White Chocolate Fondant

White Chocolate FondantI finally did the tutorial for my White Chocolate Fondant. I love this recipe. The chocolate added to it makes the fondant pliable without being too soft. Since white chocolate has a light flavor, you can still add your own flavoring to this recipe plus you can make the fondant at the consistency you  like.

In the tutorial I give all the information you need to make the fondant. Without the chocolate, the recipe still gives you a basic fondant. But adding the chocolate makes it so much better. One thing I do want to make clear. Not all chocolates are the same, so having a good quality chocolate makes a big difference. I use White Chocolate Melts from Guittard. These are a compound coating but is one of the best out there. It’s really delicious and melts like a dream.  It’s important to use a good quality chocolate that is made for melting or if you use a compound coating, it should be of good quality too.

chocolate chipsI don’t recommend using chocolate chips since they are made for high temperatures and won’t start melting until they have reach 350 degrees. Plus the wax they are coated with doesn’t really make for the best melted chocolate. But I am sure some people will try them. Other good quality chocolates brands are Valrhona and Callebaut. I am sure there are other great quality chocolate companies out there that I haven’t used but I have used Guittard and love the product so I will stick to using it.

Since I  know there are followers from almost everywhere in the world, I won’t be able to test all the chocolates or melts out there to know the outcome of each of them. I did go to the supermarket and bought a few brands available there. They might not be the best out there but they are the most accessible to everyone.

Bakers

Baker’s Premium White Chocolate is a very common baking brand chocolate found easily in most supermarkets. Taste wise it’s less tasty than the Guittard melts. But I was able to use it in the recipe. I found out that for this one I had to reduce the Glycerine to 1 tablespoon, use 1 Tablespoon of Tylose instead of a teaspoon and I had to use more sugar. to get the consistency I like. Overall, it works well if you adjust the ingredients.

 

ghirardelli

 

The Ghirardelli Premium Bar for baking worked well. I did the same exchange of ingredients as Baker’s and I got a pretty good outcome. This one also used a bit more sugar too than what I normally use with Guittard. But just like Baker’s, the recipe turned out well.

My next test was Ghirardelli Candy Making for Dipping.
Ghirardelli melts

 

 

These wafers do taste really good in comparison to  the bars from Baker’s and Ghirardelli. I did stick to using less glycerine and more tylose with them and the fondant works pretty good too. From the supermarket brands, this one was my top favorite.

 

Next, I decided to test Wilton Candy Melt, these are a compound coating too ].
I did want to test them because they are easily found in crafts centers in the Wilton section. I tested these before the other chocolate brands from the supermarkets.
Wilton Candy melts 2My first try was a complete fail. The fondant felt grainy and was not elastic. I was not happy about the outcome. That’s when I decided to lower the Glycerine and add more tylose to the recipe. The second batch worked well with the changes and that’s when I decided to do the same with all the supermarket brands.

My suggestions are:
*Try to use a good quality chocolate or a good quality compound coating melt, it does make a difference. Use a scale to measure it.

*Make sure to melt the chocolate at a low heat or if you use the microwave, do it slowly. Melting the chocolate too fast can damage the chocolate, making it grainy and lumpy. If you use the stove, use a double boiler and make sure the water doesn’t get to the chocolate or it can seize. I will do another blog and talk more about this subject. Let’s go back to fondant talk!

The recipe I am giving you works great. I will add though, that athmospheric conditions might make a difference on the outcome. If you feel a grainy fondant, make the next batch with just one tablespoon of glycerine. If your fondant is too soft you can use up to 1 tablespoon of Tylose.

I know I will get a million questions about Tylose. Most of them will say, “I can’t find it Tylosewhere I live”. I haven’t tested the recipe with other products. I don’t like Gum Tex (personal opinion), and I haven’t tested it with other gum ingredients like gum tragacanth or CMC. I love my Tylose and I will honestly say, order some from the internet. It’s totally worth it! If you decide to try other gums, let me know the outcome. But remember, the recipe is made for tylose so if there’s a fail, you might have to adapt the amount you add.

