Flower Pot Topper

Flower Pot Tutorial

Years ago I was designing a cake for a bride and somehow we came to the conclusion that she wanted to have the topper fully as a dummy so she could save it and use it for her first year anniversary celebration cake. These days I mention this idea to all my brides just so that they know that this is an option available to them to do for their cakes. I love making toppers that I know will be saved and will keep the memory of that special event. It’s a great way to save something from the event and use it with a fresh cake if they want to.


The topper can be saved in a box or even under glass, if you want to save it from getting dusty so you can reuse it. If you prefer, you can display it in your house as long as you protect it from heat and light. The light will make the colors fade and the heat might soften the gumpaste details, so I prefer to keep it in a cold and dry area and away from sunlight or UV lights. With proper care a sugar piece should last for many years.

I still have a topper I made from a class I taught years ago and it’s still in great condition. Of course it won’t last forever, but if you lightly dust it, it should last for a very long time. Having the option of saving a topper is something that brides love. Especially when it comes to using gumpaste flowers. When they have the option of saving the item for a longer period, they feel better about investing on what is ultimately a work of art. I do make sure to tell them to be careful when moving the piece and cleaning it since gumpaste is delicate.

I made a tutorial on how I did the base of this cake. I wanted this base to look like a modern style basket weave, so I decided to use this beautiful mold from Marvelous Molds for my base. The tutorial shows how to use basic molds in unusual cake shapes. I basically divided my cake into panels and added other details to complete and clean the final design. I love the combination of the black and Copper Petal Dust for this fall theme topper.

Once you achieve your base, you can finish the topper with any flowers you want. You can do this type of base on real cake or on a dummy. I used a 6 inch dummy that had a V shape but I have also made this topper using a 4 inch dummy. This is another way to give height to a cake for a bride that is having a small wedding but wants a taller cake that makes a bolder statement.

I will post the links for the materials used in this cake below for those who are interested in them. Click to watch the tutorial.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Until next Blog, ta ta!
Edna 🙂


Here are the links for the products I used:
Tri Weave Simpress
Beautiful modern weave pattern made
by Marvelous Molds. They have so many
to choose from.


Image result for frames mold by celshapesFrame Mold
This is a frame mold from the Celcraft company.
They are called Celshapes. I have used this product for many
years and still love it.

This is a beautiful copper non toxic 
petal dust. I have this product available in my website.

You can also use other products like these ones:
Prima Marketing IOD Vintage Art Decor Moulding 1"Vintage Art Decor
The second line in this mold has a very close pattern
to the one I use from Celcraft. I think the other patterns
are really beautiful too.

This is a very useful too. If you don’t
have a specialty mold, you can always use this
to hide the seams or borders.

You can contact some companies to order dummies
with special shapes for your cakes.
Learn to make beautiful gumpaste flowers

with these easy to follow tutorials.


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Stabilized Whipped Cream Tutorial

Whipped cream is a great addition to any dessert and even though I am allergic to dairy, once in a blue moon I choose to suffer the consequences just to be able to eat some. I figure the swollen eyes and headache are just temporary and since I don’t eat it all the time I can handle the temporary pain. Lol

One of the problems you will find with whipped cream is that it’s not stable. You can use it at the time you make it but it won’t stay fluffy for long. It starts melting. With Stabilized Whipped Cream you can cover a cake and use for piping on the cake or desserts.

There are a few ways to stabilize it. Some people use cornstarch for a quick fix. I am not a big fan of the taste but the others options used also run along the cornstarch idea. These other options include Powder Milk and Powder Pudding Mix. All of these contain cornstarch. Even if you use just confectioners sugar, you will find that there is cornstarch in it. For me the most stable one is the gelatin recipe, but as you know, I am all about giving you guys all the info.

Making whipped cream is not really difficult, but I do hear people that encounter problems like lumps, whipped cream that’s too runny and other issues. I’ll try to offer some tips that might help, but if you have a fail, just keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. My advice is to try again. Maybe you used the wrong ingredient, took a wrong step, or missed something. Try again! This is not a new recipe and it works for many, so don’t give up, and try to figure out what went wrong for you.

