Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pearl Peacock Wedding Cake featuring The Mat , Fondx, Venuance Pearls and DTC Molds and Veiners

The next DTCPUG post has so much to offer! From the Mat instructions to other creative ways to use DTC products -- Our thanks again to Joanne for sharing her talents and her creativitiy!

Good Day my fellow sugar enthusiast!!! My name is Joanne Wieneke from The Little Cake Patch. Iam presenting a unique wedding cake project using the the Mat , Fondx ,Venuance Pearls and other ways to use the rose petal veiner and lace molds from DTC.

Here is a quick overview of the MAT and Fondx:

The Mat : it is the latest “toy” in cake town. I was so curious on how The mat is used so I went to YouTube to watch the video and here is the link:

Amazing, amazing product...!!!
and here's what I learned : The mat is a 2-piece clear vinyl system where you can roll your fondant between and was developed by Sweetwise . It is a food grade vinyl mat that makes fondant rolling easy, keeps your hand free of shortening and cornstarch or powdered sugar. You will never need to use cornstarch or powdered sugar and therefore you will not alter the fondant’s recipe and get the best results out of your fondant. THE MAT contains 100% FDA approved materials. Vinyl mats can be found from a craft store, the vinyl sold there is for general purpose , not tested and not approved for food contamination and use, simply saying that it uses materials NOT FDA approved,there is a huge possibility that the other chemicals and materials that are NOT food safe. Aside from not being food grade, vinyl mats that you buy from a fabric or craft store has a certain amount of weight that is quite difficult to manage when covering the cake. The Mat can cover as much as 20 inches in diameter of cake. It can prevent drying when you are not ready to enrobe the cake with the sheet of rolled fondant . Since it is a 2 way system, you can flip , turn or roll the sheet of fondant while it is still sandwiched snugly in between the mat and assuring you of a clean paste. The use of the Mat makes every cake decorator's work sanitary as it did not come in contact with the counter top or board where bacteria may have been sitting on before enrobing the cake. Clean up will be the easiest after the usage of the mat.

Fondx is a premium rolled fondant icing with a nice marshmallow flavor and recently have released a new line of flavors and colors. Fondx is a more forgiving rolled fondant. It is easier to knead, to roll out and no cracking when applied on the cake. FondX is packed in a 2lb and 10 lb plastic pail and will last for 12 months in an unopened pail. It contains no nuts or gluten, and a Kosher dairy product. The ingredients consist of powdered sugar, corn syrup, assorted gum, shortening, vanilla flavor, glycerin, citric acid and preservative. Mixes and blends well with food colors and airbrush colors.

Let's use The Mat!

Before using, season the Mat by applying a light coat of shortening to the top portion of the bottom sheet.

Knead your fondant well on top of the bottom sheet and set it to a disk when fully kneaded (kneading helps to make the fondant pliable when rolling).Cover the fondant with the top sheet. Begin to roll out the fondant starting from the middle and extending it outwards, as you increase the diameter of the fondant you have to take into consideration that the thinnest part of the sheet will be at the sides so you may have to be aware of it while you roll to get an even sheet.

Once you have the size you want and the thickness (1/8 inch-1/4 inch), remove the top sheet and roll it up. It is best not to fold the mat, it might take an impression of the fold.

Lift the bottom sheet up towards the cake . Line up the bottom of the fondant circle to the bottom edge. Lay the fondant over the center of the cake. Once centered peel the mat off the fondant and let the fondant’s weight pull it away from the remainder of the sheet.

Now the fondant has released itself from the mat and you are ready to iron and smoothen out the edges of the cake.

***If you encounter folds and pleats on the bottom of the cake, do not force the fondand down, instead try to pull the edge of the fondant out then with a cupped hand, lead it back to the cake, I would compare it as trying to tuck your bed sheet neatly on your mattress. With the help of a fondant smoother, rub it gently to assure it has adhered back to the cake..

