Tylose, Gum Tragacanth, Gum Tex- What are the differences?

This Blog is all about information on those gum products we hear so much about and use in cake decorating. I personally love Tylose. It’s less expensive, easier to find and great quality. But here is the info so you can choose the one you like the most. All of them are gums but as anything in life they will have some differences in outcome so your job is to find the one you prefer. I just did a tutorial to show you guys how Tylose helps change the texture of fondant and how to fix it to the consistency you need. Click to watch here.

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC), is a thickener, binder and stabilizer in a variety of foods. Cellulose is the carbohydrate that makes up the woody parts and cell walls of plants. CMC is a thickening agent made by reacting cellulose (wood pulp, cotton lint) with a derivative of acetic acid. It is not absorbed or digested and is sometimes included in the “dietary fiber” on food labels. Commonly used in food preparation. It’s poorly absorbed by the body but if consumed in large amounts it can create flatulence. Something I would not worry with cake since we really use small amounts of it. The number for this gum is E466

Tylose is a namebrand for CMC. It’s the name I use mostly because it’s the brand I use the most. Tylose is found easier than other gums and the price for it tends to be lower. I have a preference on a specific brand of Tylose because I used others that I found were not of the same quality when I worked with the product. But like everything in life, we all have our preferences so test a few to find the one you like. But keep in mind that purified CMC is a white to buff-coloured, odourless and tasteless, free flowing powder. Less purified low assay types can be off-white to a light brown. I did try one time another brand and the color was less white and the quality of my gumpaste felt different. It was the last time I switch brands. Maybe I am just used to the one I use but I felt a big difference in quality,

Usually it’s often recommended to add 1 to tablespoons of Tylose to 1 pound of fondant. I will say that even though I add Tylose to fondant to create details, the consistency is not the same as if you do a Tylose gumpaste from scratch. It just doesn’t give the same texture or elasticity but some people get used to using it even for flowers. It’s just not my preference and if you are getting started making flowers I would not suggest it either. I think it’s more difficult. Even though you can make flowers from it, elasticity and feel is just not the same. But with that said, it works great for making decorations that need a stronger consistency or even if you need something to dry faster. Tylose works well in areas where there is a lot of humidity.

Gum Tragacanth is another gum. If you are looking for something natural this will be your choice. A bit more difficult to find and can be more expensive. Tragacanth is a natural gum obtained from the dried sap of several species of Middle Eastern legumes of the genus Astragalus. To harden fondant some people will say it takes up to 30 minutes to feel the change in texture. It’s advised to leave it to dry overnight for the best results. It’s recommended around a teaspoon of Gum Tragacanth per 1 pound of Fondant. Something you have to keep in mind is that it will give a yellowish tone to white pieces. This is one of the reasons I prefer using Tylose/CMC. The number for this gum is E413.

Gum-Tex is the name for the gumpaste powder sold by Wilton. Recently I saw that they added the name Tylose to the bottle. I have been giving the numbers for each gum I posted so you can see that all products are not the same. Wilton used to call their product just Gum-Tex but now they added the Tylose name to it. But Gum Tex is not made with CMC. Gum-tex is made with Karaya Gum. The number for this E416. It’s made from the dried sap from the trunk of the Stercuila trees which are native to India. Yes it’s a gum, yes it works to make gumpaste but here is my opinion. The gumpaste tends to feel grainy and dry. It’s not my favorite one.

All of these are gums and most of them have recipes that work the best with each of them or people have created their own recipes to use them. Some of them can be interchangeable but you might feel the difference in the outcome of the recipe. I have a recipe for Tylose gumpaste in my website that works wonderful with Tylose gumpaste.
I did made a mistake in the video on the amount of teaspoons ( I wrote tablespoons instead of teaspoons in the video  😦 ), so do make sure to read the tips and recipe in my website before you make it. This recipe was posted by the company that I buy the Tylose from and I was told it was created by a lady call Jill Maythan. It’s my favorite recipe and I used it for more than 21 years and will keep using it.

All this gums are food safe and used in many food items in the market. So you can use them in your fondant. Most of them are Kosher but do check the product you use to make sure they do.

In the video tutorial I show how adding Tylose changes the texture of the fondant as I work with it. It’s pretty neat to see. I know I am using a bigger amount of the powder for a small piece but even though you can just wait and let the fondant rest so it hardens, you can see that it would be ok if you add just a bit more and you don’t have to wait if you are in a hurry. It really depends on you. You can save time by using more or you can use less product if you would rather wait. Most of the time I do this it’s for pieces that need to dry fast like bows or maybe things I need to mold. Since I know it will get harder as I work with it, I just work fast and when I feel I can barely knead it, I add more fondant to it to soften it.

I will suggest to play with it and find the consistency you like for whatever you are working for. Also keep in mind that it might react differently depending on the fondant you use. If you are using for example Fondarific, which is chocolate based fondant, it will take a lot more. If you are using Satin Ice, it will take less since it has no chocolate in it. So if you are playing with a new fondant that you never used before, do a test and see how it reacts. If you add too much to certain fondant, it can make it  dry, reason why I always suggest to do smaller amounts.

If you need to make a fondant that requires a lot of color, you can always add a bit of Tylose to it to avoid it getting softer. If you feel more comfortable, do a test first and see how your fondant reacts. Sometimes colors might change the consistency of certain brands of fondant. If you find yourself with a fondant that is too dry and cracks too much, add just a bit of glycerin. If the glycerin doesn’t help, try modeling chocolate. Add small amounts because if you add too much your fondant can get too soft and some people like softer fondant but other people don’t. To learn what’s best for you, you need to test what you like and all I can do is offer suggestion on things I use that work for me.

Once you have added Tylose or Gum Tragacanth to your fondant, you have to keep un mind that it will dry faster. You can store a regular fondant in a tub for months. But once you add Tylose to it, it can dry in a matter of days and that amount will change depending on how much you added. If you added just a bit it will last longer but when you add a lot, it will be hard as a rock by the next day. You can seal it in plastic wrap but also place it in a Ziplock bag so it lasts longer. You can also add more fondant to it to disperse the Tylose so it lasts longer. I prefer to do small amounts that I will use promptly and avoid having to deal with fondant that is dry hard as a rock.

I hope I have not forgotten anything in this Blog. It’s a lot of information but sometimes it’s better to have the knowledge than to deal with questions and problems that we don’t know how to solve. Hopefully you have some answers and this will help you conquer any problems as they arise. If you don’t have Tylose available in your area I always have it available in my webstore. Click here to get Tylose. I will post in the website under the video links to where you can find the other gums.

Click here or on the photo below to watch the Fondant Tylose Tutorial

I hope you enjoy the tutorial. Until next time TA TA!!!

Edna 🙂

 

 

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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.

 

 

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