Basic Sugar Craft Equipment

With our beginners Sugar flower course starting in september we thought we would take this opportunity to talk about the basic equipment needed to start making sugar flowers and sugar models.

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

Non stick board –Non stick boards come in a range of sizes from 152mm x 114mm to 600mm x 500mm and a good size non stick board is the 254 x 177mm.

Non stick rolling pin – Once again non stick rolling pins come in various sizes but an idea size to start with is the 9 inch (228mm) rolling pin.

Foam pads –There are two types you require which can be purchased as a set or individually. You will need a plain square flower foam pad and a mexican foam pad. Mexican foam pads have five holes of different sizes and are designed for creating gum paste flowers using the Mexican Hat method, while flower foam pads are designed for shaping and thinning the edges of petals and leaves made from gum or flower paste.

Modelling tools  Our range of modelling tools can be used to model sugar paste, marzipan, claydough etc. Modelling tools used on any edible products should be kept separate from tools used on non-food materials. Each tool is designed to perform a specific function so it is important to choose the right modelling tools for the right job. If you’re not sure which one you need, you can select one of our sets which contains a selection of the most popular modelling tools. bone tool, ball tool, sugarcraft knife, bulbous cone, Flower/leaf shaper and double ended cutting wheel are the most used or you can buy a complete set of 8.

Cutters – There are a vast range of cutters to choose from but the cutters most used when beginning are rose petal, leaf & calyx, ivy leaf, 5 petal blossom, heart and daisy.

Veiners – Once again when beginning, start with rose leaf and an ivy leaf veiner.  Having  good general leaf veiner is ideal for many other petals.

Wires and tape – Most useful sized wire is 24 and  and 28 gauge wires and florist tapes of different colours.  Nile green is the most used colour which can also be dusted to a darker colour.

Ready to use flower paste or modelling paste – you can make this florist paste yourself, or save time by buying ready made paste. There is a vast array of colours to choose from and Beau paste have a fantastic colour range to match most needs.

Dusting Colours – Choose the basic colours to start. You can also mix pastes and dusts together to create further colours.

General Tools - Brushes, scissors, angled tweezers, fine pliers and wire cutters.

Petal Base – Used for ease of rolling out flower paste on board and prevents any sticking.

Sugar Craft Flowers

BEGINNERS SUGAR FLOWER COURSE

In this 4 week floral workshop course, students will learn how to make a number of beautiful sugar flowers, including the over-sized Open Peony (with stamens) and stunning open roses. Other flowers such as gerberas, sweet peas and hydrangea will be created. Corresponding buds and leaves will also be covered where appropriate. During the course, students will use modelling techniques to make flower centers, and then use cutters, veiners and specific techniques to create buds, leaves, and the many wired petals needed to form their large blooms. Once all of the components are dry, students will also learn colouring and dusting techniques, as well as taping, assembling, and finishing touches to complete their flowers.

sugarcraft flower courseLearning outcomes:
Modeling flower centers and using stamens
Creating buds using layers of petals
Creating leaves
Creating wired petals
Dusting and coloring techniques
Coloring and glazing leaves
Taping and assembling large flowers
Favorite finishing touches

Thursdays and Fridays (September 2012) – 2 hours per Thursday and Friday for 4 weeks running 7pm -9pm 
Starts 20th September 2012. Total Cost £185

To book your course please contact SugarBliss Cake Company on 01564 774 223 or email us at cakeclasse@sugarblisscakecompany.co.uk

 

Royal Icing

We are often asked how to make royal icing and the difference between royal icing and sugar paste. Royal icing can be used for icing cakes and for decorations such as run outs and extensions. Royal icing can also be used for piping purposes and out of all icings is the most versatile. However, plenty of practice is recommended in order to master the technique.

How To make Royal Icing

It is vital to make royal icing correctly and to the right consistency in order to obtain a good smooth finish on your cakes.  There are a few things you should consider before you start.

