Happy Valentines Day! Still looking for inspiration? We got you covered! Here are some treats from around the web:
Happy Valentines Day! Still looking for inspiration? We got you covered! Here are some treats from around the web:
Hi Sugar Friends! Today we have another guest post from The Fondant Flinger!
Thankfully, this technique is quite fast and easy. Here is a short list of things you’ll need to cover a cake in rustic horizontal lines:
Place your prepared cake on the turntable.
Using your offset spatula, apply a layer of buttercream to the top and sides of the cake. I left the top of the cake completely flat instead of adding any sort of texture. If you choose to do that, make sure to spend the extra time to make the top of your cake smooth and even.
The entire cake should now be roughly butter creamed with at least 1/4 inch of buttercream.
Grab your tapered offset spatula. I like to start at the bottom, though there probably is no reason at all why you shouldn’t be able to do the same technique from the top. I hold the tapered off set spatula almost flat against the cake, you don’t want to be gouging the cake as you rotate the turntable just leaving a slight indentation around the sides of the cake.
Gently rotate the turntable while keeping the tip against the sides of the cake. When you seem to be accumulating some buttercream build up, scrape off the excess buttercream from your spatula back into your buttercream bowl and place the tapered spatula right back where you left off. As I rotate I slowly begin to move my spatula up to create the next line around the cake. Keep rotating and moving your tapered offset spatula up the sides of the cake till you reach the top. Once I reach the top of the cake, I come back and “fix” any areas that don’t quite match up to the other areas of the cake.
But thats it really! Just a whole lot of spinning while indenting.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the beauty of a rustic design. Embrace your occasional glob of buttercream, your line that goes askew when the phone rings and startles you, and the large bump over a chunk of strawberry in your buttercream! These “imperfections” give your cake character.
If you have multiple tiers to do, just stack them up after completing the buttercream and allowing the tiers to chill a bit in the fridge. Super simple, super quick and super rustic!
As always, if you all have questions or comments, I’d love to hear them and will try to get back to you right away.
— The Fondant Flinger
Hi there! This week we have an awesome guest post courtesy of Shari’s Berries! We focus on cake here alot, but there are other ways to get that wow facor using treats! Shari’s Berries tells us how:
Do you remember the birthday parties of your childhood? Nothing brought quite as much joy as the colorful pinatas filled with sweets and cakes piled high with icing. Now that you’re an adult, your parties don’t have to be devoid of sugary delight. We’ve compiled all of the candy buffet ideas you need to create a stunning (or stunningly cute) setup at your next get-together.
Candy buffets are an excellent way to give your guests their sugar fix without the stress of a fancy dessert. We especially love them for their versatility and the way that you can customize them for any event. Keep reading for some helpful hints and tricks to make your buffet a success.
What Colors Should my Candy Buffet be?
One of the first decisions that you should make about your candy buffet is its color scheme. If you’re unsure of what to choose, a monochromatic theme is a great idea. It looks put-together and sophisticated, but can also be fun and playful when using a brighter hue. We chose a monochromatic pink palette for our buffet, with hints of gold and white. Some other color choices include:
Black and white
A black-and-white theme works well for formal or adult soirees. Keep in mind that this option may limit the types of candy you’re able to use. Your best bet is a diversity of chocolates in milk, dark and white.
If you’re throwing a kid’s party, a rainbow color scheme is a fun choice. The benefit of this theme is that you can use any candy you want, while the downside is that your buffet risks looking visually cluttered or overwhelming.
For a get-together happening in spring or early summer, pastels are a timely option. Plenty of light-hued candies should be available in the months surrounding Easter and they look darling displayed together.
For a buffet that stands out in the best way, choose a couple dark or saturated colors to feature. You can look for candy-coated chocolates and jumbo lollipops in color-drenched hues.
What Types of Candy Should I Purchase?
The coolest candy buffets have sweets in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Choose your goodies accordingly, while staying mindful of guest preferences. You should plan on purchasing about eight ounces of candy per guest. For things like lollipops, one per guest should be plenty. For the most cost-effective solution, try buying your candy in bulk.
For reference, these are the types of candy that we used in our buffet:
How do I Set up my Candy Buffet?
One of the best parts of a candy buffet is that there are no strict guidelines for how it must look. Moreover, it looks great with jars, bowls and trays of different sizes. This means that you can use displayware and materials that you have on hand, rather than spending a fortune on a matching set. Here are some supplies that you’ll want to have ready:
A sturdy table
The weight of bulk candy and displayware adds up quickly. This is not a job for a small card table.
Most buffets benefit from a tablecloth. Find one in a color that matches your candy, or keep it neutral with white. We suggest a tablecloth that is larger than your table. The excess material can be draped over pedestals to keep the look cohesive.
If you’re using an accent color, choose details for the table in a matching tone. We included a gold banner.
Because your candy display will inevitably feature tall containers, guests’ eyes will also be drawn to the walls behind them. A simple backdrop in coordinating colors is enough to keep things pretty. We used circular paper fans on our wall.
