Monthly Archives: July 2016

5 clever cake decorating techniques that will wow your customers

27 July, 2016

As a professional cake decorator, keeping up with the latest trends and techniques in cake design is essential. Often tasked with creating spectacular bespoke cakes, whether it be for a traditional wedding, milestone birthday or simply to celebrate a special occasion, mastering a range of cutting-edge cake decorating techniques will keep your cakes a notch above the rest.

If your recent searches for fresh cake inspiration have left you feeling rather underwhelmed, check out these five clever cake decorating techniques that promise to wow your customers.

 

1. Hand painting

Taking cake art to the next level, hand painting cakes is a great way of creating unique designs for your customers. Usually created by mixing edible colour tints with alcohol to make a paste, you’ll also need good quality paint brushes to pull off this professional technique. Once you’ve decided on your design, (florals are often a popular choice!) delicately apply the paint to your fondant icing base. Although this technique can take a little time to master, the final effect is definitely worth it!

 

2. Fondant ruffles

A fantastic way to add texture to a cake, fondant ruffles are a particularly versatile cake decorating effect. Use all-white ruffles to add elegance to a sophisticated wedding cake or try using the ombré style to add a pop of colour! To recreate the ruffled look, roll out strips of fondant icing, then use a ball tool to press along one edge. Layer your icing strips from the top down until you’ve covered an entire layer of your fabulous cake.

 

3. Sculpting

Perfect for novelty cakes and themed occasions, cake sculpting creates life-like cakes that could fool even the keenest of eyes. These types of cakes take a lot of planning and preparation, not to mention ensuring your cake is going to be structurally sound once carved. Dense cakes are much easier to work with than crumblier alternatives and chilling your cake before you get to work will make the process far easier. Once chilled, start crafting your cake to its desired shape then cover in icing or buttercream to bring your cake to life!

 

4. Geode cakes

A cake trend taking the baking world by storm, these wondrous geode cakes certainly make a spectacular centrepiece.  So, how can you recreate this incredible edible amethyst? Cut away one side of the sponge to enhance the 3D illusion, cover in white frosting, then use a mixture of granulated sugar, rock candy and multi-coloured modelling chocolate to create the mesmerising geode.

 

5. Stained glass

If you’re really looking to make a statement with your cake, the stained glass effect definitely does the trick. Choose a relatively simple shape as an outline – flowers or geometric shapes are popular choices – and draw your design onto fondant icing with an edible ink pen. Use edible dusts and gels dissolved in confectioner’s glaze to paint on your design, then finally use black royal icing to pipe over the lines and create the beautiful stained glass design.

What cake decorating techniques are you planning to try next? Share your snaps with us via Twitter!

Apricot season: Here’s how to use this fabulous fruit!

19 July, 2016

As we continue to bake our way through summer, we’ve managed to reach the middle of British apricot season! The season runs from May to September, and usually, in July, the fruit is at its finest. With this in mind, we’ve found plenty of ways you can include this sweet, affordable fruit in your baking this month, for seasonal, summery and luscious treats.

Related to peaches, these orange, golden fruits are full of antioxidants and make a healthy addition to your baking ingredients. Their velvety skin and softness adds a unique texture to a tarte, cake or biscuit, while baking this fruit produces a flavoursome, warm and juicy delight.

Apricot buttercream

 

Piece of apricot frosting with icing decorated dried apricots and walnut on white plate

Forget about cream cheese frosting for this month and instead, create a tasty topping using the fruit of the season! Great for weddings taking place throughout summer, apricot buttercream has a tangy, sweet kick and creates an underlying, subtle but distinctive taste for any cake. Made easily from apricot puree, soak the fruits in water for a few hours, bring to the boil and simmer for up to 30 minutes, leave to rest and blend. It’s really easy!

Apricot turnovers

 

freshly baked apricot turnover

Swap apple for juicy apricots to create a delicious crumbly turnover. These bakes are refreshingly filling, with soft apricot juices bursting out of a pastry heaven. We’re sure your customers won’t say no to these alternative summer bakes. Apricot turnovers are simple to bake, placing your own homemade jam or apricot preserves on a bed of puff or homemade pastry. Sell as a quick takeaway snack or as a dessert option with vanilla ice cream.

Apricot doughnuts

 

apricot-doughnuts

Want to give your customers a sophisticated doughnut? Rather than use custard or raspberry jam, bake mouthwatering doughnuts with bursts of homemade apricot preserve for a sharp yet sweet taste.  Alternatively, for ring doughnuts, bake little chunks of the fruit into the doughnut and top with apricot glaze.

Will you be adding this juicy fruit into your baking? If so, Tweet us your images!

How to give your cheesecakes a sensational summer twist

15 July, 2016

A fantastic dessert in both summer and winter, the classic cheesecake is a year-round dessert menu favourite. With the weather getting warmer, many bakers will be looking to swap their chocolate and hazelnut delights for fruitier seasonal alternatives.

If you’re a bit stuck for inspiration this year, we’ve dug out a whole host of fun ways that you can transform your cheesecakes from indulgent winter puddings to refreshing summer sensations!

Don’t believe us? Check out these six bright ideas that’ll completely transform this classic dessert.

Tropical flavours

 
Fresh fruit cake decorated with passionfruit and oranges mousse on light background. Modern european cake. Shallow focus

When we’re treated with a spell of warm weather here in the UK, nothing goes down better than a few delicious tropical flavours. Think mango, pineapple, passionfruit and coconut, paired with a rich and creamy cheesecake filling and a crumbly biscuit base. Team up sweet fruity flavours with a zing of citrus for a dessert that’ll really grab your customers’ attention!

Vibrant colours

 

Blueberry cheesecake with fresh blueberries

Often going hand-in-hand with tropical flavours, vibrant colours are a foolproof way of adding a little summer magic to your bakes. Use blueberries to create deep purples, tangerines for bright oranges and rhubarb for vivid pinks, all mounting up into one eye-popping cheesecake. Want to take your cheesecake to the next level? Use different coloured layers of cheesecake for a spectacular summer dessert.

Add a little booze

 
Cheesecake slice with fresh raspberry and mint leaves

Most of us enjoy a cheeky cocktail or two over the summer months, so why not add a hint of booze into your cheesecake for a more adult dessert option? Opt for a subtle suggestion of alcohol using flavours such as Pimm’s or raspberry and limoncello, or whip up something with a bit more of a kick to make mojito or margarita cheesecakes.

Combine two classics

 
Piece of delicious cheesecake with strawberry mousse, strawberry jelly and strawberries.

Combining two of your favourite recipes is a great way to reinvent the classic cheesecake, not to mention providing you with the opportunity to add a totally unique dessert to your menu. We love the idea of swapping the biscuit base for cake to create a strawberry shortcake cheesecake hybrid, or alternatively why not combine with crème brûlée or Eton mess for a whole new take on the cheesecake?

Marvellous minis

 
Raw Vegan Raspberry Coconut Cheesecake Dessert, healthy eating, close up, selective focus

Why stop at one flavour when you could serve two or three refreshing treats on one plate? There are plenty of options for whipping up these light bites, and whether you want to rustle up a trio of citrus cheesecakes or make your own summer berry assortment, we think these little cakes make fantastic additions to summer afternoon tea selections.

Picturesque plates

If you’re looking to turn your summer cheesecake into an unforgettable showstopper, why not invert the usual recipe and create a cheesecake biscuit beach? Cover a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling in a crumbly biscuit topping and finish with dropped ice cream cones for a picturesque summer scene.

What are your favourite summer cheesecake recipes? Share them with us via Twitter!