Other things to watch out will be
* Don’t overheat the Corn Syrup. You want it warm, not hot.
* Make sure the gelatin blooms properly. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly
over the water.
* Don’t overheat the gelatin. You want the gelatin to dissolve and look clear.
* Make sure that when you start, you are gonna finish what you started. Fondant
won’t wait. It will dry out and be a complete mess if you leave in the middle of
making it.
* Work fast, the less air the less the fondant will dry
* Vegetable Shortening will help you with the kneading. If your fondant feels dry,
apply the shortening like it’s hand cream and continue kneading.
* If you have a fail, try again. Maybe you need to get a better ingredient or make
sure you are following the recipe. If humidity is not helping, make sure to lower the glycerine. It’s best to work in a room with air conditioner and if you have
huge humidity issues, then get yourself a dehumidifier. Sugar and heat don’t
mix so try to make your environment proper to work with sugar. You will have
a harder time with your work if it’s too hot.
* You will fail if you stop trying. So if you fail one time, try again and again.
I promise that it’s easy but you got to learn the process and what works
best in your environment.
* A scraper is great to use when you start kneading.

Bench scrapper

I did the fondant in the video manually so everyone could see how it can be done, but you can easily make this using a kitchen Aid. If you don’t like the microwave, use a double boiler. Everything is adaptable.

Once you make your fondant, make sure you seal it well in cling plastic and then place it in a ziploc bag. It will last just like any pre-bought fondant as long as it’s sealed well. If it gets hard after a few days, place it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I do that with all my fondants to soften them. It’s easier on the hands!

For the full recipe tutorial and tips for White Chocolate Fondant, click here.

 

 

I hope you enjoy the full Recipe (click here), and feel free to send anybody to my website so they can try it.
Until next blog….ta ta!

Edna🙂

 

 

 

Another Cake Class-SOFLO

Edna De la Cruz teaching at SOFLO

Hi everyone! On April 23 and 24, I will be attending the “SOFLO Cake and
Candy Expo”, being held at the Miami Airport Convention Center in Miami,
Florida. I will be judging the cake competition on Saturday, and will be
teaching a 3 hour class on Sunday starting at 11:00 am until 2 pm.

Here is the class I will be teaching:
I will cover in the class how to make these roses, lilacs and daisies.

Since this is a 3 hour class, we won’t have the time to finish the entire topper because there is a lot of flowers in this arrangement to complete.

I will however make sure that all the flowers are taught. Depending on how fast the students are, I will teach them how to do the flower pot so that they can finish the arrangement at home. I will demo how to arrange the flowers in the topper as well.

Here are the beautiful lilacs in the picture below.

Jardin2

Below, you will see daisies, leaves and rosebuds.

Jardin4

The whole theme of the arrangement is a modern take of a garden pot full of
flowers. This flower arrangement and pot can be made as a topper so that it
can be saved as a memory of the wedding cake; just in case a bride wants to
keep it as a souvenir.

Below is a picture of the flower pot:

Gumpaste tappits medallion

When I teach a class I like to make sure to teach things that I know; especially those of which I use a lot in my cake decorating. I love to work fast and I like shortcuts so I can finish faster. Time is money when it comes to cake decorating and I love to pass these shortcuts to my students. Plus, I always try to fit as much as I can in a class.

So even though the students might not able to finish the whole arrangement, I will demo everything this cake has in the class. The most important concept of this class is making sure that my students learn how to create these beautiful and realistic edible flowers out of sugar.

Here is the link to the class. Click here for the Flower Pot Class in SOFLO.

If you are not able to go to this class, I do have a DVD on how to make the roses.
It’s a 4 hour DVD! Click here for DVD.

I do hope to see you in class. April 23 is my birthday so it will be a fun weekend for me, and I hope for my students as well.

Until next Blog…ta ta!
Edna

 

The Hand Painted Cake

 

austin class 1

Hello to all my cake friends. In two weeks I will be attending the ‘That Take the Cake Show‘ being held at the Round Rock Sports Center in Round Rock, TX., where I will be teaching a 3 hour class with my great friend Karen Vazquez on February 26th, 2016 starting at 5:30 pm. The show itself starts Saturday, February 27th and ends on Sunday the 28th. This show is one of the best cake shows and I finally have the chance to go!