You can also use streamers, garland, paper lanterns, balloons, or even your favorite paintings and posters for a background. If you feel like getting crafty, colorful paper plates twisted in cellophane look like giant hard candies.
You may not have enough tall containers on hand for your buffet. Even if you do, a pedestal is still a useful tool. It can be used to elevate a bowl, vase or jar to add another dimension to the table. While you can purchase a pedestal specifically for this purpose, an inverted box, brick, book or dishware works just as well. Cover it with your tablecloth so it’s not visually distracting.
Because a candy buffet shouldn’t be composed of all the same types of containers, you’re encouraged to use what’s on hand. Here are some common container ideas. You can use mason jars, large lidded jars, vases, bowls, trays and cake stands.
How do I Decorate my Candy Buffet?
For a candy buffet that’s unique to your party, don’t shy away from extras. Confetti, ribbons, garlands or even cute plush animals make an excellent addition to the table. However, less is more, so a couple finishing touches are all you need.
If you’ve created a candy buffet to celebrate someone special, try featuring their name in foam letters with colorful candies glued on top. You can tuck party blowers into tubs of candy for a birthday party, or scatter ornaments on the table for a holiday celebration. The choice is up to you!
Now that you’ve got some fun candy buffet table ideas, we hope you feel inspired! If you follow these tips and have fun with it, your display will inevitably be a success. For a perfect centerpiece to your buffet, try one of our candy and chocolate gifts. Wishing you sweet success with your setup!
Hi cakey friend!
I started SugarEd in 2007 when I saw a need in the caking community for good quality instruction on using buttercream.
It started with DVDs, and has evolved over the years to a fully comprehensive buttercream course, available to you right in our website!
This course teaches about the different types, pros and cons of each, the recipes, how to ice round and square cakes, and troubleshooting.
I have the course items listed below in the logical order for a beginner to learn.
And of course we have even more tutorials that go from there: working with fondant, stacking, and endless decorating techniques.
Right now I’m offering a 30 day $1 trial to my online school to celebrate our anniversary.
This is a great opportunity to see what we have to offer, at no risk. You can cancel at any time during the first month and never be charged again.
CLICK HERE to read all the details.
I hope you will join me!
PS. Want to see what’s new in the online school?
Hi Sugar Babies! This week we have another guest post from our friend, the Fondant Flinger.
Let’s learn how to make some cute cupcake toppers!
Ruffle Cupcake Topper Tutorial
Just a rather simple tutorial with very few tools. Here is what you’ll need:
Using your small rolling pin, roll out your fondant on self-healing cutting mat dusted with powdered sugar. I like my fondant rather thing so I roll mine to approximately 1/8″ thick. Using a round cutter about 2″ in diameter, cut out as many disks as cupcake toppers you are making.
Remove excess fondant and wrap tightly with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Carefully set aside the round disks to dry. You need to gently move them so your pretty little round disks don’t become misshapen ovals, unless you happen to love the look of misshapen cupcake toppers. If you do, feel free to haphazardly toss them aside to dry.
Take your excess fondant and again roll it out on your dusted cutting mat. I go fairly thin on the ruffles so shoot for 1/16″ and you should be good to go. Once rolled out, take your X-acto blade (a nice, new, clean blade, mind you!) and cut a long strip about a 1/2″ wide.
Again, wrap up the excess so that it doesn’t dry out on you while you work with your ruffle strip. Place the strip onto a foam square and using your ball tool, ruffle only the top edge.
I use a gentle “eraser” motion to make the ruffle, then I come back and every so often, place my ball tool half way off the ruffle and pull downward to pull the ruffle back towards the non-thinned edge.
Using a teensy, food-safe, fine point paintbrush apply a small amount of water or sugar glue to the fondant disk.
Take your long ruffle strip and on one end, fold the ruffle back and under to create a “loop”. Gently pinch the non-thinned portion to secure this loop. Place the loop on the first round disk so that the “seam” is under the ruffle.
To make the ruffles, continue to make “s” shapes with the fondant strip, and securing each loop by gently pressing down at the base of the ruffle. This also forces the little ruffle loop upward making it extra cute.
Continue around the edge of the round disk to create the first level of ruffles.
When you reach your starting point, overlap the second ruffle leaving about a 1/4″ of the first layer exposed.
When your first ruffle strip finally runs out, simply roll out some more fondant, cut a 1/2″ strip, ruffle the edge, create your first loop on the end and continue this whole fun process.
I continue to do this until I get about 3 ruffle layers in.
Then, I make another long strip of ruffled edged fondant and create a long strip of the ruffle on my mat.
I then roll the ruffle up into a nice “center”.
Pinch the excess fondant on the bottom edge into a “log” and cut off the excess with my blade.
Use your paintbrush to add in some water on your prepped disk and gently set the center in the middle of your ruffles.
To get a more secure attachment, carefully insert the non-brush side of your tiny paintbrush between the ruffles in the center and push downwards.