First for the gelatin, you will need unflavored gelatin. Knox Brand is the most easily found in supermarkets. Great Lakes has another one that is Kosher. A bit more difficult to find but you can always try Amazon. As an added bonus, gelatin is a good source of collagen. Great for skin, nails and hair. If you can’t eat gelatin, you can try Agar-Agar as a thickening agent. For Agar-Agar you really don’t need water. Just dissolve it in milk and make sure that it’s mixed well and then strained to avoid lumps.

Usually you want to sprinkle the gelatin evenly over water.  I don’t know about you guys, but somedays I am just not in the mood to take it slow and I just drop it too fast on the water. Unfortunately, if done improperly, it won’t soak evenly and you will get some lumps. These days I just take a fork and lightly move it to make sure it’s fully mixed. Once the gelatin blooms, it looks like hard jelly. If you want to be safe and properly melt the gelatin without burning it, you can cook it in a double boiler. Some people do it straight in a pan, but if you do this, you will need to cook it on low. You really don’t want to burn it. My favorite and fastest option is the microwave. I cook mine for 30 seconds. Just make sure that the gelatin is clear and fully melted. If you need to cook yours for a longer period, make sure to do it in 10 seconds increments. Once again you don’t want to burn the gelatin. Did I mention that enough? Lol

One of the biggest problems people encounter is adding the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream. This is where you have to watch yourself. For making whipped cream, you need for your heavy cream to be as cold as you can. Usually it’s even preferred to chill the bowl as well as the whisk attachment. I usually don’t bother too much with that, but maybe in a hot environment it might be a good idea. When working with sugar it’s best to work in areas with air conditioner to avoid issues. If you add the warm gelatin to the cold heavy cream, guess what will happen??? It’ll start getting hard, because that’s what gelatin does when it gets cold; it hardens up. So you can’t let the gelatin cool down all the way because it will start solidifying and you can’t add it when is too hot to the heavy cream because it can get lumpy.

How do I solve this and make sure I don’t have a whipped cream full of lumps? I take some of the heavy cream and leave it at room temperature. Usually around a 1/4 cup will do.

Once I get the gelatin out of the microwave, I leave the gelatin alone and start whipping my cream. This will give the gelatin a few minutes to cool down some. Then once I get the whipped cream to the right consistency, I add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream I left at room temperature to the gelatin and combine that well. This is sure to bring the gelatin down enough so that when you add it to the cold cream, it won’t create lumps.

Another thing I do is to pass the gelatin/ heavy cream mixture through a sifter to ensure I don’t have any lumps in that mix. If you are using a stand mixer, you can slowly pour the gelatin on top of the whipped cream without stopping the mixer. If you have a hand held mixer, just make sure to sift the gelatin before you pour it because it’ll be more difficult to do, since we only have two arms. No matter what, if you watch the tutorial, you will see that I poured the gelatin/heavy cream mixture all at once. I was expecting this might create some lumps since I always use a stand mixer. I can honestly say that it didn’t have one tiny lump. All of it was super smooth. Still, I will advise to slowly pour the gelatin as you mix.

I want to clear up for those who are new to whipped cream, is that you should use a cream that has at least 35% fat in order to get the best results, especially if you want to use it for cakes. It’s confusing when you go to the stores and see all these bottles of cream and not be sure which one to use.

Here are some of the most basic ones but there are others I am not mentioning:

*Half-and-half= 15% fat. In the USA this means that it usually contains 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. It’s not meant for it to be whipped, so save it for your coffee.

*Single Cream= 20% fat. This one has a low fat content. You can use in sweet and savory dishes but it won’t thicken when beaten.

*Light Cream= 18% to 30% fat. It can be used just as half and half and in the higher number of fat content it can be whipped lightly but is not stable. Some people also call this one Single Cream. The fat content will determine its uses, but it won’t ever work for cake.

*Whipping Cream= 30% to 35% Fat. This is where you have to watch for the fat. If it contains less than 30% fat, it will whip up lighter, fluffier and more airy. Great to use over pies and desserts, but the higher content of fat will mean stiffer peaks that are best for piping and covering a cake. So if you get whipping cream, make sure it’s at least 35% fat. Most whipping creams these days are pasteurized in order to extend their shelf life.