The theme as you can see represents the 17th – 18th century baroque style. Consisting of the dramatic exuberance of colors from today while bringing out the profound ornate elegance of the many fine detailed golden miniature flowers, swirls and pearls. The class will be separated into 2 part class for the 3 hours. Karen will teach the students on how to create the beautiful blend of colors on the cake, and I will teach how to accessorize the cake so it shines!


Gumpaste flowers can be time consuming, so you can imagine how much time it would take to create a dozen miniature flowers using cutters. Luckily for the class, I will educate the students on how to create this beautiful miniature flowers without the use of cutters. This, way I can move faster when decorating the cake and still accomplish that quality that the clients expect from me.

 

Also, I may mix freehand petals with cutter petals to give the class different approaches so they can choose what works best for them.

Miniature handmade gumpaste flowers.

The roses can be made completely with no cutters or you can use cutters to finish them; totally based off preference. I will demo 2 kind of blossoms:

  1. Small blossoms are actually the simplest blossoms to create. These flowers are great fillers for gumpaste flower arrangements.
  2. Bigger blossoms have more delicate petals needing just a few more steps to complete them.

Gold swag of gumpaste flowers.Once you know how to make this flowers, you can make beautiful arrangements with them like the swag in the photo above.

Cake Decorating Class

Since the class is a 3 hour class, we won’t be able to do a 4 tier cake, so we will have to make a one tier cake that includes the main parts of the design. Because of the limited time, this means that we will only be able to teach you how to paint the cake, create the oval frame, do a couple mini roses along with the leaves. This way, I can demo the rest of the details in the cake for the class so that everyone can see the outcome on how to create this gorgeous creation.

If we have time, I will also include a free demo a full size rose. With what you learn on the class you will be able to do the 4 tier cake shown above, on your time in case we run out of time here. One must not take haste when creating art, for it expresses the true identity and intent of the artist themselves.

If you are interested in the class, click here.
‘That Takes the Cake Show’ is one of the best shows in the country.

If you are interested in participating in the cake competition, take classes or simply just go to visit the show, go to:
That Takes The Cake website.

 

Hope to see you there, ta ta!
Edna🙂

 

 

 

The Crumb Coat- Cake Basics 101

The Crumb Coat

We all want beautiful perfect cakes and even though icing a cake might appear
to be a simple task, it isn’t. Achieving the perfect icing requires practice and once you learn how to do it, it will become easy and fast.

There are many ways to ice a cake. I have tested many of them and most of them work but each person will find one to be their favorite. My favorite way to ice a
cake is by doing a crumb coat. I will eventually talk about other ways of icing a
cake so you guys can choose the one you like best, but I will start with the way
I do it.

DSC_0991

A crumb coat is a very thin coat of
icing that is used to seal the crumbs
on the cake. It’s called a crumb coat because you will see the crumbs in
this layer of icing. I use crusting buttercream with my cakes but this technique works with other icings too. One thing to keep in mind is the consistency of the buttercream.
It can’t be too thin because it won’t make it easier for the second coat
to be applied but it can’t be too stiff because it will break the cake. It
needs to be in a good medium consistency.

I do have a system I follow when I ice my cakes. I bake my cakes a few days earlier. I seal them well and place them in the fridge. This will not only help
the flavors to settle down, but you will have a nice cold cake to work with. Many people make the mistake of working on cakes that are too fresh and not
completely cooled down from the baking. Some people can manage working with
a cake in that condition and do an awesome job. But most people will have
a hard time working like that. A fresh baked cake is softer, there will be more
crumbs and the cake will break easily

Raspberry filling

Now that I have a cold cake, I can torte and fill the cake and get it ready for the
crumb coat. The video I am posting
shows how I do this step. Make sure
your cake is cold. Not only does it make
it easier but it will control the crumbs
and it will help you move faster. If you
are working with stacked cakes, it will be faster to do all the crumb coats and place the cakes in the refrigerator so they cool down and the buttercream hardens. This will make the second coat easier to apply without lifting a lot of the crumb coat.

