Frequently Asked Questions

 Whats the best way to pour Ganache?
 I have Bubbles in my Fondant?
How do I keep the Crumbs out of my icing?
What are Dowel rods and pillars used for?
How can I make black icing taste better?
Whats the different types of confectioners' sugar?
How do I cut a cake?
How do you make sugar coated edible flowers?
What ingredients can I substitute?
What's the correct oven temperature?
What's your cake problem?
How do I make molding clay?
How do I make gum-paste?
What is gum-paste?
Which one do I use? fondant, gumpaste, candy clay
What mixer speed do I use?
How do I cover a cake with Royal Icing?
How to use Dusting Powders?
How to make your flowers have shine?
What is the Creaming Method?
How to make Rolled Buttercream?
How to make Mazipan?
How much batter do I need?
How to make Brandy Simple Syrup
How to hand work gum paste?
How to roll out gum paste?
How to color gum paste?

 

 

 

 

 

Whats the best way to pour Ganache?

Apply warm ganche or chocolate dip to a cold iced cake. The cold temperature will help to stop excessive dripping down the cake.

 I have Bubbles in my Fondant?

Use a needle/ pin to pop the bubbles in the fondant. Insert the needle sideways to avoid a visible hole. Pat with your finger to smooth or use your gliders to smooth.

How do I keep the Crumbs out of my icing?

This is a trick professional cake decorators use that is rarely used at home, yet it only takes a few extra minutes and the end results are well worth the time and effort. The crumb coat icing seals in the moisture of the cake and can serve as a base coat to protect the cake overnight; especially when the frosting will be applied later.

Take ½ cup of homemade or commercial frosting and thin it down with water until it is the consistency of a glaze. It should be almost too thin to put on with a knife.

When the cake has barely cooled, spread the crumb coat icing all over the cake. Let the crumb coat icing set for a half of an hour to dry before frosting the cake.
Apply a crumb coat! A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing, evenly applied on the cake with a spatula. Then I like to chill my cakes for a few hours. This will firm the cake enough to allow you to frost the cake with no worries of crumbs in your cake.

What are Dowel rods and pillars used for?

Dowel rods are used to sport the weight of the stacked cake layers. You place them close to the center of each cake.
Pillars are use to sport the weight of the stacked cake layer but they plunge into the cake and they give the illusion of suspension.

How can I make black icing taste better?

Start by using chocolate frosting then die it black.

Differences in confectioners' sugar?

I recently bought the wrong kind of confectioners' sugar for my buttercream icing. What does the 6X/10X mean? How can I make the 6X have the same consistency as the 10X? I have heard that you can add corn starch, but I don't know the ratio.
  
  6X confectioners' sugar has a small uniform particle size and is perfect for a wide range of products. It creates smooth textures and easy-to-spread properties for icings. 10X confectioners' sugar, also known as ultrafine, bakers, castor or bar sugar, is regular sugar that has been ground into a fine powder and contains about 3 percent cornstarch to prevent caking. 10X confectioners' sugar is more finely milled than 6X confectioners' sugar. You can add 3 percent cornstarch based on the total weight to 6X sugar to get the same properties as 10X sugar and to prevent caking, however, you need to grind the sugar much finer as well, which is nearly impossible without the appropriate commercial equipment.

  How do I cut a Cake?


Oval Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut oval tiers, move in two inches from the outer edge and cut across. Then slice 1-in. pieces of cake. Now move in another 2-in. and slice again until the entire tier is cut.

Round Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut round tiers, move in two inches from the tier's outer edge; cut a circle and then slice 1-in. pieces within the circle. Now move in another 2-in., cut another circle, slice 1-in. pieces and so on until the tier is completely cut. The center core of each tier and the smaller top tier can be cut into halves, 4ths, 6ths and 8ths depending on size.

Petal Shaped Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut petal-shaped tiers, follow similar pattern as the round tiers diagram shows.

Hexagon Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut hexagon tiers, follow similar pattern as with round tiers.

Heart Shaped Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut heart-shaped tiers, divide the tiers vertically into halves, quarters, sixths or eighths. Within rows, slice one inch pieces of cake.

