Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wilton Fondant and Gum Paste Class


 I took another Wilton Cake Decorating class this month; the Fondant and Gum Paste Class! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I learned that gum paste dries to a stone, hard lump if left exposed to air and it's not tasty to eat. Store bought fondant will also dry into a hard lump that you really don't want to chew on either. 
  On our first night we made this wonderful Bow to put on the top of the cake.
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  The following week we made some gum paste flowers. A Rose, a Carnation, and a Calla Lilly. I could work a bit more on the carnation, and it was more purple when created, but dried an off color.
  The third week, we made a mum flower, but it looked more like a mini artichoke than a mum. At least that was my opinion...  And we made some pretty daisies. Love them!
  For my final class, we had to bring in a cake and decorate it with fondant. I asked my daughter what she might like for a cake and she asked for an Angry Bird cake. I was going to make Angry Bird pops and just add them to the cake, but then decided that since this is a Fondant class I should make all fondant decorations. So I did :)
  For the cake I made my own marshmallow and white chocolate fondant. It stayed soft and pliable (i.e. edible) for 2 days, while the store bought was hard. Think dried out play-doh.  I loved how the cake turned out, but I don't think I'll be making any full sized fondant covered cakes in the near future. Just too much work! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


While I was away from my website, I was on Facebook. I have been watching my fan base climb and climb and (as of 2 pm on June 23) I am a 3 away from 500 followers! I can't believe it! I know I am still a total novice, but people Like me, the really LIKE me :)
  A few of my fans asked how I made my marbled cake pops. I took some pictures and added a little tutorial and posted it here. However, my fans wanted more! They wanted a video. So I was kind enough to oblige. 
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To see my video on Marbling Cake Pops click here 
www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=131708460240054
 
 Next, my fans wanted to know how I add the wonderful shimmer and shine to my pops. I tried to explain how easy it was to just take a dry paint brush and brush it on. Simple. Cake Pop, Luster Dust, paint brush; apply like eye shadow. Words could not convey how easy it was, so I made another video.
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To see my video on adding Dry Luster Dust click here
www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=131952006882366
  
One day I posted these basic pops with stripes around them. My fans went nuts! 
"How did you make the stripes?"
"Did you use a piping bag?" 
"Did you use a squeeze bottle?"
"Did you use a baggie?" 
I was a bit  baffled because I use none of those things. I use a spoon and let the chocolate do the work. Then I doubted myself - Was I doing something wrong? Should I use these other tools? Am I not "fancy" enough or "professional" enough? But, what I do works for me. I like it. It's easy. There is no wasting candy coating. 
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To see my video on making stripes on cake pops click here
www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=130274417050125

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Fix Cracks in Cake Pops

The other day I wanted cracks in my pops and did not get any... So when I made pops yesterday I recorded all the temperatures as I dipped them. I was making 12 Angry Bird cake pops so I had 5 different colors to work with. 

House temp at start 76F
House temp at end 78F
No AC. No fan. Windows open. 
Humidity (according to my personal calibration) "not too bad"

First Pops:  White Merkens at 100F and 2 pops avg 60F (right out of fridge) BOTH cracked!
Second Pops: Red Merkens at 95F and 2 pops avg 75F (one small crack where candy was inserted)
Third Pops: White Merkens with Yellow coloring 100F and 3 pops at 75F (no cracks)
Fourth Pops: Blue Wiltons at 103F and 3 pops at 76F (one small crack where candy was inserted)
Fifth Pops: Black Wiltons at 100F and 2 pops at 70F (no cracks)

From this I see that the white pops had the greatest temperature difference of 40 degrees. They were also the larger sized pops, so there is more cake expanding. I've experienced several occasions of cracks forming where I stick candies into the coating. I think it cracks just because it's a weaker/thinner spot in the coating.

It’s important to take note of your temperatures and see what results you get. I think I’m going to start paying closer attention to my temperatures as I dip my cake pops. 

To see a Video on me fixing a cake pop, please see my Facebook page. I hope this is helpful to everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Cracks in Cake Pops


 Last week I took a survey on Facebook to find what video my fans would like me to do next: 
1. How I fix the cracks in Cake Pops
2. How I make my cake pop "Batter" and balls
3. How I make my arrangements without foam.
  The Cracks won!
So, I made 13 cake pops this evening in order to make my "Fixing Cracks" video and wouldn't you know it - NO CRACKS! I tried, too! I took my pops right out of the fridge and started dipping away... Finally, I thought I'd change it to "How Not to get Cracks". Here are my thoughts as to why I did not get any cracks.

Temperature Control:
Don't let your candy coating be too hot or your pops too cold. 
I used a laser temperature gauge like this.
The temperature of the candy coating was at 98 (a bit cool and thick by this point) and the pops were 65 (right out of the fridge). My house temp was a wonderful 74 with no humidity.

Compression:
I only rolled my pops once! Once to form, NEVER agin after being cold. Do not over compact them or squish them. As they warm up, they expand and therefore, crack the candy coating. 

Size:
Today I used my smaller 1 Tbl Norpro cookie scoop to measure my cake pops, versus my Chip Clip brand Cookie scoop which is 1.5 Tbl.   I think the smaller the pop, the less expantion there might be...

Hope this info is helpful!

Friday, June 10, 2011

OMG! Has it Been a Month?


  My, where does the time go? Spring flew by and it's summer outside! I have been busy with requests and new designs. I have made desserts for weddings, baby showers, 1st Birthdays, a 5th Birthday, and an 8th Birthday, along with a few donations. So... moving right along.
  I also started working in a Commercial Kitchen. That is the first step to getting Heath Department approval. Been trying to get a hold of them to get the ball rolling again, but I never seem to call on the right day.
  Some good news; I am no longer afraid of fondant. I really did not know how to work with fondant, but thanks to the Wilton Cake Class at Michael's I know how to work with it. I'm not sure what I was scared of... Guess it was more of an intimidation thing. I don't know... But, I did send off my first cupcake with fondant today! I made another "Angry Bird" pig cupcake only this one was designed with a fondant helmet :)
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  I love how he turned out :) Too freakin' cute! Oh... and I also found 2 bags of Black candy melts, so I made the black Angry Bird. 
  I made three Cake Pop tutorials that I posted on my Facebook site. I made a video on adding stripes to cake pops, making marble cake pops, and adding dry luster dust to cake pops. And you can always see more pictures of my cake pops on my Facebook fan page

  All and all, I'll post more often. I promise. 
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