Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ruffle Ribbon Rose Tutorial

Lots of people have made a cake like this, but I'm going to give you a few little instructions and hints. Let's call it a tiny tutorial!

You need a few things: a ribbon cutter ( or not if you want to take 4 times as long), a poking tool (something with a dull end-aka not pointy), and a small knife. I used a gumpaste and Fondarific combination. I love the extra working time that the Fondarific gives me. Now a pasta machine is great! But if you are going to make one of these, don't make the investment.

I rolled the fondant pretty thin and in long pieces. A #4 on the pasta machine. Using my ribbon cutter with a 1-1/2" space, I cut as many strips as I could. I used plenty of cornstarch on the bottom and top of the strips. I then folded the strips in half longways with a slight crease. I then rolled up the strips in nice little pinwheels. Then store them in a ziplock bag until you have a bunch and are ready to put them on the cake.

I used a large circle cutter to mark all the "roses" that I was going to need. Then starting on the outside I started applying to the cake using the little tool to slightly adhere it to the cake. I was working on a buttercream cake that does not crust, so it went right on and stayed. You may need to apply gum glue or piping gel to make things stick.

I went back to the strip I just applied and poked it further so it would be more secure and fluffed it at the same time. Now keep going and going......

Once all the roses were done , I started added the fill in pieces. I developed more of a system the longer I did it. I put as long of a strip as you can handle. Having them in rolls helps you handle lots of the material at one time. When I got to the smaller pieces, it was best to make a zig zag Christmas tree sort of thin and then fitting it in the hole. Then go back and attach and fluff.

Lastly, I did use some very small pieces of foam to keep any very tight or heavy areas up and to keep them from being all flat. This was really important on the top of the cake when everything was laying so flat. This was a 12" round cake and it took me about 7 hours to get all the ruffles finished. Please be sure to charge accordingly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ruffle Ribbon Rose Wedding

We were asked to recreate an almost exact copy of a cake from the Pastry Studio.  I have been getting involved with some more FB groups and noticed people saying that you should ask permission before recreating a design that you copy.  I guess in a perfect world with lots of time and super polite people that may happen, but this is not that world.  I'm not going to lie and say that I ask other cake people, wrapping paper designers, or invitation designers for their permission when I draw inspiration from their designs.  I have friends that say they WILL NOT recreate another person's cake or even their own.  I have tried many times to sway a bride to my design but many times they are insistent on a certain cake with NO changes. 
I try to alter it but I can only push so much.  I don't want to lose the sale!  I would if I told them "No, you can't have what you love and dream of."  Does that mean I am an awful thief? I just can't accept that.  If you put your work out there to inspire brides and decorators, you shouldn't be mad when they want it.  I see copies of my stuff all the time, especially in my local area.  What I hate is when a local competitor knows your price for your cake and tries to undercut you to get the order, but that's a whole other topic.  I make sure to verbalize and have in my contract that my work will differ from another baker even when I'm trying to be exact.  I still feel guilty about using someone else's design and I won't be using these types of cakes on my new updated website in the future.

Please weigh in and feel free to tell me your thoughts on the matter.  We can have varying opinions and still be friends, right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sugar Dress Pink Lace Cake

I have tried so many lace making products that I almost gave up.  When SugarVeil came out, I thought it was cool but all the mats were kind of tacky (just my opinion). It really did take a while for some better mats to be developed but they are expensive.  I have used SugarVeil in a piping bag so that I could pipe onto parchment with a complicated pattern underneath.  Once dried, I could pick it up and adhere it to the cake.   I can be a real chicken when piping black icing on a white cake!  The thing I don't like about SugarVeil is that it takes a while to dry and it dries out very quickly.  Keep your finished pieces wrapped well in cling wrap or it will be very brittle and fall apart. 

When I saw a video on Icing Inspirations about their new product, Dab, I bought six!  It looked so easy, is ready immediately and they said it stayed flexible.  I tried so many times but I could not get the STUFF to cooperate.  It is really hard on your hands! I still don't know how to make that product work.

Now I have found Sugar Dress.  It is easy to mix, I've even done it by hand. You can speed the process in the oven and it stays flexible for a long time. It is also very strong so when you take it out of the molds it stays in one piece.  It's a little pricey, but so are the two mentioned above.  You can find it on Amazon, so that is good for Amazon Prime members because free shipping!

The mat from this cake was purchased from All About Cake Art"Virginia" is the name of the mat and it's $48.50

They have some pretty ones.  I've also found several mats on Etsy that are much cheaper but don't always come in the sizes promised so read the reviews. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Collaborations Can Be A Blast!

I have talked before about the importance of having cake friends.  It's nice to have someone to complain to and to bounce ideas off of, but sometimes you get to collaborate on really cool projects.

Our friends Kimberly and Andrew of Couture Cakes were asked by country music super-station US 101 to do a cake for the Heartstrings for Hope concert benefiting St. Jude.  On these types of cakes there is SO much to do, and they asked us if we would like to help out.  In return, we would be their guests at the concert.

They know of our (OK, Chaddy's) prowess with logos and the cutting machine, so they gave us a list of words and the US 101 logo and we started rolling out modeling chocolate.  I came up with a really cool trick while working on all these millions of letters.  I used strips of parchment paper with some vegetable shortening on it an used that to adhere the paper to the FRONT of the letters.  The spacing is kept in tact.  They were easy to apply to the cake too - just apply a little tylose glue to the back of the letters and place them against the cake.  Hold your hand over the paper and the heat from your hand will release the shortening.  Easy peasy!

We ONLY did the words & logos on this cake...

So here's the cake and it turned out amazingly, don't you think?  Andrew did an absolutely perfect job sculpting each of the artists Which included Randy Houser, Tyler Farr, Kelly Lovelace, Jared Neimann, and Sheryl Crow!  We were also treated to a backstage meet and greet - getting to meet all of those talented artists was almost as much fun as helping out our friends!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Caped Crusader vs The Evil Cake Genius

Most of us have heard of Robin Martin and the amazing cakes she makes at Gateaux... But have you seen some of the awesome cake toys she offers over at Evil Cake Genius?

They make some of the most awesome stencils I have ever seen!  They are a little expensive, but they are really nice!  Some are standard stencils, but some are printed on a ribbon type material and works a lot like a silk screen.  I haven't tried the silk screen types yet, but I used the Skyscraper Windows stencil to make this birthday cake for a huge fan of the Caped Crusader.

Everything else on this cake is either buttercream or modeling chocolate.  Speaking of modeling chocolate, you guys know that I love the stuff, but lately I have been having some pretty fierce condensation issues with my modeling chocolate.  Anybody else experience this?  If so, let's talk through it in the comments! 


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