Fresh egg whites are generally not used as much today.  Pure dried albumen or a substitute such as Meri white are more often used these days.

Pure albumen powder makes a stronger icing and is more suitable for run-out sugar work, extension work and fine piping. Adding glycerine will soften the icing and can be used for other uses. Adding meri white creates a softer and slightly whiter icing for covering cakes.

It is essential that all equipment and utensils used are clean and free from grease.  Any spots of grease will result in a heavy icing and will make it much more difficult for you to work with.

The use of good icing sugar should eliminate the need for sieving and will produce a better consistency.

Always keep the royal icing covered with a damp cloth whilst working with it as this will help to prevent drying out. You must however, not keep the cloth over the icing for too long as it will cause the icing to absorb the moisture and change it’s consistency.

By leaving the royal icing in a plastic bag or piping bag to dry out you can then simply grate the icing to achieve a snow effect to add to your cake decorating scene.

If you do not have enough time or inspiration to make your own royal icing you can purchase royal and run out powder. Simply add cooled boiled water to the mix until light and fluffy. The correct consistency is reached when the icing is whiter and will stand in soft peaks. You can purchase the royal and run out icing in our sugar craft and decorating shop.

Royal Icing Recipes

1:-     (using pure dried egg white)

15g (1/2oz) dried albumen

90ml (3 fl ozs) water

450g (1 lb) icing sugar

Reconstitute the albumen for 24 hrs ( it will initially form lumps, but these will disappear if whisked slightly or strained through a fine sieve)

Place albumen mixture into clean, grease free bowl and add half the icing sugar. Beat until well mixed, then add the remaining sugar, a small amount at a time and beat until stiff.

If making in a mixer, use slowest speed and take care not to over beat. This could cause air pockets in the icing which will cause problems when trying to coat or pipe.

 

2:-    (using a substitute)

15g Meri white

75ml water

500g icing sugar

Dissolve meri white in water and gradually add icing sugar, beating on low speed in a mixer (approx 15 mins.) until icing peaks.        

 

Consistency

Different consistencies of icing are required for different purposes so the icing, once made, will probably need to slightly adjust the mix.

Before use, whether for piping or coating use a palette knife to eliminate all the air bubbles. This  achieves a smooth icing suitable for coating cakes.

If a firmer icing  is required  where it has to hold its shape eg. for piped flowers, you will need to add a little extra icing sugar to the basic mix.

For run outs (letters/numbers etc)  paddle to eliminate any air bubbles, and add more water as necessary to achieve a flowing consistency. Do not add glycerine to a run out mix of icing as this will soften it too much.  A stronger icing is needed for this type of icing work.

Equipment required for making icing

Much of the equipment used for royal icing can be found amongst your general kitchen items, but there are a few specialist items you will require to make your royal icing a success!

Turntable

When coating a cake you will find that a turntable is useful especially when icing the sides.  You can turn the cake around and achieve a good smooth edge. When icing the top place the cake on your work surface this will prevent the cake from moving as you draw the icing across the top of the cake.

Icing ruler

A good strong straight icing ruler is essential for coating the top of the cake.

Side scraper

A stainless steel or plastic side scraper will ensure a smooth side to your cake. You can also purchase various grooved scrapers to place a design onto the side of the cake.

Palette knives

Palette knives are useful – a smaller one for putting the icing onto the sides and a larger palette knife for spreading onto the top.

Wooden spoon

If you are hand beating the mix.

What to do when coating a cake

Ensure cake has straight, squared off edges.

3-4 thin coats are recommended, making each coat a little softer with extra water as you go.

Paddle the icing on the top first to eliminate air bubbles. Drag the icing ruler across top at a slight angle and remove the excess icing with another knife.

Place the cake on a turntable and paddle the icing onto the side with a palette knife.

Using a side scraper, hold the scrapper at an angle towards you, then pull it around the cake, starting as far back as possible turning the cake with one hand and holding the scraper with the other.