If you plan to leave the cake with the crumb coat overnight in the fridge, make
sure to cover the cake with some plastic wrap to avoid condensation. if you
get too much condensation on your cake from leaving it overnight, you want to
pat the water away with paper so the second coat doesn’t slide over the first
coat. But keep in mind that it’s better to avoid the condensation than to deal with it. Make sure your refrigerator is not too cold either as it can make condensation worst. There are other ways to avoid condensation but I will do another blog about that.

 Bench scrapper

I talk in the video about the spatula I use when
I ice my cakes. I love my 7 inch angle spatula but keep in mind you might prefer a different one. The bigger the spatula, the more buttercream you can add but it will be heavier
to handle. My other favorite tool would be the scrapper. You want a Scraper that is food
safe and has a nice L-shape that helps control how straight your cake will be. And finally it’s a good idea to have a good turntable. All these things do help to move faster and when you are earning money from making cakes, time is money.

I am posting below the link to the Crumb Coat Tutorial and below it I am adding
the link for How to Ice a Cake.

Even though the tutorial How to Ice a Cake is very old, I still use the same technique to ice my cakes.

 

I hope you enjoy, until next blog… ta ta!

Edna🙂

 

 

Fantasy Gumpaste Flower

Cupcake Fantasy Flower in gumpaste.

Para Blog en Español presione aquí.

I was surfing the net awhile ago and saw a beautiful cupcake made by
The Pastry Studio. I contacted them to use their cupcake as inspiration for
a tutorial and they said yes!

This is the photo that I found. I love how they mix the Cupcake Fantasy Flower in gumpaste.
pearls and nonpareils. Makes it look really delicate
and elegant.

I don’t know the steps they used in making these
cupcakes, so I will show you how I would make
them. I didn’t have different sizes of pearls so
I used nonpareils, sugar pearls and sugar
crystals. But I do love the bigger pearls they
used in their cupcakes.

For this particular flower you will need 2 five petal cutters. I used the 2 biggest ones on this PME 5 Petal CutterSet.

The flower is not difficult to make. If you are not used to making gumpaste flowers, this is a great way to learn.

When I make cakes, I know I need to move
fast. Spending too much time in a single detail is not a great idea when you are trying to earn some money. This is something I keep in mind when I teach. We want pretty and we want fast.
This is the reason why I mention the tools
I use that help me to move fast when I do tutorials.
Celformers, flower formers.
I used a Celformer to shape this flower. This is one of those tools that I love and make my flower making a bit easier. I cover them in foil so I can reuse the former as I dry the flowers I already made.

The tutorial is very detailed. You can also
add more detail to the flower with petal dust
if you want to take it to another level. I didn’t
do the petal dust in the tutorial because I wanted to show the simplified version of the flower.

Some people will say this is a lot of work for a cupcake and yes it can be. So make sure to charge well for the work you do. The other option will be to mix this cupcake with others that have a more simple design. The flower can also be used in cakes.

No matter how you end up using it, this is a great flower to learn. I hope you
enjoy the Tutorial. Click on the photo to go watch full Tutorial.

Cupcake Fantasy Flower in gumpaste.

Until next blog, ta ta!

Edna😉

 

 

 

My Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

Presione aqui para Español

Chocolate is my addiction! I just love it! I have a great recipe in my website for a Crusting Chocolate buttercream. That recipe is great for cakes that are going to be stacked and for those who need a strong buttercream due to hot weather or humidity. The high ratio in this recipe helps stabilize the buttercream.

The recipe I am posting here (click here for recipe) is a recipe that I use all the time for my personal cakes. It’s made with butter and no high ratio. It’s delicious and very easy to make. Usually I like  recipes that crust so I can smooth it almost to look like fondant. This recipe doesn’t crust the same as the recipe listed above, but it crusts enough to be lightly smooth out with Viva Paper.
If you haven’t used this technique you can click here to watchDark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
 tutorial about it.

