Make the Easiest Rose Ever

Make the Easiest Rose Ever!!

easiest_rose

It’s simple. Thanks to FMM Sugarcrafts innovative product design team, we have an awesome new cutter to make life that little bit easier. They have put their heads together to come up with this magical and competitively priced piece of equipment. It promises great things and comes with a lifetime guarantee!

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The thing we liked most about this design is; it benefits beginners, just as much as it benefits expert sugar artists. It will make your life so much easier. Just think, when you next have a sugar rose cascade to do, on the side of that wedding cake, consisting of 150, painstakingly elaborate sugar flowers! It’s going to be a godsend. Thank goodness for the inventors of this world.

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I have been undercover asking people what their honest opinions are of this cutter and so far it’s a full thumbs up from the cakers.

“I use it, I love it” shouted one cake decorator.

“I did the roses on my cake with one I used a mix of 50/50 petal paste with sugarpaste was a time saver,I did use a ball tool to thin the edges as well”

“Love this cutter!!! It worked great for me and was so easy to use”

So check out the tutorial and see what you think, will you Make the Easiest Rose Ever?

Let us know what you think about FMM’s latest invention in the comments below and if you haven’t tried it yet, we have it available on our website for just £5.49 for a limited time.

Cake Decorating Sugarcraft Essentials

Gum Trag, Tylo, CMC and other Sugarcraft Essentials

Sugarcraft Essentials for Cake Decorating

 

To start off, I wanted to tell you a little bit about some essential cake decorating products to get the most out of your products. You might think that something just has one use but you’d be surprised! It can get confusing what products for what and the difference between Gum Trag, CMC and Tylo when they are all reported to do the same thing. Well here’s a bit about each product and uses.

We’ve also included a recipe to make your own modelling paste at the bottom of the blog. Remember it is important to by brands that can be trusted like Culpitt, Sugarflair or

 What is available in this range & what is it used for?

Each of the following products have many different uses but I am aiming to give you a little insider info that you may not already know about these products.

 

Gum Tragacanth

‘Gum Trag’ is the same in many ways as Tylo for it’s uses but it is the more expensive version, this is because Gum Tragacanth is completely natural version of the gum derived from Middle Eastern legumes, it is odourless and tasteless.

Gum Trag is used to make homemade modelling and flower pastes and even edible glues. Gum trag will often give a firmer paste so works very well with making flower pastes.

 

Tylo Powder

It’s exactly the same thing as CMC but Tylose is used as a marketing name. CMC stands for Carboxymethyl cellulose. It works much like Gum Trag but it is the chemical version making it a much cheaper option. Other pro’s to this is it works much faster within the sugarpaste when added to make a homemade modelling paste.

 

Edible Glaze

This is fantastic for giving a really good edible shine to your confectioneries, sugarcraft models and sugar flowers. It dries clear and is easy to apply, it will give a high shine finish or wet look.

 

Dipping Solution

Many people also refer to this as Rejuvenator Liquid or it’s official name Isopropyl alcohol. Dipping solution has many different uses and is an essential addition to any cake decorators collection.

Dipping Solution is fantastic for hand painted cakes, simply add a few drops to your food colouring dusts, powders & pastes in a mixing pallet and it will create a paint that’s easy to apply and paint directly on to your cakes & figures with.

It may also be used for repairing mistakes on hand painting, cleaning & sterilising equipment and cleaning airbrushes in between colour changes!

 

Icing Whitener

Icing whitener can be used as it says for whitening icing and buttercream but you can also use this with a touch of dipping solution to paint the whites of eyes of figures in cake decorating.

 

Glycerine

Food grade glycerine is often used to soften icing, fondant, sugarpaste and modelling paste if it’s a bit tough. Other uses of glycerine are in baking, simply add half a teaspoon to your 12 cupcake mix or cake and you’ll be amazed how lovely and moist it makes your cakes!

The full range is available > HERE

 

Home made Modelling Paste Recipe:

It’s super easy to make your own modelling paste, with these simple steps.