*Heavy Whipping Cream= 35% Fat I am adding this one on the list because it’s the one I use. I figure it’s a middle ground between whipping cream and heavy cream. The one I use has exactly 35% fat and works great! With that said, heavy cream is even better when it comes to stiff peaks.

*Heavy Cream= 36-38% Fat. You can also use this higher fat heavy cream for stabilized whipped cream. Higher content of fat will make the mix double in size and tends to hold stiff peaks strongly. This one is great to use for ice creams but it works great for soups and sauces as well without the risk of curdling.

Unpasteurized cream whips much easier than pasteurized. But these days you will find more of the ultra-pasteurized cream because it has a longer shelf life of 60 days before it’s opened.

Pasteurization is a process where they bring the cream to a fast heat of 167 degrees for 15 seconds then cool it down really fast. The ultra-pasteurization process brings the milk to a 280 degree heat and even though it kills bad bacteria, it can take away some of the creaminess in the flavor of the cream. Because of the ultra-pasteurized being heated to 280 degrees, there’s a cooked taste to it and less flavor in comparison to the pasteurized. Also the pasteurized holds better peaks than the ultra but that’s where flavorings and stabilizers help if you find only ultra-pasteurized.When you start working, make sure that the cream is cold as you start and as you mix. If it’s not cold enough, it doesn’t “whip,” it “churns” and we’re not making butter. I suggest to put the bowl and the whisk in the fridge so they’re cold as you mix. If you are in a hot environment, you can place a bowl of ice below your mixing bowl to keep everything chilled. And again remember that if you over mix your whipped cream, you will end up with butter, so keep an eye on it.

 

This is all basic information that is always helpful, especially for those of you who aren’t used to working with these ingredients. Another important piece of information concerns the sugar. You need to use confectioners’ sugar for this recipe. If you use granulated sugar it will give you a grainy whipped cream. I tested the recipe using Swerve Confectioners for a sugar free whipped cream and it worked really well. So for those of you who are on a keto diet or need to be on sugar-free diet, you can have your whipped cream guilt free! For those of you who don’t know what Swerve is, it’s a sugar replacement that doesn’t raise insulin levels. Usually you would use the same amount as you use for regular sugar. And if you want it sweeter, you can always add more sugar to the mix, no matter if you are using regular sugar or Swerve.

Finally you have to decide on the flavoring. You can use any extract you want for this. I prefer the Clear Vanilla Extract to avoid getting the brown color on the whipped cream, but you can use your regular Vanilla if you prefer. You can also make it chocolatey by adding cocoa or melted chocolate. The sky is the limit with this recipe but the downside to it is that it needs to be kept in the fridge. So if you don’t like cold cake you will need to wait till my next tutorial so I can talk about other options for dairy free whipped cream substitutes.

But for now I think this is plenty of information for you guys. So click here for the full recipe and video tutorial on how to make Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Click here to go watch Tutorial and see full recipe.

I hope you guys enjoy the information. I know is a lot of it but is worth the knowledge.

Until next Blog, Ta ta!
Edna

 

The Knitted Cake – Product Review

I love to knit and crochet and I just got beautiful molds that are just perfect to create a cake that looks like you have knitted a sweater for it. With fall coming, tons of ideas roll in my head on how I can use these molds!

I love molds and I understand that some people don’t like to spend the money on molds because they might be able to do a design without one. For a person that don’t do cakes often and has the time to spend tons of hours on a cake, saving the money seems fair but for those who have many cakes to do in a day, the right mold can make you move faster, so you don’t have to spend so much time making just one cake.

A cake that looks like it has been knitted is one of those designs that can take a lot of time and effort if you do them without a mold. You would have to use an extruder and take 2 strands, twisting them together and then placing it on the cake, one line at a time, so you can cover a whole cake. It will look beautiful, but the hours spent doing that is not something I look forward too. I love making cakes, but I love to enjoy my life too.

Another way to do a knitted look it is by creating your own mold. It’s a fun thing to play with and create your own molds. But let’s face it, getting the materials for this can get expensive and you need to keep in mind that you need to treat the thread so it can be molded properly (Basically you have to buy a product to spray on the knit so it don’t stick to the mold). It can be time-consuming and not necessarily cheaper option, but if you like to play with making your own molds it can be a fun craft.

