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Book Cake Instructions



Details of how to decorate this cake can be found in Cake-Decorating Tips after you have Ordered.

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At one of the busiest times of the year, cake decorators are often expected to turn out wonderful Christmas cakes! So here are a few ideas to make the festive season less stressful.

Sugarpaste has more or less replaced royal icing as a coating. However, some people still prefer the taste of the firmer icing and like to use it at Christmas. But making a flat surface with royal icing requires a lot of practice (see the section on royal icing) and tempers soon get frayed, when, after repeated attempts the icing is still not completely smooth. Don't worry, leave any smooth area as a focal point for decoration and texture the rest to make a snow scene. The contrast between the rough and smooth icing works well. Make a snow scene by moving the flat blade of a knife up and down on the icing until it forms peaks.

If marzipan is popular with the family, apply it to the top of a cake, and decorate the edges with a crimper. If you do not own one of these tools, pinch the edges of the marzipan between finger and thumb - in the same way as pastry is decorated. Next, create a colourful circle of marzipan fruits on the top of the cake. Tie two bands of ribbon around the cake. Choose a wide red ribbon the same depth as the cake, and top this with a narrow green ribbon. The result - an attractive looking cake which hasn't taken too long to decorate.

 

Another easy decoration is to brush the top of a cake with apricot glaze (heated and sieved apricot jam) and then decorate with rows of glace fruits. To make the fruits look more attractive, brush with the same glaze.

Give a pink or white coated cake a sophisticated look by sprinkling with edible glitter. Decorate with large flowers- poinsettias are striking - the same colour as the icing and dust with Satin Lustre powder.

 

 

There are over 40 more hints on Christmas Cakes in the main document.

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Instead of making a variety of flowers in one session, keep to one sort.This concentrates the mind and improves the technique.

 

There are various pastes on the market, as well as powders to make into flowerpaste. To prevent the paste drying out always keep it tightly wrapped in a plastic bag - then place the bag in an airtight container. It's like the old saying "belt and braces" - a good insurance.

Roll any left over paste into a ball. If it is left in small pieces, it will quickly dry out.

 

Experiment with cutters before buying a large selection - as some can be adapted to make more than one type of flower.

One of the secrets of success when making flowers is to roll the paste out very thin - so thin you can read through it! The paste will be difficult to handle, but it's the only way to make lifelike flowers.

 

 

There are over 20 more hints on Flowers - Sugarpaste in the main document.

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAKE

Details of how to decorate this cake can be found in Cake Decorating Tips after you have Ordered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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When planning Wedding Cakes it is a good idea to work backwards from the wedding date. No one wants to be decorating right up to the last minute - although it can happen.  Allow two free days before the wedding; then start your count down - a 19 day timetable can be seen on the main site.

Chocolate wedding cakes are popular. Ganache (sometimes given a different name) is a delicious chocolate coating, which can also be piped. Made from melted chocolate and cream, it is easy to cut and sets with a high gloss. The more expensive the chocolate, the higher the sheen.

Details of how to decorate this cake can be found on page 148 of Cake Decorating Tips after you have Ordered

 

When layering a cake, place the palm of the hand flat on top. Turn the cake slowly around (preferably using a turntable) and cut around the edge of the cake until you come back to the start. Now cut across the still attached centre of the cake.



Never use eggs straight out of the refrigerator. They will be very cold and could curdle in the batter. It is a good idea to place them - in their shells - in a bowl of warm water before use.

 

Wash fruit for a cake the day before needed, spread it in the thin layer and leave until dry. Otherwise, if the fruit is damp it will sink to the base of the mixture, and if the cake is stored it could go mouldy.


The main document has over 50 hints and tips on Wedding Cakes.

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Only use a small piping bag when piping letters or numbers. The small the bag the easier it is to hold and control

 

If your hand shakes while piping, keep your elbow tucked against your body and support the piping bag with the fingers of the opposite hand.

When centralising a name on a cake, count the numbers of letters in the name, divide them in two - it helps if it is an odd number, then pipe them either side of a central point.

Monograms give an extra special touch to a Wedding Cake. Composed of the entwined initials of the bride and groom, they are not as difficult as they seem.
Begin by tracing each initial onto separate pieces of transparent paper.  Place one piece on top of the other and move around until you are happy with the linked design. Secure the papers together, and then using another small piece of transparent paper (baking parchment acts well) trace over the design.

There are over 40 more hints on Writing on Cakes in the main document.