Ingredients

250g of Sugarpaste

1 tps of Tylo, CMC or Gum Trag

  • Simply mix the powder in to the sugarpaste well.
  • Once fully mixed wrap your paste and cover very well, it needs to be airtight.
  • For Gum Trag: Wait 24 hours before using & then you are ready to go.
  • For CMC or Tylo: Wait 6 hours before using.
All products listed above are availble from Party Animal Online 

Edible Glitter Cupcakes

Edible Glitter Cupcakes and using glitters… It’s your…

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All glitters used on these pictures are 100% edible and are by Rainbow Dust called Edible Glitters. Don’t get these mixed up with the other ranges, yes they aren’t quite as sparkly as non-toxic glitters but these are 100% edible and don’t require and removal before consumption so you can go wild with them!

Edible Glitter Cupcakes:

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Edible Glitters were used on these cupcakes. Rainbow Dust have paired them with the ProGel food colours to match the shade to make them stand out even more! Simply make up your buttercream and add Rainbow Dust ProGel colours to it, mix in well until all the colour is even and vibrant then pipe as normal with your round piping tube, then simply sprinkle the matching coloured glitter on top and leave to set! You get a perfect set of rainbow, vibrant, glittery and completely fabulous cupcakes.

Why not try some other ideas with Rainbow Dust ProGel Food Colours and matching edible glitters..

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Go all out and cover your whole cake in it!! To do this you will require edible glue to stick the glitter to the sugarpaste. Simply add a thin layer with a brush to the areas you would like to cover and sprinkle on top!

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As I’m sure you’re all aware there has been quite a lot of controversy in the cake world over the past few years regarding edible glitters. Everyone has different opinions but here’s the facts in a brief summary to bring you up to date just in case you’ve missed the full story. A ll the pictures shown above have been made with 100% edible glitter which can be purchased > HERE

What Can I Use?

You can use either Food Contact Glitters or Edible Glitters, the basic difference is the Food Contact Glitters must be removed before consuming your tasty little cuppie! All that is required by you is to let your customers know to remove the glitter before eating and the easiest and fairest way for this to happen is not to cover your cupcakes in mountains of glitter but to add to some sugarpaste details that can easily be picked off.

Edible Glitters can be used and sprinkled on without need for warning of removal and you are free to add as much as you like. The truth is these glitters aren’t a sparkly and they never will be but if you want to be on the safe side this is the best way to go! Choose reputable brands and trusted names like Rainbow Dust who also have all their certificates available on their website to download.

FACTS:

  • Legally if you are selling your cakes you must let the customer know if you use anything that is not 100% edible on the cake.
  • Real edible glitter will never be as sparkly as the non- toxic range.
  • Edible items have a list of ingredients on them, if they don’t the chances are they are not edible.

 

 

Using Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers

Using Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers

I wanted to bring you all the information about these in one post so you can obtain all the information you’ll need and instructions for use, I will also add in links and offer links in case you don’t already have these little beauties in your collection already. This is a new piece of cake decorating equipment that is now a MUST in every bakers tool kit! It will change your life….

– Hello professional finish! –

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What’s It All About?

Squires Kitchen has teamed up with award-winning cake designer Helen Mansey of Bellissimo Cakes to create this fantastic smoother set! Who would’ve thought two little sheets of plastic would make so much difference?

Since stocking these flexi smoothers at PartyAnimalOnline a few months a go they have been flying out like hot cakes, on many items we can find we have mixed reviews but this has had nothing but positive feedback and glowing reviews from all our customers. This is how we decide whether to keep stocking a product as we only sell the top quality brands & equipment.

Squires Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers are made with very high quality FDA approved plastic allow extremely easy use, sharp edges and smooth polished icing.

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How Do I Use It?

Before using the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers on sugarpaste it is important to create a clean, crisp edge on the cake coating underneath (e.g. marzipan or ganache). Please see further details below for pre-coating methods that I have included further down. Ganache seems to be the most popular method at current. Ganche is extremely tasty and goes with all flavoured cakes, for lemon & vanilla cakes try using white chocolate ganache for a more subtle flavour.

Use the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers on freshly-covered cakes while the sugarpaste is still soft. For a round cake, hold the smoother with the curved edge on the top of the cake and hold the straight smoother against the side of the cake. Apply light pressure and gently run the two smoothers together around the top edge of the cake. You will notice a crisp edge starting to appear. Repeat as necessary until you are happy with the results. For a square cake, use the straight edges of each smoother to achieve a sharp edge.

This fabulous YouTube Tutorial shows you the technique used by Helen Mansey.

Pre Cake Coating

As I mentioned earlier on these are some techniques that can be used with pre-coating your cake to ensure the very best results and finish with the Squires Flexi Smoother.