I like to use many techniques in my cakes. I will never say no to something that will save me time just because someone in the world might think is better to do things this way or that way. If I can make it fast with a mold I will. I also have learned to use the same mold for different purposes to create versatility on the cake by cutting the molds or simply manipulate the pattern to create another design with the same mold. I see them as an investment that will save me time so I don’t have to spend days making a cake that won’t pay me for all that time I spent making it. I say this all the time and I will say it again: “Time is Money” and my free time means I can relax and enjoy life. Something I value very much.

Sometimes I get molds because I use them over and over in my designs. Sometimes I get them because the mold has a unique pattern and sometimes I get them just because they are gorgeous. Whatever the reason I get them for my pleasure and my customers cakes.

You can say it’s one of those addictive habits that I won’t give up easily…lol. Just like my stash of fabrics in my sewing room. I love that it’s there and I can use it at any time I want especially for those last minute outfits you want to create.

For this video I used the Braided Knit Border and the Classic Knit. I think all of them can be used by themselves and make beautiful cakes, but I really wanted to combine them for this cake tutorial.

I also added a brooch detail  using a mold call Devonaire Brooch and Medium Leather buttons just to finish the look. I painted them in Silver highlighter to brighten the whole cake and the Gumpaste Flowers just soften the whole look. These I teach in my DVD’s.

Marvelous Molds is a great company and constantly creates new and innovated molds that I have yet to encounter to be poorly made. I have used their products since they started making their fabulous molds and they haven’t failed me yet. So my review for this knitted mold in particular is 5 STARS!!! I have worked with many molds throughout the years and a mold with a good design and impression quality of the silicone is very important. I have tested some of the products that are coming from China that are being copied from good companies, but the silicone impressions don’t have the same quality, complete disappointment. It can be a hit or miss with them so I stay with the companies I trust to avoid losing out on money, and save myself from the torture. I have to do a tutorial-review on those products coming from there.

I love the finish look of this cake and I’m so excited to use these molds! Not only for my fall and christmas cakes, but for baby cakes also. Feel free to leave me comments below for products that you want me to review. If it’s accessible to me I can try to add it to my list. Click here to watch the tutorial or click on the photo below.

Until next time, Ta Ta!!!

Edna

 

*The small earnings from advertisements in this Blog are used towards making more tutorials. Reviews are 100% honest and I stand by them. 

Decorating the Cake Board

Decorating the Cake Board

I just posted a new tutorial in You Tube. This is a basic tutorial on how to cover a board but I wanted to add a bit more detail on how to decorate it too. I love how a cake looks when the board is decorated. It brings the cake to another level.

I worked so many years decorating cakes and adding fondant to a cake board used to be something you do as an extra detail for high-end cakes. These days, although the regular people who buy cakes don’t necessarily know about this detail, the cake community has expectations for all cake boards to be decorated.

I will add fondant to cakes that are high-end. Most of those cakes are well paid and they do require a finish look. With that said there are other times that I don’t cover a cake board unless I am paid for. Package cakes for example, are cakes that are part of a deal that some venues add as part of the contracts with brides for their weddings. These cakes are low-budget cakes and in here that time that you might spend covering a fondant board will be used more wisely in making another cake that will make more money.

Covering a basic cake board can be done fast. But add the time of looking for the fondant, coloring it, kneading it, rolling, placing it on the board, cutting the excess, smoothing it and either the time that it needs to dry or the oven time you have to use to make it dry faster. All of this is time you use in making a board. Let’s say it takes 15 minutes overall to do all this, ( that’s without taking in consideration drying time). In those 15 minutes I use to cover that cake board, I can torte and ice a cake and with 10 more minutes I can finish a basic cake that I can charge around between $30 to $60 dollars depending on the size of it.

Stitch Edge ReliefSo taking all of that in consideration and adding to that you may have many other cakes to make, you do have to take in consideration that time and the cost of your time that needs to be paid.

I love a cake board covered. It makes a huge difference. But I do make sure I get paid for this. If it’s not in the budget of the bride, then is not in my budget either. I have had times where I have done a cake that the bride didn’t had the budget for the board and I decided to add the fondant to the board just because I wanted a great picture. But that I did because I wanted a great photo for me.