Allow each coat to dry before applying the next. Any roughness can be removed, either shaving  with a sharp knife or rubbing with a piece of emery paper.

Piping

Always use good quality tubes if possible. These are stainless steel and are seamless and will give the best finish.  Any tubes with a seam may distort the piped design.

Practice before applying to cake  especially if creating a more intricate design.

Ensure tubes are cleaned well after use and no icing is leftover inside tube.

Cake Classes by Sugarbliss Cake Company

We are really excited to be finally releasing our new cake class schedules for 2012. Our Sugarbliss Cake Decorating Studio is fully finished and ready to go! Please find listed below our new schedule for August & September 2012. We will be adding shortly further course dates for our advanced decorating classes, 1 day & 3 day workshops and individual speciality classes which will be held in October & November 2012. All our classes are held at our cake craft shop, 1707 High Street Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0LN.

SUGARBLISS CAKE COURSES FOR AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

BEGINNERS CAKE DECORATING COURSE:

This is a six week course.  During this course, SugarBliss will be showing you the tricks of the trade.   These will enable you to build up your own repertoire of decorations that can be applied to so many cake designs.  The six week course will include how to cover cakes in marzipan and icing, hand piping, hand moulding, the use of cutters to get dramatic effects, hand painting and finally ribbon techniques.

Tuesdays  7pm-9pm. Starts Tuesday 7th August 2012 (and the following 5 Tuesdays). Total Cost £90

To book your course please contact SugarBliss on 01564 774 223 or email us at cakeclasses@sugarblisscakecompany.co.uk

SUGAR FLOWER COURSE

In this 4 week floral workshop course, students will learn how to make a number of beautiful sugar flowers, including the over-sized Open Peony (with stamens) and stunning open roses. Other flowers such as gerberas, sweet peas and hydrangea will be created. Corresponding buds and leaves will also be covered where appropriate. During the course, students will use modelling techniques to make flower centers, and then use cutters, veiners and specific techniques to create buds, leaves, and the many wired petals needed to form their large blooms. Once all of the components are dry, students will also learn colouring and dusting techniques, as well as taping, assembling, and finishing touches to complete their flowers.

Learning outcomes:
Modeling flower centers and using stamens
Creating buds using layers of petals
Creating leaves
Creating wired petals
Dusting and coloring techniques
Coloring and glazing leaves
Taping and assembling large flowers
Favorite finishing touches

Thursdays and Fridays (September 2012) – 3 hours per session for 4 weeks running (times to be confirmed) 
Starts 6th September 2012. Total Cost £188

To book your course please contact SugarBliss on 0156477 4223 or email us at cakeclasses@sugarblisscakecompany.co.uk

CHILDREN’S CAKE DECORATING CLASS (1Day)

Children’s cake classes – here we will teach simple cupcake icing techniques and demonstrate basic sugarpaste modelling to make decorations for cakes. We’ll provide 4 already baked chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and be on hand to help throughout the class. Many already made icings and sprinkles will be available to ensure each cake is different than the previous one to take home in a box. The children’s cupcake decorating classes are 1.5 hours long and we will teach the whole decorating process from start to finish SugarBliss style. All ingredients and materials are supplied by sugarbliss Cake Company for the childrens class.
Individual Class Dates are: Wednesday 15th August 4pm-5.30pm, Wednesday 22nd August 4pm-5.30pm & Wednesday 29th August 11am-12.30pm 2012. Cost £15 (1.5 hour Class.)

To book your course please contact SugarBliss on 01564 774 223 or email us at cakeclasses@sugarblisscakecompany.co.uk

Classes are on a first come first serve basis so please contact us as soon as possible to book your space for August/September. 