I made a step by step Tutorial on this
recipe that is in a video on my website.
One benefit from this recipe is that you
can pipe beautiful borders with this recipe.
The cake itself can stay outside the
fridge for a few hours as long as you
leave it in a room with air conditioner.
If you live in a state that is colder than
Florida, you can probably use it on your stacked cakes. But make sure you do
a test before you use it on a cake for
a client. Just make sure to use
butter and not margarine when doing
the recipe.
chocolate

I love to use this buttercream with my dark chocolate cake recipe. If you love chocolate, this is death by chocolate. I will work on the tutorial for the cake and post it soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the recipe just as much as I do. Look below for the link to the recipe and tutorial.

Click here or on the photo to go to the tutorial and the recipe.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw

 

Until next blog, ta ta!

Edna🙂

 

 

Best Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate Cookies

Best Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Presione aqui para Español

I love macadamia nuts. My father got me into eating them and one of my
favorite cookies are the macadamia nut and white chocolate. I had some
of the ingredients and decided to make some of these amazing cookies.

Not sure who is the original creator of this recipe since it was passed to
me by a friend. But there was nothing to fix in this recipe. It’s perfect and
delicious. I am adding a few tips so you guys get a great cookie.
Click here for the recipe.

Baking Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

There is a science to baking cookies. I read over the years people talking how
they want their cookies softer, while others like them crunchy. But the most
dreaded issue people face is, why did my cookie spread and now looks
like a flat blob?

There are so many reasons why cookies can go wrong. One of these reasons
will come from ingredients. Too much sugar can make a cookie spread.
But one factor that people don’t figure most of the time is the butter. Margarine,
for example, will spread more than butter since it is more oily and softer.

Another reason why cookies can spread is from putting the cookies in a hot
cookie sheet that just came out of the oven. The heat from the sheet will cause
the butter to melt before it has a chance to set. So avoid placing your cookies
in a hot cookie sheet or make sure to move fast if you decide to do this. Just
have the cookies pre-shaped so it’s a matter of placing them real fast and move
to the oven in a snap.

Sometimes people use too much butter or oil on the pan that can make a cookie spread too much while it’s cooking. I use the non-stick aluminum foil and it’s a fast clean up, plus I don’t have to add anything. The cookies don’t stick to it. You can also use a Silpat, (non slip baking mat), which is really good for this.

Make sure that you don’t over beat your mixture. This only creates air and that air can cause pockets that eventually just deflate. I usually tend to place my mixture in the fridge. Since the butter in the recipe is used at room temperature,
I want the butter to harden up so that my cookies stay fatter.

Best Macadamia Nut & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

If you follow all these steps and you still get flat blobs for cookies, you can
either use half butter and half shortening. You can use all shortening too instead,
but if you are like me, you might not want to give up the buttery taste. If that is
the case, you have one more option. Lower the temperature of the oven. All
ovens are different. You would think that temperatures should be the same in
all ovens, but somehow things change between one oven to the next. So if
you have tried it all, and your cookies are just not cooperating with you, lower
the oven to 300 degrees. They will take a bit longer to bake, around 24 minutes
for chewy and 30 minutes if you like them crispier. And this time amounts are just approximations. Since each oven works different, just make sure to watch
your cookies.

There are many factors that can make a cookie recipe go wrong. This recipe
I am posting has been tested and it works great. So if you find yourself with
cookies you were not happy with, try the recipe again and follow the tips above.
I am sure you guys have your own tips so feel free to share them. In the
meantime, I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. (Click here for recipe)

Until next blog, ta ta!
Edna

Celebration Cupcakes- Tutorial

Celebration Cupcake=4th of July

Presione aqui para Español

I did this cupcake for the 4th of July and decided to film it while I was working
on it, (click here to watch the video). I love the design on this cupcake. I know many people will say, “that’s too much work for a cupcake”. Yeah, it has some work, and it would be a lot of work if you want to do all your cupcakes with the same design. The beauty about making cupcakes is that you can make them all in different designs. By doing some simple ones, your most complicated ones will shine and make a statement.
Roses, stripes and Stars cupcake. 4th of July CelebrationHere is the cupcake! I used the Strip Cutter to makes the stripes. An easy way to make perfect stripes fast.

Strip Cutter #1 2

I love JEM Cutters. They have a series of cutters that can be place in  a foam they created so you can cut your pieces upside down. I love using the cutters this way because you can make sure that the cut is clean.