And there you go! A ruffled cupcake topper just perfect to turn any everyday cupcake into something fancy schmancy.
With Independence Day being one week away, I thought we’d round up these great tutorials from around the web to get you inspired!
Happy Baking and Happy Fourth!
Today we have a free video for you! This video shows how to make what has come to be known as “hybrid” buttercream. This icing is the best of bath worlds. You get the texture of meringue buttercream, paired with the stability and piping ability of American buttercream. Be aware though, this buttercream does not crust.
These cakes were done with this hybrid recipe! (There are tutorials for these cakes in my online school).
The link to the video is here –> http://www.sugaredproductions.com/freevideos/?id=17
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner so here are some treats from around the web to help inspire you!
I really hope this helps you get inspired. Happy Mothers Day!
Spring is here!!! It’s time to embrace bright colors and the newness that spring brings. Here are some tutorials from around the web to help get you in the spirit!
I hope these tutorials inspire you! Happy Baking!
Flour is the main ingredient in the majority of baked goods. There are many different types of flours that have different uses and produce very different results. It is generally not advised to substitute one kind of flour for another. Here is a rundown of the most popular flour types:
♦ All-purpose flour is the most common type of flour and may be referred to in recipes simply as “flour”. All-purpose flour does not have a leavening agent. This flour is available in bleached and unbleached. All-purpose flour is ideal for cookies, cakes, biscuits, muffins and other baked goods.
♦ Bleached flour is white flour that has been treated with a bleaching agent. This process gives the flour a whiter appearance and allows the flour to produce more gluten.
♦ Bread flour is made from hard wheat and has more protein than all-purpose flour. Bread flour can be white or whole wheat and works well in making yeast breads. The addition of ascorbic acid allows bread to rise in volume. Bread flour is ideal for a large variety of breads, pizza and other baked goods.
♦ Cake flour is fine textured, soft wheat flour. Cake flour has both a high starch content and low protein content. The bleaching process produces flour that is able to distribute fat more evenly which improves the texture of the baked product. If you cannot find cake flour, you can substitute bleached all-purpose flour, but you will need to remove 2 tablespoons of flour per cup needed (1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons is equal to 1 cup cake flour).
♦ Gluten flour is milled from spring wheat and is higher in protein. Gluten flour is used when baking for diabetics or those needing lower carbohydrate options.
♦ Instant flour is formulated to dissolve quickly and is used mostly in things like sauces and gravies. This flour cannot be substituted for all-purpose flour.
♦ Organic flour can be used interchangeably with all-purpose flour. Organic flour follows USDA regulations in order to be labeled as organic.
♦ Pastry flour has a protein content between cake flour and all-purpose flour. Pastry flour is used in pie crusts, pastries and other quick (non-yeast) breads. This type of flour can be found as white or whole wheat.
♦ Rice flour is flour made from finely milled white or brown rice. Rice flour is a good gluten free alternative.
♦ Semolina flour is primarily used for making homemade pasta. It is milled from durum wheat and is high in gluten.
♦ Self-rising flour has the addition of leavening agents (unlike all-purpose flour). Self-rising flour is made with all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. The addition of the leavening agents helps produce bread that is both lighter and softer in texture. In addition to self-rising flour, there is also self-rising cake flour. Some of the more common uses of self-rising flour are biscuits, muffins and pastries. If you do not have self-rising flour, you can combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt for each cup of self-rising flour needed.
♦ Whole wheat flour is made from whole kernel wheat. Whole wheat is higher in fiber and contains more nutrients than white flours. But because whole wheat flour does not have a high gluten level, it needs to be mixed with all-purpose or bread flour when making yeast breads.
Now that we have gone through the different types of flours, there are a few other things you should know about flour:
How do I measure flour?
The most accurate way to measure flour is to spoon it onto a food scale. If you do not have a food scale, you should use a spoon and dry measuring cup. Flour typically gets compacted during storage. Prior to scooping the flour for measurement, you can use a spoon or other utensil to lightly stir the flour and aerate it a bit. Use a scoop or spoon to place the flour into your dry measuring cup until it is overflowing. Use the back of a knife (or your finger) to quickly level the flour. You want the flour to be light and airy so you never want to pack it in tightly.
Do I need to sift the flour?
As a general rule, you do not need to sift all-purpose flour unless a recipe specifically states that it should be sifted. Cake flour tends to clump in storage so it should be sifted prior to mixing. If you find that your flour is too lumpy for your liking, you can always do a quick sift.
How do I store flour?
As a general rule, flour can be stored for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place (such as a pantry or cabinet). Keeping flour in the refrigerator can extend that shelf life to around 12 months. Whole wheat flour should always be stored in the refrigerator. Flour can also be repackaged in an airtight container and stored in the freezer which will extend the shelf life past 12 months. One exception to this general rule is self-rising flour. The leavening agents is self-rising flour lose their effectiveness after 6 months, regardless of storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.
I hope this helps! Happy Baking!
Copyright SugarEd Productions 2012