Here's some extra "wow" factor that The Mat offers:

I experimented on a kneaded, crumpled, with tears and holes fondant and rolled them in the Mat. Amazingly, after rolling (just one way, straight roll) the fondant in the mat, it was all nice and smooth...

The Mat Clean-up and Storage

The Mat should be wiped with a clean cloth between uses. I found it easy to clean with a spray of water and wiping it off with paper towel. ***If it becomes necessary to wash it, use hot soapy water in the kitchen sink followed by a hot rinse . After rinsing, wipe excess water with paper towel and hang the sheets to dry.

Sheets are best stored rolled up together and placed in the Fondant Mat Carry and Storage Tube, it keeps them clean and protects them from getting bent or damaged.

Rating: ***** Highly Recommended !
It takes a lot of effort at first to roll the fondant in the MAT but once you get the groove, this is the easiest and cleanest way to cover your cakes...

The Project: Pearl Peacock Wedding Cake

Materials and Tools:

* Cake 10 inch and 8 inch, 4 inch high each
*1 drumboard covered in fondant and trimmed with lace or ribbon on the side (edge)
*2 Cake risers : covered in gumpaste painted in gold . The 8inch is placed on the bottom between the drumboard and base cake and 6 inch riser is positioned between base cake and top cake.

-The Mat
-2 lb pail Fondx (comes with fondant stabilizer -CMC)
-2 lb Gumpaste
-rose veiner
-rose and leaf cutter
-Leaf veiner
-Lace molds
-Venuance pearls
-piping gel
-Pearl dust
-Gold dust
-turquoise or blue green petal dust
-fine brushes
-spatula, pastry scraper
-toothpick/lobster pick
-large and small rolling pin
-small silicone prep bowls
-1 pc. bamboo skewer
-and a lot of time and patience.....

The Cake

Risers: Prepare this days ahead: Cover the risers with gumpaste and airbrush or paint with gold. (risers can be multiple cardboards stacked together or styrofoam dummy but bottom side that touches the cake should be covered with cake board or foil)

Buttercream cakes and cover with Fondx. Use the Mat to make Fondx rolling easy and smooth. Dont forget to Knead it well before rolling.

Stack the cakes on the prepared drumboard. Position the 8 inch riser on the drumboard. Then stack the 10 inch cake. The 6 inch riser will be on top of the 10 inch cake and finish it by staking the 8 inch cake. Use dowels to support risers and cakes.

Embellishing the Cake with different techniques:

Lace Appliqué

Refer to the previous blogs that discusses about lace molds. http://decoratethecakeblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/tutorial-dtcs-lace-press-molds.html
Once you have cut out the lace from the mold, apply the lace on the cake as an appliqué on the cake.
( from the picture, you can see that i used a lobster pick and toothpick--this is to poke the holes and pick excess gumpaste on the laces to get finer details)

Sugar Buttons and Jewels

Using clear venuance pearls and the button molds, make as many as 40 sugar buttons by melting the venuance pearls in a silicone prep bowl in a microwave and and pouring over the button mold. (preferred and recommended method)
The molds can stand 350 degrees of heat. The Venuance Pearls will give out a lemony scent while you melt it in the microwave.
Adhere the buttons with piping gel as an embellishment on your cake. ( I chose to put the buttons to cover the cake risers).
Refer to DTC Blog for more information on Venuance Pearls
The Peacock Topper

Knead out a baseball size gumpaste until pliable. Roll into teardrop shape . Stretch the middle portion of the teardrop which will be the neck of the bird. The opposite smaller end will be the head. Pinch the tip to form the beak. Insert a damp bamboo skewer coming from the thickest part of the bird body to the neck to help support the neck from tilting down. Let it dry for 24 hours.
Use the lace mold to create appliqué laces to embellish the bird.
Position the bird on the cake. Adhere on the cake with royal icing or a sticky fondant.

Knead another baseball size of gumpaste until pliable . Roll out gumpaste thinly using the mat and cut at least 100 petals or more using the rose cutter. Once the petals are cut, put back the top sheet of the MAT on top of the petals to prevent from drying.

