Supreme SilK – VS – Covapaste

Hey everyone HAPPY FRIYAY!!!!!! I’ve been trying to get this blog post done now for over two weeks, between having the ozzie flu and my laptop not co-operating (come to think of it, maybe I gave the laptop the flu?!?!?! lol) but anyway, I’ve managed to get it done this morning whilst sitting in bed and taking a much needed break to get myself finally on the mend.

It’s no secret of my deep affection for Supreme Silk Sugarpaste made by the Irish company Select Ireland Foods. I have mentioned it a lot on my Snapchat (user name jenscouturecakes) and Instagram (which you can come and follow me on here) lately because I truly believe in this product. So I am writing this blog as a review of the product and also to review it up against another fondant which I don’t like and you’ll see the reasons why below.

SELECT V COVAPASTE

But first lets talk about it……………..

I first came across Select Ireland, a family run business based in Cork, Ireland, when Marisa got in touch asking me how much fondant I would use per week and would I be interested in trying their product. I asked her for a cheeky sample to try and it is now my firm favourite to use for cakes. When Marisa so kindly sent me some to try, I knew straight away it was going to be good. The presentation alone is superb. Supreme Silk comes in its very own re-sealable tub which is a fantastic idea for storing the fondant. Any other fondant I have purchased before comes in vacuum sealed plastic packaging which I find very annoying because once its opened, if its not stored correctly in a zip-lock food bag, it will dry out and harden. So this is a major plus for me. It comes in its very own plastic bag, inside the re-sealable tub, so no need to worry about having cling film on hand (seran wrap in the states), or food zip lock bags to store it in. Just wrap it up in the bag and close the lid and boom- its stored and ready to be used again. I am very happy with this because I’m constantly running out of cling film and zip-lock bags because of this very thing, so I’m very impressed with this.

Upon opening the fondant, after it was delivered to me on a very cold wintery day, I did a live opening and tasting of the fondant on my snapchat. It tasted amazing, a lovely vanilla flavour but it wasn’t too sweet or over bearing, nor was it to dull or faint, it was just right. Because of the weather conditions, and other experiences with fondant/sugarpaste, I had already presumed the fondant was going to be rock hard and very difficult to knead. So I decided what better time to try it then now when it would be at its most difficult, right? It was cold to touch obviously due to the weather outside, but, when I took it to my green board and began to knead it, it literally took me less than a minute to have it ready to cover a cake- NO LIE!!!!! There was no need to throw it into the microwave to heat it up. Believe me, I was as shocked as you most likely are reading that, but it is TRUE. Of course it was cold and hard to touch initially, but within seconds, it began heating up, becoming very elastic and pliable, and it rolled out like a dream. And best of all, NO AIR BUBBLES!!!!!!

When covering my cake, placing the fondant over the cake there was no rips or tears in the fondant and more importantly for me, no elephant skin!!!!! This is such a pet hate of mine with fondant, I cannot stand the elephant skin look off fondant and when I had the cake finished, it was as smooth as a newborn baby’s bum!! The perfect finish for any cake- that smooth, clean, professional look, JUST PERFECT!!!!

The most important thing about this fondant for me is being able to achieve super sharp edges that stay super sharp. This is extremely important to me, as you can see below, I like to finish my cakes off with super sharp edges so I love this with the Supreme Silk. Here is my most recent wedding cake using the sugarpaste and I am so happy with the finished result.

