Gelatin icing is a type of icing that sets hard and brittle. I use it for all sorts of things including castle turrets, flags and plaques. It is not suitable for covering cakes as it would be difficult to cut. There are similar types of icing available that perform the same type of function - pastillage is one. There are numerous recipes available online. You can also buy ready made pastillage and pastillage powders that you mix up from cake decorating equipment stores.
I opted for using gelatin icing in my books because the ingredients are easy to get hold of and should be available in your local supermarket. However the books use powdered gelatin and in the UK at least something rather peculiar has happened to powdered gelatin.
It started with a couple of e-mails from readers trying to make their own gelatin icing and has now become a regular torrent. Instead of producing a smooth stretchy icing, the powdered gelatin is producing something dry, stringy, and completely unuseable. What have you done oh Gelatin manufacturers???
So to try and save any potential castle cake makers out there from dry stringy frustration, I have spent the last two afternoons experimenting with gelatin leaves (sheets). These are thin transparent sheets of gelatin that you should be able to find in your supermarket. As I was doing this it crossed my mind that you could cut these up to make glass for windows in a gingerbread house but hey I digress...
Recipe to follow!