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Sunday, 20 May 2012

A first...

Thanks for your patience while the blog has been quiet, I know people have been checking in for updates regularly.
I've been busily working away and things have been picking up steadily with orders coming in for dates ranging from next week through to the end of next year!
Today's post is a first for the blog, a short tutorial on covering a cake drum with sugarpaste. Tutorials are something I plan to do more of with lots of ideas for future posts. I'd also love to hear from you if there is anything you'd like to see.
There are many, many ways to cover a board with icing. How you tackle it is dependant on the cake project and the design (if any) on the board. This particular board is for a project later in the week so I'll pop back with a picture when the cake is in place. I needed to create a wooden floor effect and this does mean you need to work reasonably quickly to avoid the icing drying out. If this is a new technique for you, you may want to practise first.
Here are the tools I used....

I like to use my cake turntable when working but it really isn't a 'must have', it just makes the job a bit easier. I have a 12" drum and my usual tools for covering a drum (rolling pin, smoother and pallet knife). Also for this project I have my royal icing ruler and dresden tool.
I used 500g of icing, this seems a lot but you need a little extra for rolling out and for the design I am doing I didn't want it too thinly rolled. Knead your icing until it's soft and pliable and then roll out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.

Roll out your icing to the correct size, to check you can easily hold your drum over your icing to see if it fits. Remember to lift your icing regularly to avoid it sticking! To stick the icing to the drum I brush water over the drum with a pastry brush and then lift the icing into place.

If it's a little small, don't worry, just use your rolling pin to roll out where needed. You can then use your smoother to ensure the icing is smooth and level over the board.

When you are happy with the finish you need to remove the excess icing. The best way to do this is with a pallet knife, I always use a cranked knife as I find it easier. You need to run the knife around, slightly angled in to the board and then gently run you fingers around the icing to soften the edges.

At this point you can of course stop if you want a plain board to present you cake. As I want the wooden floor effect I used my royal icing rule to create the floorboards. I didn't measure, just used the width of the rule and did the rest by eye.

At this stage you need to keep working as you don't want the icing to start drying out. Use the thin end of a dresden tool to draw on a wood effect, don't worry too much about each board as overall you will get the effect and of course some will be covered up with your cake.

And there you have it, a wooden floor effect cake board.
I'd love to know what you think of my first tutorial and I'll be back very soon to show you why I was in need of this style cake board.

Please note you would now need to have your cake on a cake card as you wouldn't really want to put it directly on to icing.

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