Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Decorating Tool..."The Mat"

I ordered a new decorating tool a couple of weeks ago... a new fondant mat, simply called "The Mat." This thing is a cake decorator's dream when it comes to rolling out fondant. The Pro version, which I have, is a 2-piece 30 inch square clear vinyl mat with special coating that usually never needs to be washed after the first time, just wiped off. On the bottom sheet, it has a chart on it to let you know how much fondant to weigh out for each size tier and also how large to roll it out. You put the fondant in the center, and then put the the other mat on top and roll out the fondant between the two mats. The top mat is clearly marked with the dimensions. When you have finished rolling it out, you remove the top mat and the fondant adheres to the bottom mat until you peel it off. The fondant will not become too dry because it is not exposed to the air and you do not need to add any extra powdered sugar or cornstarch. Because the mat is clear, it is easy to position it in the correct place on your cake... you just lay it over the cake, and peel it off. So simple... it made covering a 14 inch as easy as an 8 inch...amazing. 

To see details about this great decorating tool, click here...

And oh, by the way, my fondant of choice has become "Satin Ice." It is amazingly smooth, good tasting, and easy to work with. 

Scrolls...2 wedding cakes, 2 different icings, 2 different kinds of scrollwork, and 2 different kinds of roses...

The design of the week for this week's wedding cakes was scrolls... 2 wedding cakes, both with scrollwork, but completely different.

Cake #1...

Buttercream icing
Piped scrolls
Fresh flowers

Cake #2

Fondant/gumpaste scrolls cut from Cricut Cake
Gumpaste flowers

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Simple Lacey "SugarVeil" Cake

SugarVeil can be a little tricky to use, depending on the humidity conditions and other factors. For this cake, I was making SugarVeil lace for a wedding cake in the blue silicone molds. To speed up the setting time, you can place the filled mold into a 100 degree oven, or an oven with only the light on until it is set enough to peel out of the mold. The last time I made the lace, I just used the white SugarVeil. This time I added purple color to it as the bride wanted lavender lace on white fondant. Perhaps adding the color made a difference or it could have been more humid, but this time it took almost 2 hours for each mold to set. The last time I made the lace, it took only about half as long. Once you figure out how long you actually need to let it set, the process becomes quite easy, and the end result is quite lovely.

How to Make Lots of "Ducky" Yellow Buttercream or How to Recycle Yellow Buttercream Icing...

So the goal was to make 2 batches of pale yellow buttercream icing to go with a bunch of pretty little daisies for a simple 3 tier wedding cake. The first step in making buttercream is to beat the butter and shortening together for several minutes until very fluffy. During this step, I usually add the salt and flavoring also. So, since I was coloring this icing, I thought, "Why not add the yellow paste color also?" So, I began to add the color, a few drops at a time. It didn't appear to be turning very yellow, so I kept adding more and more. It still didn't look very yellow, just a little buttery color, but after adding so much, I decided that I probably shouldn't add anymore. So, the next step is to add the sugar and cream. It was like magic...the icing began to turn really yellow... not a pretty pale yellow, but more of a bright bright rubber ducky yellow. There was no way I could put that color of icing on a wedding cake, so I made 2 more batches of white icing to add to the yellow to try to make it lighter. The end result... still brighter than what I really wanted, but workable... AND allot of excess yellow buttercream icing... 4 large Cool Whip containers full, which ended up in the freezer until I found another use for it. I eventually added other colors to it, and had enough to ice a 1/4 sheet birthday cake in a bright green, and decorate 6 dozen sugar cookies in bright colors. I still have a little left, but should be able to use that up on an upcoming order. LESSON TO BE LEARNED... DO NOT ADD PASTE COLOR TO ICING UNTIL AFTER THE SUGAR IS MIXED IN. Who knew? See, I still keep learning new things after all these years.

The yellow actually matched the other decorations and the centers of the daisies, so it wasn't all that bad.
Birthday cake iced in bright green icing (request from birthday girl) which was made from some of the excess yellow icing.
Each color was made by adding color to the original yellow buttercream (on far right).