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This site is dedicated to sharing what we have learned with you! Enjoy our tutorials, and if you have a question please feel free to ask! I know one of our sugar enthusiasts will either know or try to find the answer.
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Marshmallow Fairy Flower

Marshmallow Fairy Flower
Celebrate Spring by Creating tiny flowers from mini-marshmallows! Click on photo for tutorial!


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are my families favorite thing to make. We try to make them for every occasion you can think of. My daughter and I are getting requests for these cookies now because they are so good but no one wants to take the time to make them. So if you have the patience and time, here is how we do our cookies!!




Rhonda's Sugar Cookies




3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and mix like you would pie crust.


In another bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and vanilla and beat well. Combine with dry ingredients. The dough will be a little crumbly at this stage. I really like this recipe because you don't have to refrigerate it!! (I don't like waiting!)


This dough can be rolled out or shaped into balls and pressed with a fork or glass that has been dipped in sugar. We like to do both!!




Take some dough and knead it a little before you roll it out. I like to roll mine fairly thick. Thinner for crispy cookies and thicker for cookie bouquets.

I have to show you my "handicapped" rolling pin!! (I have RA). Cut out your cookies as desired and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for around 9-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cookie. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, I take a fondant smoother, (or any flat, solid object) to make the cookies flat. The reason for doing this is so that the icing will stay on the cookie better and not run down the sides.



Cool the cookies for about 15-20 minutes and put them in an air-tight container.


I like to use this container I found at WalMart. It's a cake taker, but I use it for cookies and cupcakes.



Next comes the icing. I love to use a glaze most of the time but Royal Icing may also be used. Sometimes I do both!! The glaze recipe below is just for a small batch. I usually quadruple it!



Cookie Glaze


1 tablespoon corn syrup

1/4 cup warm water

1-2 teaspoons flavoring (almond, vanilla or your favorite)

3 cups powdered sugar

food coloring (paste)


Dissolve corn syrup in the warm water. Mix in extracts and add sugar until you have a smooth glaze. Add more to thicken or more water to thin. A lot depends on the humidity and where you live. Use the thicker for outlining and thinner for filling in. If you are familiar with color flow, it's the same technique. Your fill-in icing should disappear into itself at the count of 10.

I love to use these squeeze bottles for the thicker outlining part. They are mostly used for candy making or condiments. I then thin out what is left in the bowl with a little water and spoon that onto the cookie. If using different colors, (one for outlining and one for filling in) let the first color dry for an hour or so before decorating with the second color. Otherwise, your colors will bleed. Once dry, you can then decorate on the top of the first layer with more glaze, royal icing or food coloring markers.



Outline first then quickly fill in so that there is no distinguishing outline.


Once you get the hang of it, just have fun being creative!! There are all kinds of possibilities!!


















Photos and Tutorial by Rhonda Christensen. 2009. all rights reserved


This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Making of a Louis Vuitton Purse Cake




SUPPLIES
~half sheet (13"x18"x1" pan size) cakes

~filling (buttercream or ganache type suggested)

~Fondant

~sugarcraft gun

~gumpaste

~luster dust

~cake board or foamcore

~serrated knife

~offset spatula



INSTRUCTIONS


When making any purse cake (replicating a real purse) I search for images of the purse, including the purse name and the dimensions. the LV Speedy 25 is around 10"x7"x6". Measurements are good to know so that if you need to rescale the purse smaller (or larger) it can still be proportionate to the original.
This particular cake was made to the actual size of the purse.I baked 3 of the half sheet cakes. I cut the cakes into strips 6 inches wide by 10, so about 3 strips per cake. you can either make sure you have enough full strips for the entire cake, or you can use the bigger scrap type pieces in the middle layers.


I cut 2 pieces of cake board. The bigger one for the bottom, it measured slightly smaller than the size of the cake, mainly because purses tend to have a curve on the bottom. the other board can be cut to the same size for this purse, but I usually cut slightly smaller for ease of carving.I placed my strips of cake and icing between them just as if icing a cake, however after my 3rd layer of cake, I place straws or dowels in the center, just 3 for this size cake, and then smear a little icing.


On top of the dowels, I place my second cardboard. I then finish layering my cake. Once done, you have just a rectangle of cake and icing.




as you can see here, I have 8 (I think :)) layers of cake.

The filling isn't very thick, just about 1/4 inch. I don't recommend using a slippery filling when carving/sculpting any cake.Chill the cake until it has firmed up and is ready to carve, depending on the cake, this time could vary.