Ganache method

  1. Make a ganache using one part whipping cream and two parts dark chocolate. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Layer and fill the cake with the ganache then secure the cake onto a thin cake board.
  3. Coat the top of the cake with ganache then coat the sides, ensuring you achieve straight sides and a crisp top edge. Allow to harden overnight.
  4. Brush the ganache very lightly with cooled, boiled water and apply a 4mm layer of sugarpaste to the cake. Use regular smoothers to smooth the sugarpaste. Use the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers straight away following the instructions above.

Marzipan method

  1. Cover a cake as you would in preparation for royal icing to create a sharp top edge (i.e. top and sides separately) and leave to dry for 24 hours.
  2. Brush with clear spirit and apply a 4mm layer of sugarpaste to the cake. Use regular smoothers to smooth the icing then follow the instructions for using the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers above.

 

Where Can You Get Them?

From us of course! We stock over 1,200 lines of cake decorating & Sugarcraft equipment and we are very pleased to add the Squires Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers to our collection. They come in three sizes and we also do a discount pack when buying all three. If you are just after one for testing we recommend using the medium, it’s made to handle 6″ – 9″ cakes although from the feedback so far from our customers they say it has been fine to use on larger sizes too… a good place to start!

Using Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers

  • Small Bellissimo Flexi Smoother for use on 3″-6″ cakes
  • Medium Bellissimo Flexi Smoother for use on 8″-9″ cakes
  • Large Bellissimo Flexi Smoother for use on 9″ cakes upwards
  • Promotional Discount Full set – Small, Medium & Large.

More information on using Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers them can be found > HERE

 

 

Have you used this product? Why not review it…HERE

 

Using the Karen Davies Bow Mould

Karen Davies Bow Mould

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As promised I am doing a brief write up on my Sugarcraft bows made for the Sugarflair paint review last week. I used the fantastic Karen Davies Bow mould that we stock. PartyAnimalOnline already hold most the range but after experiencing these moulds for myself it will definitely be on the list to expand the range further.

Karen Davies moulds are made from a high quality silicone that is extremely durable and just lasts and lasts, they are not flimsy so they maintain a great shape giving you a very professional finish that is easy to accomplish.

It’s so simply, I’ll talk you through it step by step.

What you will need.

Method & Technique

It’s so simple to create these beautiful looking bows.

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Simply dust your Karen Davies mould with cornflour, don’t be shy, this WILL stop the sugarpaste / modelling paste from sticking which is pretty much 90% of the battle. Tear off a chunk of modelling paste, knead well so it’s durable and push it into the mould until it is full.

Once you have got to this stage it’s just a case of taking off the excess. Use a knife to level the paste at the back of the mould and cut off any excess. Push it down once again to ensure you have pressed the paste in to all the edges of the mould.

Now simply turn your mould upside down and bend to release the sugarpaste and with enough dusted cornflour it will just drop straight out! Dust off any excess cornflour and then leave it to dry for about an hour before decorating, this will allow the paste to firm up.

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Recap:

  • Dust the mould sparingly with cornflour.
  • Knead modelling paste well before pushing it in to the mould.
  • Take off the excess with a knife levelling the paste against the mould.
  • Turn upside down and push out.
  • Leave for 1 hour to firm up before decorating.
Easy mixing capabilities to create hundreds more shades.
Easy mixing capabilities to create hundreds more shades.

 

For decoration.

I used Sugarflair edible glitter paints, however you could use a dry brush and lustres to just give the bow a sparkle quite easily.

If you are using Sugarflair Glitter Paints make sure you shake the pot well before use and seal it well after it’s been used as it’s high alcohol content means the liquid evaporates quickly leading to a dried out paint pot. I used a small palette to mix my colours and opted for the Sugarflair Blue Paint and Sugarflair White Paint enabling me to mix a range of blue shades from light to dark.

Start with one colour and mix a slightly lighter and darker shade for highlights and lowlights. Simply put the darker ‘lowlights’ in areas close to the bows creases and ‘highlights’ on the parts that reflect the light. This will help add an extra shine to your bow creating an even silkier finish.

That’s really all there is to it! I told you it was easy! For any help or advice pop over to our Facebook or G+ page and don’t be shy in asking questions. We are here to help…

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All products available at www.partyanimalonlineshop.com

15% off Sugarflair paints between 20/01/14 – 29/01/14 – Use code SFPaint15

 

Cooking up a Christmas Cake storm!