Get a petal and lay over the bottom portion of rose veiner. Place the top portion of the veiner and press. Now that the petal has been nicely pressed, use your thumb to stamp the middle of the petal to create the crescent shape portion of the feather. Use a baller if needed to create a smooth and wavy look on the sides feather.

Stick petal on the bird and continue process until you have achieved a train of feathers flowing down the cake. I used gum glue to adhere the feathers. I also used pearl stamens for the peacock crown.

Along the way, I decided to make roses and leaves to add to the embellishment.
Brush the laces and the feathers with pearl dust and the center of each feather with gold dust mixed with a little bit of turquoise petal dust. You can also do a very colorful peacock using shades of turquoise, blue and green and gold.

I hope that materials and new toys in the cake decorating world will be able to help you make decorating fun and convenient and the project presented as an inspiration for your future wedding or celebration cakes…have fun and keep decorating!!!

For any questions and comments, please use comments box or
email me at thelittlecakedecorator@ thelittlecakepatch.com
or DTC at Sales@decoratethecake.com

Thanks so much Melissa for another wonderful opportunity to work with you and your products...

Confectionately yours,
Joanne Wieneke
The Little Cake Patch, LLC.

DTC Products Used:
Floral V Spray
Flora Swag
Floral Spray #2
Rose Petal 2 Piece Veiner
Dahlia Button

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sugar Butterflies! Let Spring Begin -----

Sugar Butterflies!!!! I love this project by one of our DTCPUG members, Hannah -- I especailly love how they finish off the cupcake design! 

I had the opportunity to use Venuance Pearls and butterfly molds from Decorate the Cake. This was my first experience with any type of poured sugar, so it was definitely trial and error. The Venuance Pearls are easy to use, but just a word of caution. Poured sugar is extremely hot so be very careful when working with the pearls or any other liquid sugar.

Materials List:
Venuance Pearls
Mold of choice ( I had several differenc DTC butterfly molds)
Silicone baking mat
Silicone prep bowls
Gloves There were a couple of different ways I melted the pearls. I tried melting them in the molds and the silicone prep bowls. Place them in the microwave and melt at 30 sec intervals. I found that I prefered melting the pearls in the prep bowls then pour in the molds. When I melted the pearls in the mold, the edges of the piece didn't seem as clean as when I poured the sugar into the molds from the prep bowl.

Remeber to heat the pearls at 30 sec intervals. I tried multiple times and found that if the pearls were heated well and the sugar was completely melted I got a better impression from the molds. Once the sugar is poured, rock the mold back and forth to fill all the corners.

The sugar sets up quickly. I acutally utilized a method from another DTCPUG member. I put my silicone mat on a cookie sheet that was on top of a heating pad. At first my molds were cold and the sugar set up too quickly and I wasn't able to fill the mold completely. I warmed up my molds with the heating pad first. Allow the sugar to set for a few minutes. Then gently remove from the mold.

I used a toothpick to trim up an loose pieces on the mold. Sugar pieces break easily so be careful. If the piece is still warm you can bend and shape the piece. I did this with one of the butterly molds to give dimension.

The butterfly molds made the wings separately. Once my pieces were hardened, I melted the edge on one of the wings and attached it to the other.

You can really see the details of the wings with the Venuance Pearls. Decorate the cake has some really neat butterfly molds with various shaped wings.

I put my final butterflies on cupcakes. It really added something special to them!

Happy Decorating everyone!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial

I am extremely excited to bring you my first ever video tutorial for Decorate The Cake!  I have done a video on how to make sugar peonies in various stages of bloom.  The video can be found here.  You will need to download the free Veoh player to view the whole thing.  Make sure you have plenty of time, as it runs for 45 minutes!  I had so much fun doing this tutorial and want to here from you!  Let DTC and I know what other tutorials you'd like to see!  I really hope you all enjoy the video. Once again, a big thank you to Melissa and DTC for allowing me to do this! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mystery Project-Cross

The next project is from Lisa at Sugar and Spice Desserts - She selected one of our "Mystery" projects -- Check out her unique and most creative use of the floral cross and filigree blossom mold.  Thank you Lisa for such a creative project.