Boards are supposed to be covered for cakes that are high-end or cakes that are part of a cake competition, or simply just for show. But don’t feel bad if you are doing a cake for a bride on a budget that couldn’t pay for the board or just for a simple party cake. At the end of the day a custom cake shop need to make sure rent, paychecks and supplies are covered more than anything else.

For low-budget cakes, I use your regular cake drum that
you still need for a cake,
so the cost won’t make a difference when it comes
to that. If you are covering  homemade boards with fancy foils, make sure to find the big rolls that are sold wholesale and much cheaper than the ones you get at craft stores. Some people use pretty papers and cover them with contact paper but be careful with this. Contact paper is not food safe so the cake should not be in contact with it at all.

 

At the end of the day, everyone has their own option. If you have the time and preference to cover your boards, go for it. If on the other hand youfeel that it needs to be paid as part of your time and not all people can afford it, then don’t stress about it. In 22 years of making cakes I have never had a person complain about it.

If they want a cake board covered, they will pay for it. If they don’t have the money, they won’t care about it. As long as you make them a beautiful and delicious cake, they will be happy.

 

Bass Relief Cake

If you make cakes for fun, go ahead and cover your cake boards and make your cakes look more amazing with the finish look. I know it makes me happy to see a finished cake from top to bottom, but I do understand why sometimes boards are not covered. There’s a whole different angle when it comes from smaller shops that are starting to make cakes or maybe are located in an area that pays less money and they need to count each penny they earn and use. Running a bakery is not an easy task and only those who are successful at running one, know the reality behind it.

Click here or in the photo to go see the tutorial. In the website I posted links for the products I used in making this tutorial in the tutorial page.

 

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and Blog.
Until next time, ta ta!

Edna 🙂

 

 

Simpress Molds- Tutorial and Review

I had to make a cake a couple of weeks ago and I decided to use this new product from Marvelous Molds called Simpress.

I love anything that makes my work fast, pretty and easy. This product it’s pretty cool. It covers the cake fast with a beautiful design and it’s pretty easy to use. It comes in 3 different designs at the moment and I am hoping they come with new styles soon!

You can place this over buttercream or fondant and it joins really well at the seams. It measures 4 inches tall, so it covers your standard cake but you can stack each piece if you need it for taller cakes.

I used a dummy for this tutorial and I showed how you can apply the mold in 2 different ways. Since it was a dummy, it was covered in fondant, but the cake above was made in buttercream and it worked just as well. I do advice to place the cake in the fridge and let the buttercream harden up before you place the mold over it.

 

As you can see, the side edge of the mold it’s not even. This is so you can place the next mold side-by-side and align the pattern creating a continuous flow which eliminates joint lines. In the video I used the Jubilee Sequin Mold and I’m totally loving it.

In the tutorial, I show you a way to finish the back of the cake where the mold doesn’t meet. All cakes have a back side; I just tend to finish it in a straight line for those times the molds don’t meet at the back. Also, you can always add buttons, use an extruder machine to create a delicate rope or even cover it with single sequins if you want to hide it.

I finished the top edge with a line of cutout circles that I made with a piping tip #12. Then I made a hole with a needle. I did add a bit of Tylose to the fondant so I could move faster since the Tylose hardens the fondant and makes it easier to cut.

 

These patterns come alive with some luster dust, so feel free to paint them with your favorite colors. To make this easy, I tend to have the base color as close as I can to the color for the luster dust I am using.I love how this cake turned out. Click here to watch the tutorial I made for this tool.

Click here to go watch video.

I hope you enjoy the blog and tutorial.
Until next time, Ta ta!
Edna 😀

 

Here are some of the other tools I used for this cake.
Click here for the top border cutter painted in gold.
Click here for Gold highlighter.
Click here for Luster Dust.
Click here for Pearl border mold.
Click here for Edible Images from Icing Images.
Click here for Marvelous Molds or click on the photos below.

Symmetrical Sequin Simpress

 

Pretty in Pearls Simpress

 

 

 

 

 

Sequin Jubilee

 

 

 

 

*There are links posted in this Blog that I will earn a very small percentage of their sales. I only promote products I love and believe in, and products I use. The commission earned will be used towards new tutorials.

