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Hints and Tips for sugar paste please

(16 Posts)
MrsMcGregor Wed 22-May-13 21:39:18

I've got two cakes to decorate between now and Friday night - eek! They're going to be 8" round double layer sponges filled with buttercream and finished off with ready to roll sugar paste and themed decorations. Gulp.

So, the sponges are made and in the freezer and I'm waiting on our postie to bring the icing and toppers tomorrow (I hope - it has already gone AWOL once). So, first question - I think I read a post somewhere which mentioned icing the cakes whilst frozen. Yes or no? Does that make it easier to smooth the fondant? Or will the sponges go soggy?

Second question. Historically I haven't got on well with sugar paste <sigh> - it dries out too much and I can never get a good circle to drape neatly over the cake. Any tips?

Finally, I might try to make leaves like on this cake to sit Tinkerbell on. How should I do them? I don't have a leaf cutter. Would they need to be made tomorrow and left to dry before sticking on with sugar glue on Friday?

Oh, and my final final, just checking question - I thought I would buttercream them and put on the cake covering tomorrow but do the decorations themselves on Friday. Does that sound right or should I do all on Friday? Only that would mean a very late bedtime with two cakes to decorate.

If you've read this far ... thank you and advice much appreciated.

Metellaestinhortobibit Wed 22-May-13 22:01:40

Sorry I can't help with the icing a frozen cake part but I find the key to working with sugarpaste is lots (lots!) of kneading, this will prevent cracking when you drape over the cake. As far as the leaves go, I would add CMC to your sugarpaste to make it into modelling will then hold the shape better. Good luck smile

MrsMcGregor Wed 22-May-13 22:07:45

Thanks Metell ... shall knead loads, that's probably where I've gone wrong in the past.

I don't have CMC - what is it? Is it worth trying without it (no specialist cake shops here!)?

MikeLitoris Wed 22-May-13 22:12:23

Quickly as I'm off to bed. To do leaves like that I would roll out the green fondant and use a pizza wheel to do long pointed cuts.

I wouldnt worry too much about the fondant cracking if your doing leaves like that. You can cover any imperfections.

Metellaestinhortobibit Wed 22-May-13 22:30:27

CMC is a synthetic substitute for Gum Tragacanth...I've only ever bought it in specialist shops sorry. It makes the sugarpaste firmer for modelling and you can roll it thinner.
Maybe try laying the sugarpaste over something to get the desired shape and leave to dry out? But I'm clutching at straws here. I'd use corn flour to stop it sticking to whatever you use. Hopefully someone will come along with more advice...

MikeLitoris Wed 22-May-13 22:44:28

I would cover tomorrow and decorate friday.

MrsMcGregor Wed 22-May-13 22:45:03

Thank you both. Depending on time, I might give them a go and if they don't work, c'est la vie!

LeaveTheBastid Thu 23-May-13 19:03:22

Never ice frozen cakes or really cold cakes, the humidity as it defrosts will destroy the icing it is covered with, it doesn't do well at all in humid conditions. And once iced don't put them in the fridge, again when you take it out and the icing comes back to normal temperature it'll start breaking down and goes all shiny\sticky/colours leak etc.

Dont roll the fondant to cover a cake too thin, should be 1/4 inch minimum, thick enough to not dry out too quickly and cover any bumps in the cake that the crumb coat hasn't managed to hide.

I'd buttercream/cover in fondant and do decorations all in one night if you can, the buttercream needs to be still wet for the fondant to stick to it when you place it over the cake.

MrsMcGregor Thu 23-May-13 22:10:19

Thanks Leave. Big sighs of relief as the sponges were defrosted when iced - one was a bit cold for butter-cream but was fully defrosted a little while later when I put the fondant on.

And the fondant on one cake was too thin and 'dragged' down in a not very prett manner but was able to hide the cracks with a fondant 'robbon' onto which a bow shall go tomorrow.

I've just left bits of decorating to do in the mornng - it was a choice of finish off the cakes or feed the children tonight and I had to feed the children!

If anyone is around, how on earth can I lift the white bloom the cornflour has left on a dark colour fondant? Have brushed and buffed and will even admit to buffing with a touch of vodka ... but only a teeny patch (and it didn't work) as the cake is for children blush.


LeaveTheBastid Thu 23-May-13 22:16:52

I usually get my iron turned on and give the icing a few blasts of steam from about a foot away until it the steam melts it all away, but I admit to only doing that when I roll out on icing sugar not cornflour, may work though, worth a try! If it doesn't work it'll just dry again and you'll be back to square one grin

MrsMcGregor Thu 23-May-13 22:27:11

Iron? shock. Good heavens! Okay, I'll try it in the morning - it will look so much better dark purple rather than with a white tint!

MrsMcGregor Thu 23-May-13 22:27:35

Oops, meant to say thanks!

LeaveTheBastid Thu 23-May-13 22:30:06

It scared me the first time I did it, especially knowing what humidity does to it grin but it works beautifully as long as you don't accidentally press the spray water button instead of steam hmm

Good luck!

MrsMcGregor Thu 23-May-13 22:55:42

Shall try very hard not to! grin

MrsMcGregor Fri 24-May-13 22:08:29

It worked! Thank you Leave.

Spent hours slaving over the cakes today and they're ready bar the toppers which need to go on tomorrow. Sore back, sore feet but had fun!

MikeLitoris Sat 25-May-13 18:35:20

Any pics mrs?

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