My mystery project was to use the cross molds. So I decided to do something different and did a crown topper. I was inspired by the elves headdress from the LOTR movies. I used the floral cross and the filigree blossom brooch molds to make this. I molded everything from gumpaste so it would be nice and firm. I did one of the cross and six of the blossom brooch. I trimmed the edges and then let them dry a bit.

Once they were dry enough to handle, I took a floral wire and threaded through each piece to help support the crown.

I then formed the crown around one of my fondant buckets to help keep the shape while it set.

Once its fully dry you can go ahead and paint it. I used the emerald green luster dust as a base and then sprayed over it with Wilton's green can spray. Let the color set before you put it on the cake so you don't get any smudges.

This is the finished crown on the forest themed cake. An elf maiden has set this on the tree stump while she takes a quick rest. At least that is what I envision now that its completed.

I used a few other DTC molds as accents to finish this piece. The bark was done using the pear tree bark texture mat and the carved orchid mold was used on the left. Thanks for looking at my tutorial. I had a great time doing this project.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Candy Melt Sugar Bottle - Tracy Gamblin

To show how versital the sugar bottle mold can be, Tracy Gamblin, show how to make candy melt sugar bottles -- I love the idea of making the bottles of chocolate and before putting them together filling them with mini-candy for an additional surprise!  Thanks Tracy!

Hello, I choose to do a tutorial using the DTC half soda bottle mold. I ended up doing three different types of sugar bottles, however this tutorial will concentrate on the candy melts one. All three bottles are in the final picture at the end of this tutorial.

Items needed:
DTC half bottle mold
1 bag Wilton Candy Melts
Wilton Pop foil wrappers (I like the 4 colors one)
Wilton candy bags
Misc brush for melted candy
18/0 spotter brush
4400 angular brush
Clear vanilla
Wilton gold dust

Begin by filling the candy bag ¾ full of candy melts. Melt in microwave for 35 seconds at a time. Check bag and knead the bag until candy has melted completely. Bag will be very warm but should not burn your hand.

Cut tip off bag and fill mold with melted candy and use brush to cover the whole bottle mold. Before putting completed mold in refrigerator to set tap lightly on counter top to get air bubbles to the surface. Refrigerate until set approximately 15-25 minutes.

Want to see what happens when the mold doesn’t come out like it’s supposed to?
I love this!  Glad it's not just me that this happens too!

I did one more half mold than I was ready to attach both halves. I did this by using the melted candy bag and squeezing a line to attach both halves.

The two halves harden within five minutes than I used a knife to shave off the bulky parts and used my fingers to heat the candy as I smoothed out the joined sides. I recommend using a paper towel to hold the completed bottle while working on it, especially if you have hot hands like I do. What’s that old saying…warm hands warm heart? Not quite sure if that’s it but it works for me.

Next I decided to “paint” the bottle with clear vanilla and some Wilton gold dust. It was fun to play around and paint “whatever moved me”. I used a spotter brush 18/0 and then used a 4400 angular brush to do the label. I wanted a soft gold label so that’s why I used the Wilton gold dust. I think the Aztec gold luster dust would really “pop” more though. I also think using an edible image on top of the gold label would be fabulous; however I did not have any on hand for this tutorial.

After completing the painting I cut a small square piece of the Wilton Pop gold foil and put it on top to give it more of a realistic feel. I’ve also included in the final picture all three bottles I worked on this week.

I wanted Melissa of DTC to see how beautiful the blue venuance pearls came out when I did them in the mold. I did do a third bottle and it’s only a half bottle. It was made with a ½ cup of granulated sugar and ½ cup of Karo light corn syrup. The two ingredients were heated to 300 degrees than poured into the mold. I filled the mold completely so it would look like root beer was in the bottle. There were a lot of bubbles but I still like the look of it.

Thank you, Decorate The Cake for allowing me to do this tutorial and “get over” my fear of making sugar bottles.