- Carving cake:
If you wish to carve an intricate shape, it is often advisable to carve the cake from frozen. This will give you a much firmer base on which to work and help prevent the cake from crumbling.
- Colouring paste:
Use paste colours rather than liquid colours when colouring sugarpaste, modelling paste or flower paste. Even so you will find that when vivid or dark colours are required, a lot of paste colour is needed; this can make the paste quite sticky! To overcome this problem, add a pinch or two gum tragacanth to sugarpaste and a small amount of white fat to flower paste. Allow the gum time to work and then you will find the paste firmer and easier to handle.
- Marbling paste: Wonderful effects can be achieved by marbling sugarpaste. To marble your paste roughly mix a number of different coloured pastes together, not too much otherwise the effect will be lost, then roll the paste out and use as required. Results depend on how many colours you use and in what proportion, also how you mix and roll out the paste. Once you have roughly mixed the colours together, cut through the paste and then roll it out with the cut surface uppermost, you will find a much more intricate pattern develops this way.
Use these to produce a professional finish on your cakes. (Available from all good sugarcraft shops)
Use these to achieve an even thickness when rolling out paste. They are available commercially but you can make your own, for example from strip wood available from DIY stores and barbecue skewers make excellent narrow spacers.
- Invest in a sugar shaper:
In my opinion a sugar shaper is indispensable for novelty work, as the assortment of interchangeable discs means it can be used to make many items e.g. hair, grass, posts, poles etc.
NOTE: The secret to using one successfully is to make sure the paste used is really soft. I find that adding cooled boiled water to the paste until it is just starting to stick to my hands ensures that the paste will be quickly and easily be extruded. If the shaper clicks your paste is still too hard!
- Cutting wheels:
are excellent for cutting rolled out pastillage and flower paste as they do not pull or drag the paste.
- Cake tins:
Clean empty food tins are excellent for cooking small cakes and are ideal for individual cakes.