On booking the course, we will send through more details about each weeks class. We provide general equipment for all of our classes but edibles must be brought to class by yourselves i.e.  cakes, sugar paste, marzipan and flower paste.  You will also need to bring boards, boxes, ribbons and dowels.  A list will be given for each weeks class requirements at the beginning of the course so that you can prepare.  Everything needed can be pre-ordered at our shop (5% discount will be applied) and it can all be ready for you at the start of your class if this is easier for you. Freshly baked Victoria Sponge cakes can also be pre-ordered for use at our classes if you don’t feel like baking them yourself!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON!

Welcome to Sugarbliss Cake Decorating Classes, where nyree regular hosts classes throughout the year for Kids and beginners who want to learn the basic skills of cake decoration, to advanced classes for those who want to enhance and learn new skills in cake decoration. At Sugarbliss we have classes which cater for all skill levels that will enhance and inspire you.

Following requests over the years to Sugarbliss Cake Company for cake classes, we have created project-based classes to suit a variety of proficiency levels, from those wishing to start a career in cakes, to those looking for a fun and enriching day out.

Classes are led throughout the year by Nyree and students can enroll in an intimate three day ‘Professional Tiered Wedding Cake’ master class and learn how to ice the perfect cake, securely stack and assemble tiers and pipe exquisite spring flowers, or may prefer to take a fun one day ‘Couture Cookies’ class with friends or colleagues and create their own chic collection of iced cookie treats to take home. Our evening 1-2 hour classes are designed for those who can not join a project led class.

At Sugarbliss we have a class to suit everyone. To find out more about our cake classes, schedule or to enroll on our next course date please contact us on 01564 774 223 or complete the contact form here.

Sugarpaste

We are regular asked by our customers about sugarpaste/rolled fondant. So we thought it would be a good idea to put something together to help answer some of those many questions.

Sugarpaste is a soft paste used for covering a cake or making simple models or flowers. It is ready to roll after kneading well, and can be bought in various colours and different sizes from 250g-10kg. You can also purchase chocolate and chocolate flavour (dark, milk, white & caramel) pastes for you to use when decorating a cake.

If you are making a cake with different colours, it is quicker for you to use blocks of ready coloured sugarpaste e.g. red, blue or orange rather than colouring with food colouring. Sugarpaste can also be mixed to create further different colours for example you can mix red and yellow to create orange. You can also use a white sugarpaste and add food colouring to it. When adding colour to a sugarpaste, you should use a concentrated paste colour and add a small amount each time until the desired colour is created. You should avoid using a liquid food colouring as this will alter the consistency of the paste and make it sticky and unworkable. Remember if you colour your own paste be sure to make up enough as matching the colour later on can be difficult.

Sugarpaste can also be used to create basic models and will stick without the use of glue.  Simple flowers or other shapes such as letters may also be made using any of the vast range of plastic or metal cutters available. If you are going to make more complicated modeling and shapes, you can mix together sugarpaste and flowerpaste 50/50. Alternatively you can add a powdered gum (gum traganth) to the sugarpaste  (2 tspn to every 500g of sugarpaste), or you can simply buy a ready to use modelling paste.

knead the sugarpaste until it is soft and easy to work with. This is made easier if icing sugar is used sparingly on the work surface to prevent sticking.

Roll out the sugarpaste to the shape and size of the cake and board you are covering. Roll out to a minimum thickness of 8mm you can use spacers, which are placed either side of the paste and will eliminate any guess work with the thickness and will roll the icing evenly. Keep rolling and turning the paste to prevent sticking, adding more icing sugar to the work surface if  necessary. You will always require more paste than you actually use to cover the cake for example an 8 inch round cake will require 1kg of sugarpaste. You can keep any surplus icing by placing an air tight tub and seal for future use. You can now smooth and polish the icing before lifting onto the cake.

Lift the icing and if the icing is a large piece, place over a rolling pin to manoeuvre onto the prepared cake base and carefully smooth over top and down sides, eliminating the tablecloth effect by pushing folds down and out. Finally cut off around the base of the cake or at the cake boards edge.