Square Tiers Wedding Cake Cutting Diagram

To cut square tiers, move in 2-in. from the outer edge and cut across. Then slice 1-in. pieces of cake. Now move in another 2-in. and slice again until the entire tier is cut.

 

How do you make sugar coated edible flowers?

Wash your flowers-Gently! Then using your paper towel pat them dry. Then spread them out on paper towels or newsprint.
Using your egg wash and food safe paint brush, gently spread a small amount of egg white over the petals of your flower.
Now you will want to sprinkle your sugar over the egg white. Gently, lift your flowers and shake off excess sugar. Now you will want to let them dry in a warm spot for about an hour. Assuming that you are using fresh flowers, they will only be good for a couple of days. If you are using dried or pressed flowers, you can then store them in a air tight container in a dark cabinet for a few months

 

What ingredients can I substitute?

1 tbsp corn starch   =  2 tbsp flour

1 Egg                                   
=  2 egg yolks or 2 tbsp mayo

1 c milk                                
= 1/2 c evaporated milk + 1/2 c water

1 c sour milk(buttermilk )    
= 1 c milk + 1 tbs vinegar or lemon juice

1 sq unsweetened chocolate 
= 3 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp Crisco

1 c honey                               
= 1 1/4 c sugar + 1/4 c water

1 c butter                               
= 1 c Crisco + 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbs flour                             
= 1/2 tbs corn starch + 2 tsp tapioca

glucose                                  
= corn syrup

What's the correct oven temperature?

If you are in a hurry never increase a cooking temperature. Check you racks are placed in the right place before heating the oven. It is very important to pre-heat you oven. It only takes a few minutes. Do not open the oven door prematurely. A draft may cause your baked product to fall.
It is a good idea to check your oven temperature with a oven thermometer. You can get one at many retail stores. An oven thermometer is very handy (and inexpensive) to find out what temperature your oven really is cooking at. An oven thermometer can be left in the oven to verify your oven temperature. If the oven is not maintaining the set temperature, the oven thermostat will have to be adjusted by a service center representative authorized by the manufacturer. However, if, after testing the oven temperature at several settings (325, 350, 375, and 400°F), and it is consistently high or low by the same amount (say, 25°F), this can be factored into the temperature setting. For example, if you know that your oven runs "hot" by 25°F and you need to bake something at 350°F, set the oven for 325°F.

What’s your cake problem?

figure out why a cake did not turn out as expected.

 Cake has a coarse texture,
Too much baking soda or baking powder may have been used.
Not enough liquid may have been used.
The butter and sugar may not have been beaten together long enough. If the recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar, or beating until light and fluffy, this should take at least three to four minutes of beating.
The oven temperature was too low.

Cake is too dry,
Too much flour or leavening (baking soda/baking powder) was used.
Not enough shortening or sugar was used.
The cake was over-baked - the oven temperature was too high and/or the baking time was too long.

Cake fell (the center of the cake sinks),
The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
The liquid was over or under measured.
The pan was too small - the batter was too deep.
The cake was moved or jarred before it was sufficiently baked.
Old or expired baking powder was used.
A wooden pick or cake tester was inserted into the cake before it was sufficiently set.

Cake has low volume or is too flat,
The liquid was over- or under-measured.
The batter was under-mixed or extremely over-mixed.
Too large a pan was used.
The oven temperature was too low or too high.

Cake has a peaked center,
The batter was over-mixed.
The oven temperature was too hot.

Cake shrinks excessively around the edges
The baking pans were greased too heavily.
The baking pans were placed too close together in the oven.
There was too little batter in the baking pan.
The batter was extremely over-mixed.
There was too little liquid in the batter.
The cake was over-baked - either too long a time or at too high a temperature.

Cake is soggy,
The cake was moved or jarred before it was sufficiently baked.
The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
Old or expired baking powder was used.

Cake has a sticky top crust,
The cake was stored while still warm.
The liquid was over measured.
The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
The air humidity was too high.