At this point, I actually had a photo of the end of the purse, enlarged to the size I wanted the cake to be.
I used this as a template to carve my cake. If you are are in touch with your artistic side that day, you can wing it! When carving, I carved a straight line down the center of the first layer of cake, to indicate where the center was then I carved each side.. I learned that tip from Mike McCary's DVD ( He's one of my cake idols.. I have quite a few!!!)




Anywhoo..... once the cake was carved into the shape of the purse:
I covered it in buttercream and then chilled it again..From here on, I don't have any pics in process (sorry!) but here is what I did.

~make a zipper using a long rectangle strip.
I have seen many ways to make a zipper: using a mold, marking with a paring knife, or using the side of a jar to make the lines. Color the zipper portion gold and lay it on the top of the bag.(this is important to do first because I forgot and had to lift up my sides to fit the zipper in.. NOT FUN!!

~roll out fondant in rectangles, to cover the sides and ends.
I do this one piece at a time so the fondant doesn't dry. I roll out the longer sides first, but I'm sure it doesn't matter. Place the fondant up against the side you are covering and trim along the edge of the purse with a very sharp knife, xacto knife or razor, but make sure it's sharp so you can cut with a sliding motion, instead of a sawing motion. trim along the bottom, leaving just a little bit of excess so you can use a dogbone tool to push it under the cake. For the longer sides trim along the sides of the zipper you placed on the top. Do the same procedure for the remaining 3 sides.


~If you have an airbrush, this is the point where you would airbrush your cake.
You can airbrush from white to brown, or you can start with beige or brown fondant and airbrush from there. If you don't have an airbrush, I suggest using chocolate fondant. I personally HATE coloring fondant brown..


~check your photos to see if any details are under the seams.
 On this purse, it looked like the little tab on the end was under the seam, so I cut that out and applied it before I did the seam.~once all 4 surfaces are covered, soften some fondant with shortening and use your extruder with the round opening to make strips. glue these lines to the edges where they join, you can use water, but I like to use tylose glue. (tylose powder with water added) I try to make one long piece to cover, but if not, you can smooth the seams with some water and a palette knife or offset spatula


~LV has a very specific pattern.
 On this cake, my emblems are larger than they would be on a purse, but I tried to stick to the pattern, except in the spot where I got off.. hey every cake has a back right??!! I hand painted these emblems on with gold luster and lemon extract. there are also cutters that are similar to the shapes. using and edible image is also an option. This is part where you can get creative. Sometimes we like items to look like exact replicas, but I have come to realize that it is an ARTISTIC REPRESENTATION, and therefore does not have to be exact. I'm sticking to it!




~if you notice on this bag,
 the handles aren't at the top of the bag, so while I'm sure it would be possible to make hard handles standing up, I felt like it would be easier to make them hanging down. If you wanted to do them standing up, I would suggest gumpaste handles made in advance of course. Elisa Strauss has instructions on how to do handles in her confetti cakes book. and I'm sure you could google.. google is my friend when making cake! So for these handles, I first made the shapes of the leather patches that are stitched on the bag. for the gold metal circle, I just cut a circle of fondant with a round tip and painted it gold. I made the handle with a rectangle folded in half and stitched on the edge.



These handles also have a distinct way they come together over the hardware so to replicate that I made the end of the handle fold over where the hardware would be and stitched it. I glued the handle to the leather patches. Because the handles are not standing up, the hardware is just an illusion. I made 2 thin sausage shapes out of modeling chocolate and stuck the ends in the opening on the patch and the opening in the handle. I then painted them gold

.~make any other hardware that comes on the purse that you want to make. and voila! a purse!
here is another LV purse I made, different shape, pretty much the same procedure


Photos and Tutorial by Samele Thorner 2009. All rights reserved.
The tutorial or patterns cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without permission from the author.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Calla Lilly Tutorial





Calla Lilies are really easy to make. I bought these cutters at an ICES convention in a set of 3.
But you can order these from D&G Occasions. Click on the pictures for a better view.
Make the pistils in advance and let dry. Roll a small sausage about the 2/3 the length of your cutter. If you are making natural looking calla's start with yellow paste. I use long toothpicks and insert after dipping the end in piping gel. After they are dry, brush them with a thin coat of piping gel and roll them in a little bit of massa cornmeal for a realistic look.

