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Sugarveil... a review

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Some of you may remember that I was debating about getting the Sugarveil system back in November. Well I did finally decide to get it, and I did my first cake this weekend! (see Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach or my Green Topsy-Turvy Cymbidium Orchid Cake in my gallery)

So here's the scoop...

The icing... VERY COOL! I piped it, as well as using the Sugarveil system, and scraping it on a board.

You can use it on greased parchment or cellophane, or stright on your silicone baking mat if you have one. It stays flexible on the silicone mat the longest.

The texture is something between melted marshmallows and royal icing when it's wet, like silicone when it's set, and like a dry meringue when it is completely dry. WARNING... the pieces are VERY FRAGILE when dry (I dropped a piece onto the floor and it shattered into a hundred pieces!) The taste is hard to pin down, but it's not offensive at all - mildly sweet.

On the up-side, if a piece dries too quickly for you, you can re-humidify it to make it flexible again. On the down-side, painting it with lemon extract & powdered colour makes it too flexible again if unsupported (the crown on the top was dry, but after I painted it gold, it sagged.) When placed on a cake, the pieces stayed "set", but did not dry to the "shatter" stage.

I spread sheets of it and cut them out with scissors - this was really fun and worked well. That's how I made the door (I dried it over a form for the curve.) I Piped the edge and flooded the inside for the leaves which also worked well. These pieces set-up and stayed flexible for a long time.

I tried the scraping method of making lines... I had a little trouble with this when I used different items (my Wilton zig-zag scraper) but using the comb you can buy with the system worked much better.

I piped it out of a parchment cone & with a tip... it pipes much like royal icing... I had mixed it a little too thin so it piped easily, but didn't hold it's shape as well as I would like. Next time I'll use a little less water for this application.

I piped with the Sugarveil...it's pretty slow, which is good if you're doing intricate details, but I would have appreciated a little more speed for longer runs. You can get some VERY fine line with this, and much easier to control 1-handed than a piping bag. (Much gentler on the hands & wrists!)

It was really handy when I needed to glue pieces onto my cake... I could put a small amount of royal icing exactly where I needed it.

The system itself was quite easy to put together and use. Spend 2 minutes with the instruction manual and the pieces in your hands, and you'll be fine.

The suction feature (for picking up dragees, etc) will be very handy and seems to work well. You can actually dab some glue on the back of the dragee then put it in place. What's nice is that the "stem" is very narrow, so it does not get in the way of your view... and you can place the dragee exactly where you want it.


Overall, I will definately buy more of the icing when this batch is done. The applications are mind-boggling, and I just scraped the surface. I also bought the video which shows how to achieve the effect on their web-site and it was also well worth the price.

As for the "system" ... what it does, it does quite well. If you have trouble with your wrists, it will be very helpful, but you can only pipe dots & fine lines with it. Standard icing tips do not fit it, so you cannot achieve any other shapes. (However, you can do a LOT with lines & dots!)
It's great for outlining templates (i.e. the lace pieces they show on their site) and would be wonderful for piping chocolate outlines for stained glass work.

It's not too loud when it's on... it's a small pump much like one you'd use for a fishtank, and they provide a piece of foam to put under the pump to keep the noise from the vibration down to nothing.

It's a relatively expensive unit, and I don't think that it's something every decorator needs. That being said, I'm still glad I bought it! Like anything it will require some practice to get really good at it, but I was fairly happy with what I achieved, even on my first try.

Anyhow, this is more than long enough - anything you want to know that I missed, just ask!

If you want to check it out, or order it...

www.sugarveil.com
post #2 of 35
Thank you MelC, For taking the time to share this information. I saw your cake and loved it !
NO BAD DAYS!!
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NO BAD DAYS!!
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post #3 of 35
Thank-you for all the info, I was wondering what it was. . now I know.
post #4 of 35
Thanks for the review!
Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty!
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Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty!
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post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Glad to help!
post #6 of 35
...great to get an unbiased opinion! Thanks!!
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
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post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
The following are some suggestions from the Sugarveil crew:

* Steam (very lightly) set pieces of SugarVeil just until tacky 'off the cake' and it'll grab the gold dusting powder dry - without having to apply it in liquid form. If you do use the alcohol/dusting powder liquid form mix on SugarVeil, do the pieces in advance off the cake and allow them to "set" again, releasing the extra moisture.

* For a stiffer mix to use in a piping bag, beat for a longer period of time and use the same day (1/3 c water to 1 cup SugarVeil).

* When using the Icing Dispenser (1/3 c + 2 Tbl. water to 1 cup SugarVeil), you can place the pump on the floor if you like (I usually do this when working at a table).


And if you haven't been to their site for a while... check out their latest cake... with directions on some new techniques!!

http://www.sugarveil.com/gallery/avant_garde.htm
post #8 of 35
Thanks so much for your info...I just received a batch of the icing...I thought I would try it with a piping bag before I invested in the machine....I can't wait to try it out!
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
I would really suggest the comb, even if you don't want to get the machine!
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
Update:

The cake you see in my avatar was also decorated with Sugarveil pieces!
post #11 of 35
melc, your cakes are awsome!!!!!

melody
post #12 of 35
melc

i just bought the sugarveil kit and LOVE IT!!!! however, i am having a hard time getting it to dry...after days of setting my pieces are still very sticky and stick to my fingers and pull apart when i try to place them...any ideas?

thanks...monica
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure... you could try warming it slightly(i.e. with a lamp bulb...)

It is quite hygroscopic... [attracts water] so if it is in a humid location, (like the fridge) it will not dry! (In fact, you can re-activate a dried piece by putting it in a plastic bag with a damp cloth -not touching- for a couple of hours)

Otherwise I would e-mail them (there's an address on the web site)... they've been really great answering my questions!
post #14 of 35
Thanks...
post #15 of 35
MelC,
What type of coloring do you use to color it?
Mary-Ann
Mary Ann
"Sure I could make you THAT cake but wouldn't you rather have a monkey cake?" Bronwen Weber
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Mary Ann
"Sure I could make you THAT cake but wouldn't you rather have a monkey cake?" Bronwen Weber
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