Cake has tunnels throughout the layer,
The oven temperature was too high.
The batter was under-mixed or extremely over-mixed.

Cake has uneven browning,
There was uneven heat circulation in the oven.
The baking pans were placed too close together in the oven.

How do I make molding clay?


12 ozs of chocolate
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Add corn syrup and stir in chocolate chips.Slowly melt them.
Pour mixture onto plastic wrap on a cookie sheet and then cover with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature to dry.
Wrap well and store at room temperature until needed.
Candy clay handles best if hardened overnight.
Candy clay will be very hard at the start; knead a small portion at a time until workable. If candy clay gets too soft, set aside at room temperature or refrigerate briefly. When rolling out candy clay, sprinkle work surface with cornstarch or cocoa (for cocoa clay) to prevent sticking; roll to approximately 1/8 in. thick.
You can cover a cake with it or make things like flower roses.

How do I make make gum-paste?

 Use one mixer paddle attachment with the mixer( hand mixer is best)
 2 large  egg whites
8tsp  Tylose powder. tylose powder is a food grade gum
 2-21/2cups of powdered sugar, minus 1 cup set aside( just if you need it).
Start by putting the egg whites into the mixer; breaking those up for about 10 seconds on high speed. Remember use only one attachment in your mixer. Slowly add our powdered sugar. Then turn your mixer up to medium. Letting it mix for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in your tylose powder in. Dump it out on our powdered sugar surface or greased surface. Make sure you grease your hands with shortening. Now knead it so that it is good, thick, and very doughy. If it is a little sticky then kneed in a little sugar at a time. When done wrap it up and let rest for 24 hours. You can use it right away but it is best after it rest. Put it in the figurator for storing and just bring it back to room temperature before using.

What is Gum-paste?

Gum paste is pliable, is easy to shape like modeling clay, can be tinted, painted on and dries with the texture and crispness of a wafer. It is considered "technically" edible, but it is not palatable, especially when dried because it's hard and bland. YOu can change this by making your own gum-paste.

Gum paste is versatile. It can be made into life like flowers or small decorations or pieces can be "glued" together to make large standing ones. Decorations can be made weeks in advance and temporarily stored in airtight containers or kept there indefinitely away from heat or moisture.

You can make Gum paste from scratch or buy it ready-made or as a mix where all you do is add water. It contains ingredients such as powdered sugar, gelatin, water, sometimes glucose or egg white, sometimes shortening, and some form of strengthening gum called Tragacanth Gum

 Which One Do I Use? Gum paste, Fondant or Candy Clay


Gum paste dries very hard. It's strength comes from gum tragacanth. It can be rolled very thin and makes beautiful, strong flowers and other novelties, such as boxes or any 3-D decoration. If you are making big things or decorating a cake I would use gum-paste it dries lighter. Candy clay is good for small things or cover a cake. Fondants is good for covering cakes.

 

What Mixer speed do I use?blue

 

BEATER STYLES

Beaters

Styles

              Use         

Flat beater

Mixing normal

Biscuits, cakes, candies, cookies,

Wire Whip

Incorporating air
Into mixtures

Angel food cakes, boiled frosting, egg whites, heavy cream, sponge  cake

Dough Hook

Mixing and kneading Yeast dough

Breads, buns, coffee cakes, rolls

SPEED

USE

GENERAL USES

Speed 1

Stir

For slow stirring, combining, mashing, starting all mixing procedures. Use to add flour and dry ingredients to batter, add liquids to dry ingredients, and combine heavy mixtures

Speed 2

Slow Mixing

For slow mixing, mashing, faster stirring. Use to mix heavy batters and candies, cut shortening into flour, mix thin or splashy batters, and mix and knead yeast dough.

Speed 4

Mixing Beating

For mixing semi- heavy batters, such as cookies and cakes, Use to combine sugar and shortening and to  Add sugar to eggs. Medium speed is for cake mixes

Speed 6

Beating, Creaming

Medium-fast beating is for creaming or whipping use to finish mixing cakes, doughnut, and other
batters.