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v           Foreword

v           Airbrush

v           Albumen

v           American Frosting

v           Bas Relief

v           Book Cake Instructions

v           Brush Embroidery

v           Buttercream (Butter Icing)

v           Cake Boards

v           Cake Recipe

v           Cakes

v           Cakes - Baking

v           Cakes - Christmas

v           Cakes - Pricing

v           Cakes - Transport

v           Cakes - Wedding

v           Chocolate

v           Colours

v           Cream

v           Crème Au Beurre (Boiled Buttercream)

v           Cupcakes - Making and Decorating

v           Dowelling Cakes

v           Dummies

v           Embossers

v           Equipment

v           Extension Work

v           Flowers - Buttercream

v           Flowers - Chocolate

v           Flowers - Crystallized (Sugar Frosted)

v           Flowers - Flowerpaste

v           Flowers - Gelatine

v           Flowers - Marzipan

v           Flowers - Pulled

v           Flowers - Royal Iced

v           Flowers - Sugarpaste

v           Fondant

v           Garrett Frill

v           Gelatine

v           Gelatine Icing

v           Glace Icing

v           Glycerine

v           Gold Leaf

v           Gum Arabic

v           Gum Paste

v           Gum Tragacanth

v           Handbag - Black/White

v           Handbag - Pink

v           Jam

v           Leaves

v           Liquid Glucose (also known as Corn Syrup)

v           Marzipan

v           Marzipan Fruits

v           Meringues

v           Models

v           Moulds

v           Novelty Cakes

v           Oriental Stringwork

v           Painting

v           Photography

v           Photos - Edible

v           Pillars and Stands

v           Piping Bags

v           Piping Gel

v           Pressure Piping

v           Piping Stand

v           Piping Techniques

v           Plaques

v           Questions and Answers

v           Ribbons

v           Ribbon Insertion

v           Rock Sugar

v           Royal Icing

v           Runouts (Colour Flow)

v           Smocking

v           Stamens

v           Stencils

v           Sugarpaste

v           Template

v           Tubes (also known as Nozzles, Tips and Pipes)

v          Wedding Cake Instructions

v           Wedding Cake - With Bridge

v           Writing on Cakes

v           "Only A Sponge"

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When making unusual shaped cakes, one of the biggest decisions is the amount of mix *See Baking Cakes.

Madeira cake (pound cake) is the most suitable if the cake is being cut to shape. It is less likely to crumble than softer cakes.

 

Cutting a large slab of cake into sections can produce crumbs. Reduce these by semi freezing the cake before cutting.

 

If you are copying a picture, have it enlarged on a photocopier. Then stick it to stiff card and use as a template.



Before covering a cake with sugarpaste, coat with a thin layer of buttercream instead of jam. The buttercream fills in any small holes and cracks on the cake surface, making a smooth surface on which to lay the sugarpaste.

 

Successfully coat a buttercream gateau but applying two thin layers.

 

After the first layer is applied place the cake in the refrigerator for a short time, then coat again. This technique prevents any cake crumbs lifting when the second layer is applied.
Most novelty cakes are decorated in bright colours. If you find it impossible to obtain the deep shade you require, allow the sugarpaste to dry and then paint the colour on.

There are over 30 more hints on Novelty Cakes in the main document.

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QUESTION

In my local sugarcraft shop I saw an exact picture of 'Bob the Builder' which was advertised as being edible. How is this technique achieved?

ANSWER

It is done by computer. Photographs are scanned and reproduced onto an edible surface by spraying with food colouring. The pictures can then be placed directly on the surface of a cake. Nowadays, some wedding cakes have a photograph of the bride and groom on top. In the Photograph section of the main website, you can read how photographs of children were scanned then placed in a bed made of cake!
QUESTION

Can you tell me how I can make sugarpaste (fondant icing) black? Even when I put a lot of colour into the paste it only turns out grey.


ANSWER

Being such a dense colour, black is difficult to obtain, especially when working into a paste. The easiest solution is to buy some black paste. Alternatively colour the paste until it turns grey, place on the cake and leave until dry. Then paint the paste with the black colour.


QUESTION

Can you tell me what boiled buttercream is?

ANSWER

This is another name for a delicious French Buttercream called 'Crème au Beurre' which is made by boiling together sugar and water (hence the name 'boiled') together until it reaches a certain degree. Egg yolks and unsalted butter are then added. Because the sugar has melted this typed of buttercream is much smoother than one made with icing sugar. Recipe on main website.
QUESTION

On your website I saw a cake with a fish on top. My husband is a fisherman. Can you tell me how it was made?

ANSWER

The fish was modelled from sugarpaste, with a small amount of flowerpaste added. It was then brushed with soft shades of Metallic Lustre powders and the fins cut from leaf gelatine. This type of gelatine can be bought from various cake decorating shops and some supermarkets.

There are over fifty five more Questions and Answers in the main document.