Here to the right is the cutter I used. You  can click on the photo for more info on that tool.

JEM Roller foam

To the left is the Roller Foam. As you can see it works with a lot of the delicate cutters from this company.  Click on the photo for more info. I added to the cupcake some stars.  As many of you might already know, I love plunger cutters. I move fast when I used them and that’s important when making cakes.Gold highlighter

 

I painted the stars using my favorite gold highlighter.I did a few months ago a video that teaches how to use the Gold highlighter. You can click here to check the tutorial.

Miniature gumpaste rose.

I took this photo while I was doing the roses. Miniature roses are fun to make. But it’s important to be able to move fast when doing them. You really don’t want to spend hours making a little tiny flower. I have 2 ways of doing these roses and in the video I just used no cutters. I will do and advanced tutorial on these flowers for those who want to learn to make them.

Celebration Cupcake Tutorial

Click on the photo to go see the tutorial.

I hope you enjoy the video!
Until next time, ta ta!
Edna😉

Best Guava Pastries-Recipe

 

Guayaba Pastries recipe

Para Español presione aquí.

This blog is not about cake but I will talk about a delicious dessert that is loved by a lot of Latin cultures. Pastelillos de Guayaba is the Spanish for Guava Pastries. I grew up in Puerto Rico and my mother was the biggest fan of this dessert.

I was at the supermarket the other day and saw a box of these pastries.
I had not eaten one in years and I just decided to forget the diet and go for a
sugar high. lol When I got home and had some of the pastry, I was not very
satisfied with it. Seems they forgot to add the filling! I was totally disappointed.

I decided at that moment that if I wanted to eat a really good pastelillo, I would have to make it myself. I want it fast and making the dough is time-consuming. So I decided to go and buy some.
Puff Pastry from Pepperifdge farms.

I went to the supermarket and got some puff pastry. You can find it
in the freezer section.  When you
work with this product you have to make sure to keep it cold.
Once it gets too warm, it tends to stick. This happens because it’s
made of many layers of dough that has pieces of butter in between the many layers.

This dough has no yeast in it. All the leavening comes from the layers of butter.
Once you start baking it, the butter melts and the steam puffs the layers of
dough up. Making the pastries really airy, flaky and tasty.

As you can see above, it’s really easy to make these pastries. Basically,
you cut the dough in squares then add the guava paste on top. As an extra
flavor, I added some cream cheese to this recipe, but if you don’t like it,
you can dismiss it.

Another thing you can keep in mind is that you can use many other fillings
for them. Some of them can be strawberry jam, raspberry jam, Bavarian cream,
chocolate, salted caramel (click here for tutorial) with pecans, Nutella, pineapple filling (click here for tutorial), cinnamon apples, and so many others, that it will
take forever to mention them all. I grew up with the guava flavor and it’s
still my favorite.

Click on the photo below to watch the tutorial so you can learn the steps to
make these easy pastries. Below the video in the linked page you will find the recipe.

 

I hope you enjoy, until next time, ta ta!!!

Edna😉

 

Cake Decorating 101- The Shell

Piped Shell Borders Tutorial. Para el Blog en Español, Presione Aquí.

I love piping and through the years I have learned that piping gets better the more you practice. Of course, learning tips and tricks will be helpful, but let’s face it; piping is basically a form of writing. We went to school and spent many hours and years learning how to write. Why would people think it can be learned in one session?

I am not going to say that it’s not possible to learn it in one day. But it’s like school, some people will have an easier time learning and others will need more practice. But with some determination, anybody can learn to do it.

Piped shells are one of the most basic ways to finish a cake. I made a video tutorial that teaches step by step how to pipe shells. For those who are beginning to pipe, I went into more detail, making sure to explain what to do and not to do when piping them.

Just like those of you who are starting, I was a beginner once too. I know all the things I did wrong back then. These days I can explain well how things go wrong and how to avoid it. Knowing the tricks might help getting better at it faster, but practice is the only way to improve.

Click here for t the step by step video tutorial.

I hope you enjoy the Tutorial,
Until Next Blog, ta ta!

Edna