Speed 8

Fast Beating, Whipping

For whipping cream, egg whites, and boiled frosting

Speed 10

Fast Whipping

For whipping small amounts of cream or egg whites

Note: Do not exceed speed 2 when preparing yeast dough’s as this may cause damage to the mixer. This is just a guide line, you can obtain speeds 3,5,7, and 9 if a finer adjustments are needed.

 

How Do I Cover a cake in Royal Icing?

In order to cover your cake in royal icing you will need: a turntable, a straight knife, a palette knife, a side scraper, a sharp knife, plastic wrap, a soft brush, and royal icing that is not
 too stiff or too runny.

Place the cake on the center of the turntable, and using the palette knife put a large amount of icing onto the top of the cake. Make sure to cover the remaining icing with saran wrap so it doesn't dry out. Now use the palette knife again to spread the icing out over the top, trying to keep it even. Smooth the icing out using a back and forth motion to get rid of any air bubbles.

Now, using the straight edge, held at the two ends and at a 45-degree angle, pull lightly across the cake in one smooth motion. This is easiest if you pull towards your body. Put any icing left on the straight edge back in the bowl.

Use your palette knife to remove any icing that has dripped onto the side of the cake.

The cake now needs to harden. Put it in a dry atmosphere for a few hours and it should be hard enough for you to ice the sides.

Again use your palette knife to spread icing onto the sides, and like you did on the top, be sure to remove any air bubbles. Now, use your side scraper, held at 15 degrees against the side of the cake, and slowly turn the turntable. Be sure to completely turn the cake without stopping.

Return your cake to a dry area and let it harden overnight. The next day, when it is fully dry, start all over and add a second coat. Two coats is the minimum you should apply, but three or more is recommended.

Between coats be sure the layer below is completely dry. Remove and rough edges or lines with a sharp knife or a soft brush. The icing should also be slightly softer than the icing used on the first coat.

The final layer is applies just like the ones below it except a little more pressure is added to the straight edge and side scraper. Most of the icing should be scraped off leaving just a thin smooth layer.

How to use Dusting powders?

Dusting powders are used to add color, shading and dimension to decorate about anything on fondant, Gum paste flowers, and butter cream.
The colors are applied to dry icings using a brush. You can brush them on wet or dry.
To Use it on wet:          Just add a few drop of vodka or extract to make it the consistency    you want is obtained.
To Use it Dry:              Use a art brush flat ones are best if you are just shading. Round one are best if coloring an area.
The flowers can be dusted before or after they dry. It is easier if they are dry.
 

How to make your flowers have shine?

To give you flowers or leaves shine. Color them with your dusting powder, then brush luster dust all over with a soft brush. Then boil a pot of water or use a teapot when the steam starts place you flower over the steam. This will set the color and it will become shiny.  WOW!

 

What is the Creaming method?

The "creaming method" is the same mixing technique you use for a batch of chocolate chip cookies--for cakes, however, you keep beating air into the mix. Over-mixing, which would cause the cookies to spread flat when baking, is hard to do when creaming butter and sugar for a cake. Beat room-temperature butter with granulated sugar (superfine, castor, or "bakers' sugar" is best) until the butter is very fluffy and noticeably lighter in color.
Add room temperature eggs one by one, beating after each addition. Adding all of the eggs or too much cold liquid at once will cause the batter to look curdled. Add any extracts or flavorings after incorporating the eggs.
Once you start adding dry ingredients, be careful not to over-beat the batter. The gentle handling is critical to creating a fine, not tough, texture in a cake. Many recipes alternate adding dry ingredients and any additional liquid; mix well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Stop mixing when each addition is well incorporated.

How to make Rolled Buttercream?

INGREDIENTS  
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners' sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.

 

How to make Mazipan?