There are only seven weeks till Christmas and with ‘Stir-up Sunday” being 24th November, if you haven’t already started making your Christmas Cake I have decided to put together a list of tips to help get you through making the cake without turning to the bottle of Brandy! With the nights getting darker and the evenings getting colder it is the perfect time to begin plumping up your fruit and make the house warmer and smell delicious with your Christmas Cake baking in the oven!

The Christmas Cake is a merger of two dishes the plum porridge (I think this would taste a lot nicer than it sounds!) and Twelfth Night Cake, the plum porridge was traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. In the 16th Century the oatmeal was replaced by butter and flour. The cake was originally boiled rather than baked and it wasn’t until people became richer and started to have ovens in their homes, that the cake was then baked.

Make sure you soak the fruit to make it nice and plump, this will also help to keep your cake moist. The fruit will absorb all the fruit juice or alcohol, the general guidance for doing this is for around 12 hours or if possible 14-48 hours. Some suggest that before baking the cake you put a bowl of water in the oven to keep the cake moist whilst it is baking. Do no open the door on the oven till the cake has been in the oven for at least three quarters of the cooking time.

Once the cake is cooked and cooled and prepared to store, remember to feed the cake (and not yourself) brandy etc. periodically as this will also ensure for a nice moist cake. After thorough research the most favoured Christmas Cake recipe is the Delia Smith recipe. The recipe is for an 8″ round cake, however if you do not have a tin that size, there is a great guide for scaling up your cake recipesChristmas Done

Once it is time to dress your cake, make sure you dress it to its best after all you may be using it as your Christmas centrepiece. Make sure you take the time to roll your marzipan to the correct thickness and size, you can even be extra precise and use the marzipan spacers to get an even thickness on your marzipan and icing.

Tylo / Tylose Powder, Meri White, Gum Trag and Sugarcel….these are a few of my favourite things!

Like the beauty market there are so many powders and formulas on the market that you lose all sense of what they do! So here is a brief run down of what  a few of our most popular products actually do.

Sugarflair  Gum Tragacanth Powder Gum Tragacanth is a natural gum that you can use toSF_gumtrag__MED make the modelling paste for your cakes.

Gum Tragacanth also known as Gum Trag is a natural product that adds strength and stretch to sugar products. Can be used in modelling paste, flower paste and pastillage.

Knead in 1 teaspoon of gum into 225g (8oz) of sugarpaste, the gum needs time to work before the paste is used. You will begin to feel a difference in the paste after an hour or so, but it is best left overnight. Keep completely airtight to prevent drying out.

sf_sugarcel_MEDHowever there is also Sugarflair Sugarcel CMC. Gum tragacanth substitute. Sugarcel CMC, is an excellent gum trag substitute which costs much less than the equivalent Tragacanth powder. CMC tends to be much firmer to work than Tragacanth but dries good and hard. It does have the advantage of being whiter than the Gum Tragacanth version.

Use CMC to make the modelling paste for your cakes. Knead in 1 teaspoon of gum into 225g (8oz) of sugarpaste, the gum needs time to work before the paste is used. You will begin to feel a difference in the paste after an hour or so, but it is best left overnight. Keep completely airtight to prevent drying out.

You can also mix CMC with water (cooled boiled water is best) to make a good home made edible glue.

Tylose tends to be much firmer to work than Tragacanth but dries good and hard. It does tylohave the advantage of being whiter than the Gum Tragacanth version.

Use tylose to make the modelling paste for your cakes. Knead in 1 teaspoon of gum into 225g (8oz) of sugarpaste, the gum needs time to work before the paste is used. You will begin to feel a difference in the paste after an hour or so, but it is best left overnight. Keep completely airtight to prevent drying out.

You can also mix tylose with water (cooled boiled water is best) to make a good home made edible glue. Approx 1 teaspoon of tylo mixed with approx 50ml of water, leave overnight and if too thick add a little water to thin out.

meri whiteFinally Meri-White is a great substitute for egg albumen in all your meringue and Royal Icing recipes. Unlike fresh eggs you get a very white finish and a consistent result.

1 tablespoon of Meri-White dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water gives the right mix for Royal Icing. Just add 500g icing sugar – mixed until a firm peak is achieved.

Hopefully this clears a few questions up. As always if you do have any questions we are around on Facebook and the live chat feature on our website.