Roll the paste out but not really thin. Calla's are fleshy flowers so keep them a little thicker than other flowers.

I use this veiner to impress my calla. I purchased it at a DOS with Frost A Tiers. I got it from a vender, Noi. She was selling all kinds of veiners and I was lucky enough to get this one!

Impress the paste heavy enough that you can see the veins.


Place the paste on a pad to soften the edges with a ball tool. Some calla's are frilly and some are very smooth. I make each one a little different so they look as natural as possible.


I use piping gel on my flowers. It doesn't run and is very sticky and only needs a dab! Put the piping gel just on the bottom and barely up the sides of the flower.


Place the pistil in the center. Wrap the straighter side (look at your cutter - each are different but mine have two different shapes on the sides and it does matter which one I wrap first!) and wrap to the opposite side of the pistil. Wrap the other side and gently press with your fingers to make a tight bond. Can you see the dark burgandy calla just beyond my hand? That is a plastic flower that you can get at JoAnne's craft store. Pull the plastic stem/pistil out and you have a PERFECT flower former. I have quiet a few of those!


Place your flower in the former and use your fingers to gently roll the edges over the edge of the former. This will give your calla a natural look instead of a straight sides. Pinch the tip end together and curve down slightly. Let your lilies dry overnight if possible but I have used them pretty quickly after leaving them under a fan. They are just soft so be careful if you use them before they are dry. The calla lilies in this tutorial were used on a wedding cake that I made. They were dusted a silvery blue.
If you check out my website ( Cakes So Special ) you will see different colored calla's. I have dusted and airbrushed callas and used colored paste. There is no right or wrong way to do them.
Find the method you like best to make your own callas.

Photos and tutorial by Denise Talbot (Cakes So Special ) 2009 all rights reserved
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How to make a Shoe Box Cake


Supplies

I quarter sheet cake (9x13), cut in half, filled and stacked
Non-crusting buttercream, or thick ganache

Fondant

Roller

Ruler – with good straightedge
Pme cutter, or pizza cutter
White chocolate, colored to match fondant
Use milk chocolate if your box is brown
spatula

White Gumpaste

Edible markers and/or luster dust

Intructions:
Roll out fondant for box lid the night before you want to decorate the cake. This allows the fondant to stiffen and makes it easier to handle.

If you want a contrasting box and lid, then cover the cake in one color for the box,
and Roll and cut the lid in a different color.

Roll out rectangles 1/2" larger than the measurements to insure against mistakes. The 10 & 7" strips are the sides of the box lid. The thinner you can roll out the sides of lid the better.

Roll out white gumpaste in a small rectangle for the barcode, diamond shape for the box label. If you want, you can also cut out lettering for the top of the shoebox. Allow to dry. Using an edible marker and straightedge, draw a barcode and a label. You can also paint your lettering with luster dust.



To Assemble:



Take stacked and filled cake, and crumb coat with buttercream or ganache. Cover cake with fondant and trim flush with the bottom. Smooth and make your corners as sharp as possible. I use the straight edges of my fondant smoothers together at a 90 degree angle and crimp my corners.



When finished, remeasure lid sides to fit over fondant box place the sides of the lid on the top side of your cake. Attach with melted chocolate. Remeasure and recut top of lid to fit perfectly. Lay on top and run bead of chocolate over seams and corners, the smooth with spatula.



Once complete you can attach labels, barcodes or lettering to the box.






Note-
Because Buttercream or ganache will eventually soften the fondant, Place in refrigerator until ready for delivery to prevent sagging sides.



The original idea to incorporate the Birthday and Name into the barcode was the clever genious of Nati Leelavetchabutr. I was so thrilled when she gave her permission for me to use on this birthday cake! Thank you Nati!


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Photos and Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2007 -all rights reserved.
The tutorial or patterns cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without
permission from the author.


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The Tutorials This Week Were Generously Shared by

EDNA DE LA CRUZ, BOBBIE NOTO, RHONDA CHRISTENSEN & JACQUE BENSON

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And to ALL of our Readers...

ENJOY EACH DAY!

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A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto

A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto
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Sweeeet! Beautiful SugarPaste Floral Design by Anca Adriana Paraschivescu

Sweeeet! Beautiful SugarPaste Floral Design by Anca Adriana Paraschivescu
Anca shared this gorgeous design with our FB group. She lives in Bucharest, Romania, and is currently using her creative talent at AnaPan! Click on the photo and give AnaPan a like!

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