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If you are a beginner (or even if you're not) you may like to try this cake. It is easy to make; attractive enough for a party cake, and yet takes no time at all to decorate.

 

I find that by getting everything ready, before starting to mix the cake, the whole procedure goes smoothly. First heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325 F (l70 C).

 

Grease and line the base of two 7 inch (l8cm) tins that have straight sides 2 inch (5 cm) deep. Make a medium sized, piping bag from two layers of paper - the extra thickness stops the warmth of your hands from melting the buttercream. Now make another, smaller bag, with a sharp point at the end.

CAKE INGREDIENTS


 

6 oz self-raising flour (l75g)
l l/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 oz soft margarine (l75g)

- it must be room temperature, not just taken from the refrigerator

6 oz castor sugar (l75g)
3 large eggs
Packet of mixed, chopped nuts
Half a jar of red jam

- the seeds in raspberry jam add interest to the decoration
Buttercream - 4 oz (ll0g) unsalted butter/ 5 oz (l50g) sifted icing sugar

Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Now sift these two ingredients together, holding the sieve high above the bowl - so that as much air as possible is incorporated. Whisk the eggs, and then add the flour, together with the margarine and sugar. Use an electric whisk to mix the ingredients together until they form a smooth batter. This will only take a minute or two. The mixture should be soft enough to drop from the whisk if it is shaken. Divide the mixture between the two tins and smooth over the top.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, make the buttercream. First, soften the butter until it is creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until light in colour.

Once the cakes are cooked, place them on a wire tray and leave to cool before decorating. If the cakes are rounded at the top, cut a small amount off until they are level. Turn one of the cakes upside down (this will be the top surface) and stick the cakes together with a layer of jam. Place the nuts in a shallow dish. Position the cake on the palm of your hand and, using a palette (or table) knife, spread the buttercream around the sides of the cake - all areas must have a thick enough layer on to make the nuts stick to it. Leave the cake on your hand, and holding it close to the bowl of nuts, pick up handfuls of nuts and press them against the side of the cake until it is covered.

Carefully lower the cake onto the board. Place a buttercream tube in the medium sized bag and pipe stars around the top edge of the cake. To do this, hold the bag vertically, quite close to the surface of the cake. Press until a star is formed, then stop pressing, and remove the bag. Pipe stars around the base of the cake.

 

Warm the jam, then sieve - unless you are using raspberry jam. Pour it into the centre of the cake and using the back of a spoon spread the jam over the surface of the cake.

Colour a small amount of the remaining buttercream green, and place in a small icing bag. Push the icing right to the tip of the bag, and then flatten the end of the bag between finger and thumb.

Make two small cuts, the shape of an arrow-head, at the tip of the bag. Pipe leaves at intervals amongst the stars by positioning the tip of the bag close to the star.

Then press out the icing until the leaf is the required size. Stop pressing on the bag and slowly draw the tip of the bag away - a point will form on the leaf.

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If you wonder why some instructions state 'separate the eggs the day before use' it is to allow some liquid from the egg whites to evaporate - leaving behind a stronger solution.
To prevent royal icing drying out when working with it, always keep covered with a damp cloth. But don't be surprised if, after some time the icing seems softer. It will be, having absorbed moisture from the cloth.

 

This type of icing will not hold its shape indefinitely. Think of how beaten egg whites will collapse. Well the same thing happens to the icing. But there is a quick remedy. Give it a few minutes hard beating with a wooden spoon.
 
Always re-beat icing after it has been stored to get it up to strength again.  

 

For a traditional layer of smooth icing the consistency to work with should be like beaten cream - not too stiff, but there again, not too sloppy.

There are over 20 more hints on Royal Icing in the main document.

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Runouts require icing of two different consistencies, stiff icing to form a barrier and soft icing to flood inside the outline.
The icing can be adjusted with egg white or a few drops of water. Test before use by dropping a spoon of icing into a bowl of softened icing. You know how a raindrop leaves a mark on a puddle for a second, before it becomes smooth again? This is what the icing should do.

 

Before placing the icing in a bag, gently bang the base of the bowl on the table a few times. This brings any bubbles to the surface, which can be broken by running the blade of a knife across them.
Waxed paper is an obvious choice for making runouts, but there are other alternatives. Teflon-coated paper does not crease and will last for years. It lies completely flat - an important point when making runouts. Baking parchment works for small runouts, but tends to buckle for larger pieces. Butchers wrap and cellophane can be used, but discard any with creases in.

There are over 40 more hints on runouts/colour flow in the main document.

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Wedding Cake - With Bridge



Details of how to decorate this cake can be found in Cake-Decorating-Tips after you have Ordered



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