, but I will show you step-by-step instructions to create a goldfish out of modeling chocolate.
Modeling Chocolate Goldfish with Edible Googly Eyes
Before you begin, you'll need to make some modeling chocolate. Read my tutorial on making and coloring modeling chocolate. I can't really tell you how much you will need, as it will depend on the type and number of animals you are making and their size. I made all four of my sea creatures out of one batch of modeling chocolate and they are pretty big (big hands!)
CAUTION: REMOVE THE GOOGLY EYES BEFORE ALLOWING A YOUNG CHILD TO EAT YOUR MODELING CHOCOLATE ANIMALS. Although the eyes are completely edible, they can pose a choking hazard to a young child.
optional, rolling pin
optional, sculpting tools
Make the edible googly eyes.
Flatten or roll out a small amount of white modeling chocolate. Pull the two pieces of a gelatin capsule apart. You can use the large end of the capsule if the head of your modeling chocolate animal is thick (like the octopus or fish), but use the smaller ends otherwise (for the snail or sea serpent.)
Set one edible black sugar pearl on the modeling chocolate.
Place a capsule over the black pearl and press down gently.
Cut out a modeling chocolate plug for the end of each eye.
To help facilitate the removal of the capsule, lift up the modeling chocolate and use your finger to press up against the underside of the modeling chocolate where the capsule is placed.
Then peel the capsule away from the modeling chocolate. You will get a nice clean cut and very nice round whites for the eyes. Can you see how there is a lot of room for the black pearl to wiggle in the capsule?
Once this eye is pressed into the modeling chocolate animal's face, the white will move up into the capsule slightly. That is why it is important to have plenty of capsule length to work with.
Sculpt a goldfish.
Pinch off pieces of modeling chocolate to create your goldfish. You'll need one large ball rolled into a long oval shape for the body, two medium-sized balls flattened and formed into ovals with pointed ends for the tail fins, two smaller versions of the same for the pectoral fins, and two very tiny balls rolled and formed into half moons and pinched together to form the mouth.
If you want, you can use another medium ball of modeling chocolate to make a dorsal fin for the top of your fish.
The actual size of the pieces will be determined by how big you want your finished fish.
Shape the fins.
You can, if you want, use a veining gum paste tool to quickly add some texture to the fins. You can also use a toothpick to create a similar effect.
Attaching the googly eyes.
Attach the fins and mouth to the body using a small amount of water. Press the eyes into the fish on either side of its head.
Push just far enough for the eyes to stick but not so far that the sugar pearls won't wiggle anymore.
When I made my first fish, I used blue sugar pearls, but in the end liked the black pearls better.
Let the modeling chocolate goldfish dry.
Allow your fish to dry for a few hours before moving. Don't plan to move your fish around very much as the tail fins can break off very easily. If you are making a cake or cupcakes, you might want to set the fish in place before attaching the tail fins.
These modeling chocolate fish will keep for up to a month at room temperature. Modeling chocolate hardens over time but will soften once bitten into. It will have the texture of a Tootsie Roll.
I just love this octopus. When I decided to do this blog post, I didn't have any use for the sea creatures, so they are sitting on a shelf in my kitchen.
They make me smile every time I pass by them.
If you have fun making these modeling chocolate goldfish and octopus, you might also enjoy making these other Summer Fun Recipes.
If you enjoy working with Modeling Chocolate, known as Candy Clay when made using Candy Melts, you'll want to check out my Candy Clay Creations book.
This 102-page book is filled with tips and tricks for making and working with candy clay along with 17 step-by-step tutorials for decorating cupcakes, cookies, and more using candy clay. It's a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to make festively decorated treats.