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Posts by Marianna46

I accidentally left a wad of fondant out about 10 days ago. It's so humid here that when I found it yestarday, it was as moist as when I took it out of the bucket. So, of course, I use pure gumpaste, which actually won't get totally dry here, either. When the design lends itself to pastillage (it's not very scuptable, but it can be cut), I use that. It's the only thing I've found that will actually harden in this climate.
That powder was luster dust, but it's nowhere near as shiny as the gold leaf in the photo from the OP. And, yes, it's very expensive, but not because it has gold in it. Unfortunately, all luster dusts are expensive, no matter what the color. The nicest thing I can say about it is that it goes a fairly long way.
As far as I know, there is no such thing as shiny gold icing. You either use edible gold leaf or paint your fondant with gold airbrush paint or with gold luster dust suspended in a little vodka. But if somebody knows something I don't (not a particularly far-fetched proposition!), please let us know.
I agree with BakingIrene (as always!) about the consistency of the icing and the fact that nobody (on our side of the Pacific) uses royal icing on cupcakes, although there is a lovely boiled meringue icing (my mom called it 7-minute icing) that would work nicely. Buttercream or cream cheese frosting works best and it needs to be a little bit thick - able to hold a peak, as BakingIrene says - for it to work on a cupcake. Just one other thing: when making royal icing,...
The expiration date on the commercial fondants I've bought is at least a year from my purchase date. I've had fondant pass its "best-by" date and I've used it to cover dummy cakes for practice, so if it goes over, it's not a total waste. To be perfectly honest, I've tried pieces of this left-over fondant that's as much as two years old (from a recenly-opened container, it hasn't been out for two years) and I find that it tastes just the same, has the same consistency and...
I agree that Fondarific is the best-tasting one. Another really tasty one, albeit a little more expensive, is Carma Massa Ticino, imported by Albert Ulster (I think). It's very workable. I live in the tropics, so I know a lot about hot kitchens. My solution to the fondant-running-down-the-sides-of-the-cake problem is to add a little shortening (I have no idea why this helps, but it does - about 2 tablespoons per pound of fondant) and some powdered sugar to make my...
You might also want to reword your policies along the lines of "A non-refundable deposit of [you decide the amount or percentage] is due [you decide how long] before the date of delivery. The remaining amount is due [x number of weeks] before the date.". Everybody's right about being as specific as possible about EVERY LITTLE THING YOU CAN THINK OF in a cake contract. Otherwise, sooner or later, it will all come back to bite you in the you-know-where.
Another trick for filling bags is to put the bag in a very large glass or a small, cylindrical pitcher and folding the top of the back over the edge of the glass or pitcher. Then you have both hands free to guide the icing into the bag. After icing everything but the cake while trying to fill my pastry bags, I decided that was a good thing to do!
To put things in context - LOL - the ball tool comes with a large ball at one end and a smaller one at the other end. The suggestion about watching lots of videos is a very good one, and the list of sources posted by MaurorLess67 contains all my favorites. YouTube is also full of cake-decorating videos, illustrating every step of the process, from leveling and stacking to crumbcoating to covering with buttercream or fondant to decorating. There are some really good ones...
I looked at your cake and have a couple of suggestions. One thing you need to think about is level layers and sharper edges. Cakes very seldom come out of the oven totally flat and generally need to be leveled before you use them. There are several ways to do this. If you have a steady hand and a good eye, you can just use a long knife to do it. Or you can stick toothpicks around the edge at a certain level and garotte it with dental floss. Or you can try one of these...
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