 

 

Mason Jar Cake Tutorial

I love Mason Jars. They are reusable, great for canning, jams and storing food. I found this website that sells caps for mason jars that I totally fell in love wMason Jars Recapith. They are called Mason Jar ReCap.

My 2 favorite ones are the one with the flip top and the one to pour liquids from, but they have so many other ones to choose from.

I made a tutorial on how to use Mason Jars for cakes. It’s a fun way to make cakes to take along or share with friends and family. And I will say that there is not one person that doesn’t smile when you share  a mason jar filled with delicious cake. Even if you have a cake shop, it’s a great way to sell cakes. They stay moist longer because they are sealed. Win win!

For this tutorial I used my Banana Cake Recipe. People are always trying to find ways to pair cakes with fillings and I am sharing one of my favorite ones.

I used sugar covered roasted pecans and caramel as part of the filling for this cake. I will be sharing the recipe for the roasted pecans soon. Basically I layered the banana cake, then added a layer of caramel then added the roasted pecans on top and finishing it with another layer of cake and buttercream.

You can use any buttercream you like for mason jars. Even soft icing will do great since the jar holds everything together. For banana cake you can use cream cheese frosting. I have a Crusting Cream Cheese Recipe but I have another recipe that is softer and has more cream cheese in it. I use it mostly as a filling but it’s great to use in jars as buttercream, (click here for the recipe) . I have made this cake using Suspiro recipe too and it’s delicious. You can also use Wilton whipped buttercream that is sold in a box if you want a fast fix on a lazy day. There are so many options, you can choose what you enjoy the most!

I have a great recipe for Salted Caramel. But if you feel lazy, you can use caramel from the store. Just keep in mind that the caramel that is sold in supermarkets tends to be too soft for cake fillings. It works great for jars because the jar holds the cake in place but in a regular cake, it might be too soft and make the layers slippery.

I sent an email to the company and got a 25% discount for you guys if you are interested on getting some of the Mason Jar Recap lids. The coupon is good until May 20, 2017. You can visit their website at: www.masonjars.com

 

Here is the tutorial posted below. It will be also posted in my website under this link: http://www.designmeacake.com/mason-jar-tutorial

 

Hope you enjoy this Blog and tutorial. Until next time..ta ta!

Edna 🙂

Gumpaste Snowflake Tutorial

snowflakes

 

I just finished a new tutorial. Since it’s Christmas time, I decided to do it about Snowflakes. Last year I made a beautiful cake for Christmas using some snowflake molds from the company Marvelous Molds. The video tutorial is posted at the end of the blog and I will post in the website too.

Snowflake Holiday Wedding Cake

Here are the molds are use. These molds are awesome. There are many molds in the market but not all of them are great. When I look for molds, I want one that, not only it’s easy to use but I love when the gumpaste doesn’t stick to it.
These molds have a sharp edge and it cuts the gumpaste really easy too.
Plus now they make them transparent. This comes very handy since you can
place some gum glue on the back and place the mold directly on the cake and you can see exactly where you are placing it. I will do another tutorial showing you how to do that.
Marvelous Molds Snowflakes

snowflakes-2
For this cake I attached some of the snowflakes as they where made but I also let some of them dry. I wanted them to look almost like they were falling from the sky and making a bed of snowflakes at the bottom.

The top of the cake was finished with snowflakes and a poinsettia gumpaste finished in super pearl dust and a gold center. I just added a section in the website with an advanced tutorial on how to make Poinsettias.
Here is the link to the Poinsettia Tutorial for those of you who are interested. Click here for the Poinsettia Tutorial.

snowflakes-5Gumpaste Snowflakes

I used the recipe for gumpaste I have posted in my website. Click here for Gumpaste Recipe.

You can see here how beautiful and delicate these snowflakes are. The tutorial is below.  You can also visit Marvelous Molds for more info on these snowflakes.

You can visit Marvelous Molds and check their
beautiful molds.
Click here to visit Marvelous Molds.

snowflakes-4

Here is the tutorial. I will post it too in my website along my other tutorials and recipes.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial, until next time Ta Ta!
Edna

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 🙂

 

 

 

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 🙂