Polish with the palm of your hand or with a piece of spare paste, then use a smoother  to obtain a perfect, smooth surface to your cake. Any air bubbles which appear may be eliminated by using a pin to prick the bubble and smooth over. Any rough,  crazed or cracked areas can be smoothed with your fingertips or palm of hand.

A cake which is covered in sugarpaste can be decorated in many different ways. Crimpers and embossers  are quick and easy tools to create patterns  and are used on fresh icing. Cutters made from plastic or metal can be used to cut out a range of shapes such as hearts, stars and then add to the cake to create your own design.

Any unused paste can be stored for several months either in its pack or plastic bag, but must be airtight. Sugar products do not go off but do  start to deteriorate.  Once a cake is covered with paste air must be allowed to circulate around it, therefore it is best stored in a proper cardboard cake box. Do not refrigerate and do not store in a tin or airtight container. A sugarpasted cake can be stored in the freezer provided it is left to dry for 24 hours upon removal, but be aware any colours used in the decoration  of the cake may ‘bleed’ into the icing when thawing.

Finally, always practice on leftover paste when using a piece of equipment for the first time, or piping a design, to perfect the technique before using on the cake itself.

 

Cake Mixes-Sugarbliss Cake Supplies & Craft Company

This week has been busy with an assortment of exciting new products arriving, so keep an eye out for them in our Cake Craft Supplies Shop!   We have just added a fantastic selection of Cake Mixes to our cake ingredients range, and anybody thinking of baking cakes or cup cakes for the jubilee or any celebration will appreciate how easy and delicious our cake mixes are.

Our sweet range of cake mixes include-Vanilla, Death by Chocolate and NEW Red Velvet, Carrot, Egg Free Vanilla and Gluten Free Vanilla!

Although at Sugarbliss Cake & Craft Company we bake our own cake recipes, not everyone has the time or inclination!  After many customer requests, we now offer easy to use cake mixes for those who enjoy home baking but need the reassurance of consistent results every time. You have the flexibility to bake whatever shapes and sizes of sponge you need – big cakes, little cakes, novelty shapes and cupcakes!

The new vanilla or death by chocolate sponge cake mixes, packed in 3kg boxes, are extremely versatile and tolerant to a wide range of baking conditions.  The mixes will produce a close textured moist cake, firm and easy to handle, which should keep well for at least 2 weeks.  The results will not be identical to our own baked bases, as these are baked from scratch ingredients and cannot be recreated exactly in a cake mix,  However, cakes baked by using these mixes will be just as suitable for decorating and tasty. You also have the advantage of being able to add extra ingredients and flavours – fruit, chocolate chips, lemon flavouring?

A three kilogram box will be plenty to make three large 10″ square cakes, or six 8″ round cakes.  You can also get between 130 and 200 cupcakes from one box, depending on the size of your cupcakes!

A full instruction leaflet showing quantities of the vanila or chocolate cake mix needed for different sizes and shapes of cake is enclosed in the packaging.

We also have Red Velvet, Carrot, and Egg Free sponge cake mixes, all available in 1.5kg bags.

With a subtle chocolate flavour, moist texture and striking colour, Red Velvet is the lastest cake craze from America to hit the UK. The cake are absolutely gorgeous, baked as cupcakes with a vanilla frosting.

A 1.5kg pack of Red Velvet Cake Mix is plenty for three 8″ round cakes, or 60-90 cupcakes depending on size.  Instructions are included for an 8″ round cake.

 

 

Wedding Cake Decorations-Feathers

I have just finished completing a wedding cake design for later on this year and I am really excited with this cake design, as I will be using  some colourful feathers with diamantes to finish the wedding cake decorations.  In our sugar craft shop we have a lovely range of feathers in some fantastic colours. Some of the feathers have diamantes included which look wonderful sparkling under the lights and complement the other diamante decorations perfectly.This wedding cake is truely going to be a real eye catcher!

