Using a few simple tools can turn sugar art into fabulous, eye-catching figurines, as demonstrated by sugar artist Daniela Cabrera, who creates a face using ChocoPan by Satin Ice modeling chocolate.

As a Satin Ice instructor, Cabrera creates magical figures in sugar art. Start with a circular piece of chocolate candy surrounded by a malleable piece of Satin Ice modeling chocolate.

Press down on the ball with two gloved fingers to make the eye indentations. Then use a sculpting tool to create the mouth and nose and color the lips, eyes, and eyelashes.

Essential tools for working with ChocoPan

  • Shaker with cornstarch/powdered sugar; eliminates sticking of chocolate to work surfaces
  • Non-stick silicone mat; work area for rolling out larger pieces 
  • Rolling pin: 17-inch for large cakes, 7-inch rolling pin for small projects
  • Flat top offset spatula or knife: for cutting out portions of product from the pail
  • Sculpting tool set (5,7, or 9-piece, plastic or stainless steel) to form, shape, mark and imprint
  • Vinyl gloves: avoid fingerprints and diffuses heat from hands
  • Paintbrush: water acts as an adhesive, use a paintbrush to apply water if extra strength is needed.
  • Optional: silicone molds, impression mats, cutters

ChocoPan colors can be mixed together, just like fondant. If you prefer to color modeling chocolate, add gel, paste, powder pigment or oil-based food color when kneading, according to Satin Ice. To color covering chocolate, add food color gel or color paste when kneading. Add the colorant to a cupped bit of modeling chocolate. Knead the chocolate until it becomes the color you desire.

TIP: Wear disposable gloves to avoid staining your hands.

Both covering chocolate and modeling chocolate can be painted with gel food color or edible confectionery paint. Petal dust can be cut with lemon extract to simulate a drier texture.

Cabrera inspires decorators to push the envelope of creativity with her intricate work.

“Carrying out my work as an instructor in the arts of creative sugar has enabled me to provide job opportunities and job development to a large number of people,” she says “I am also proud of being named as one of the first Mexican sugar artists to appear on international stages.”

In 2005, she started Danny’s Cake Factory in San Francisco del Rincón Guanajuato, Mexico, where she works as a sugar artist and cake designer. In 2016, she organized the first collaboration of Mexican sugar artists, focused on projecting the talent of Mexican sugar artists to the world. Her work has been published by many prestigious international magazines.