 
INGREDIENTS
8 ounces almond paste
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
3 drops any color food coloring
DIRECTIONS
Break the almond paste into small pieces over a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar, and work it in with your hands until incorporated. It will be crumbly. Add another 3/4 cup of sugar, and work it in really well. Pour in the corn syrup, and work it in until evenly blended. Spread remaining sugar out on a clean work surface, and knead the dough until smooth and uniform, 3 to 5 minutes. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in more sugar. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour. It should have the consistency of modeling dough.
Break off small pieces of marzipan to color, kneading in color thoroughly until you arrive at the desired color. Then blend the colored pieces into larger portions of dough. Dust a work surface and rolling pin with confectioners' sugar, and roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes using small cookie cutters to make candies.

 

 

How much cake Batter Do I need?

  Batter

  Pan Size

 4 cups

1 (8 x 4)-inch loaf pan, or
1 (9-inch) round cake pan, or
1 (9-inch) pie plate, or
1 (8-inch) round cake pan

 8 cups

2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans
1 (9-inch) tube pan
2 (9-inch) round cake pans
1 (10-inch) Bundt pan
1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish
1 (10-inch) springform pan
2 (8-inch) round cake pans
1 (9 x 2-inch) deep dish pie plate
1 (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan
2 (8-inch) pie plates
9-inch square baking dish

 6 cups

1 (8-inch) round cake pan
1 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pan
1 (11 x 7-inch) baking dish
1 (9-inch)square pan
1 (9-inch) round cake pan
11x7x2-inch baking dish round cake

12 cups

2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans
1 (9-inch) tube pan
3 (8-inch) round cake pans
1 (10-inch) Bundt pan
2 (11 x 7-inch) baking dishes
1 (10-inch) springform pan
3 (9-inch)round cake pans

11 cups

2 (8-inch) round cake pans
1 (9-inch) tube pan
1 (10-inch) springform pan
1 (10 inch) round cake pan

22 cups

5 (8-inch) round cake pans
3 or 4 (9-inch) round cake pans
2 (10-inch) springform pans
2 (10-inch) round cake pans

 16 cups

3 (9-inch) round cake pans
2 (10-inch) pie plates
2 (9-inch) deep dish pie plates
4 (8-inch) pie plates
2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans
2 (8-inch) square baking dishes
2 (9-inch) square baking dishes
10-inch tube pan

 15 cups

1 (10-inch) Bundt pan
3 (9-inch) round cake pans
3 (8-inch) round cake pans
1 (9 x 13-inch) baking dish
10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan
1 (10-inch) Bundt cake pan

 10 cups

1 (10-inch) round cake pan
1 (10-inch) springform pan
2 (8-inch) round cake pans
9-inch springform pan
2 (9-inch) round cake pans

 

How to make Brandy Simple Syrup?

 
INGREDIENTS
2 cups water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup brandy
DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, combine water, sugar and lemon zest. Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Strain into a sealable container, removing the lemon zest. Allow to cool, then cover and store in refrigerator.
When ready to use, mix in brandy. Brush onto cake layers before frosting.

How to roll out gum paste?
Always dust your work surface with cornstarch first! This is standard procedure for rolling out gum paste to cut any floral shape. After your work surface is adequately dusted, take a small piece of gum paste,  work it awhile with your hands and then place it on the LIGHTLY cornstarch-covered area. Now dust more cornstarch on the surface of your rolling pin and roll out gum paste until it's the thickness you desire—this is usually about 1/16-inch for most flowers. Remember, roll out one small piece of gum paste at a time to avoid drying; and cover every petal and flower cut you make.


How to hand-work gum paste?
When you remove gum paste from a plastic bag, you will need to re-work it with your hands until it's soft and pliable once again.When you are re–working your gum paste kneed in a tiny bit of shortening into it. If the gum paste has been stored for some time and seems a little stiff, add a small piece of freshly made gum paste and then re-work it with your hands.

How to color gum paste?
Once you've made the gum paste recipe, you can tint it any color you desire, or divide the mixture and tint it several different colors.
To color gumpaste, apply small amounts of liquid or paste food color with a toothpick. Then with your hands, knead and work the color into the gum paste piece until the tint is evenly applied. If you would like a deeper shade, you can add more color a little at a time, and re-work the gum paste until you achieve the desired shade. Remember, you can always darken a color easier than you can lighten one.