I will post some pictures when the wedding cake has been completed.

 

 

Sugar Sheet

Sugar Sheets!-These sugar paste sheets are printed with edible food colours and measure 300mm x 300mm. Metal cutters can be used to cut shapes from the flexible sugar sheets, giving you an exciting new way to decorate cupcakes, cookies and cakes.

I have just finished a fabulous birthday cake and some cupcakes using the new sugar sheets that have recently arrived in our cake craft shop.  There are several designs to choose from,  but the one i have just used is the black rose design on a white background. The black rose pattern sugar sheet also has matching cupcake wrappers which looked absolutely stunning displayed on our 3 tier cupcake stand.

Sugar sheets are a great idea and really easy to use. The sugar sheets almost create an instant cake decoration!  You can, as i just have, use  the sheets in strips around a cake, or to cut out shapes using scissors, cutters or a modeling knife. All you have to do to use the sugar sheets is to peel off the backing sheet and fix your shapes onto the cake with edible glue. They really are a great alternative way to decorate a cake.

Sugarbliss Sugar Craft & Cake Decorating Shop

Our Sugarcraft & Cake Decorating shop is a one-stop shop offering a complete range of cake decorating supplies including tools, icing, cutters, food colours, boxes, ribbons, moulds and cake decorations.  In fact, everything for the cake decorator from beginner to professional to make their very own delicious cakes every time and at great prices. Our new online sugarcraft shop will be available for you to purchase all your cake decorating supplies from 1st July 2012 and our call and collect service, saving you time and money is available Now. Simple call us on 01564 774 223 and we will have all your items ready for you to collect from our shop in Knowle.

In our shop you can also hire cake making equipment such as cake tins, cutters etc. and get expert advice from our experienced Sugarbliss team of cake designers. You can book onto our very popular cake classes (classes for July, August and September dates now available) and order cakes for your special occasion by browsing through and choosing cake designs from our extensive weddings, birthday and celebration cake portfolios, or have us create something personal and completely different to make your cake just perfect for your special celebration.

Our Sugarbliss Cake School & Cake School For Kids, caters for all ages where you can learn cake making craft skills.  The popular cake classes run throughout the month for beginners & children who want to learn the basic skills of cake decoration, to advanced classes for those who want to enhance and learn new skills in cake decoration. At Sugarbliss they have classes which cater for all skill levels that will enhance and inspire you. Learn how to ice the perfect cake, securely stack and assemble tiers and pipe exquisite spring flowers, or you may prefer to take an evening class or a fun one day ‘Couture Cookies’ class with friends or colleagues and create their own chic collection of iced cookie treats to take home. For cake schedules & information please contact us.

We are also the perfect solution for those seeking sweet satisfaction by creating truly stunning cake designs that can accommodate all tastes and desires. From elegant and chic party cakes to the traditional tiered wedding cake, we can supply exactly what you want without compromise, especially when it comes to your wedding day.

You can also sample some of our award winning cake recipes by ordering one of our delicious sample boxes. We also specialise in Eggless, Gluten Free, Vegan and Alcohol Free Cakes.

If you are unable to find the product you are looking for, why not give us a call on 01564 774 223 or contact us where our knowledgeable staff are always happy to help. Alternatively, why not make a visit to our sugarcraft shop in Knowle, Solihull situated next to Knowle Church. The beautiful village of Knowle has many other arts and crafts shops, lovely restaurants and pavement cafes.

OPENING TIMES: Monday 9.30am-5.30pm, Tuesday 9.30am-5.30pm, Wednesday 9-6pm, Thursday 9-6pm, Friday 9am-5pm & Saturday 9am-5pm.

Loving Everything To Do With Cakes!

1707 High Street, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands, B93 0NL. Tel: 01564 774 223. Sugarbliss Cake Company & Cake Craft