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I have used other fondant brands before this, including Icewise and Satin Ice which weren’t bad and I’ve tried others and been really let down with the finish. For example, before I found my fav, I stupidly bought a big quantity of Covapaste fondant from one of my suppliers without trying it beforehand, because fondant is fondant right?!?!?! What could possibly go wrong?!? Well, let me start by advising you against EVER buying this fondant. I had a three tier wedding cake to cover and I literally cried every minute of decorating it. I even posted in the Irish Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Chat Facebook page asking about the fondant- was it just me? or were other people having similar problems? and to my relief lots of people agreed with me, and there were others who swore by it. But for me- its a NO! So here were my issues with it:

  • too hard to knead (you’d want Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles to go at it and then hello tennis elbow and writers wrist – ouch!!!!!)
  • air bubbles- need I say aymore?
  • elephant skin- aaaaaaaarrrrrghhhh
  • rips and tears (causing me to recover the cake twice- once again with the covpaste and then with a cheaper local supermarket fondant to try get the cake finished and on time, thankfully Tesco fondant actually came to my rescue)
  • the sharp edge wouldn’t hold
  • and finally when I went to smooth over the cake, the fondant dragged and tore. So it went from being too hard to knead to being super soft and sensitive.

Its safe to say I do not like Covapaste. The whole cake needed to be stripped and re-covered with a huge amount of fondant in the bin and not to mention the money it cost to buy it. I may aswel have gone into the bathroom and flushed the money down the toilet. I had such a bad experience with it and the tears and tantrums will never be forgotten, by me or by my husband ha ha.

So to round up all the pro’s of the Supreme Silk Sugarpaste (because I have not found one fault yet), see below:

  • super easy to knead
  • extremely pliable and elastic
  • zero air bubbles
  • smooth finish – no elephant skin
  • no rips or tears – extremely durable
  • sharp edges – all day everyday
  • vanilla flavour (not too sweet just right)
  • great for making models/figurines with with too
  • blends perfectly when using the wrap around method for covering double barrel cakes
So if you’ve been having trouble with your current sugarpaste, or you’d like to try something new, DEFINITELY give it a try its so worth it!!!!!
If you do try the Supreme Silk, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Til next time
Jen ♥ XX
Please note: this blog is my own personal opinion. I have not been asked to do this blog nor have I been paid to do it.

5 Things I Cant Cake Without

Hey Guys, I’ve been asked by lots of you, my lovely followers to write a post about the top 5 things I need as a cake decorator-  what I can’t live without and the reasons why…………………..so here it goes 🙂

  1. Progel food Colouring

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This is my number one product for the following reasons :

  • I literally cannot live without these food colours. They come in an array of colours, any colour you can think of they are amazing. I use them for colouring my fondant, buttercream, flower paste, macaroons……you name-it you can use it. I cant be without this I have a drawer full of these in my kitchen. I use them all, well most of them and here’s some pictures of my cakes where I’ve used the progel to colour my fondant and buttercream. The best thing with colouring the buttercream is it doesn’t spilt and you get a nice even colour throughout. You can buy these at your local Supervalu store or on their direct website here.

2. Squires Kitchen Flower Paste

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I absolutely love this stuff!! I use it mainly for flowers, but it can also be used for a number of things that need quick hard drying like brooch moulds, cupcake decorations and also mixed with fondant it can give you gum paste (50:50 ratio) for creating model figurines. These are the uses I’ve found but I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know of. It is fantastic, one of the best products out there for cake decorators. Here are some of the flowers I’ve created with it….

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I buy mine in my local Supervalu store, but it can be purchased online too. Try here to get yours from Squires Kitchen directly.

3. Select Ireland Supreme Silk Sugarpaste

 

This is by far the most amazing sugarpaste I have EVER used. Its super pliable, easy to roll, no elephant skin or tearing and most importantly its great for achieving those super sharp edges!!! The guys in Select Ireland are based in Co. Cork, Ireland and they know what’s up when it comes to sugarpaste. The vanilla flavour from it is so nice- not too strong, not too faint- just perfect. It is my absolute favourite to work with and I find myself having a sneaky bit of it now and then when working. Its the perfect combination and works like a dream for us cakers. If you haven’t tried it yet, get on it! You don’t know what you’re missing out on and life is only gonna get better from here on out.

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As of yet, I’ve only tried the white fondant because I use so much of the progel but I am eager to try the coloured fondant now too. If the white fondant is anything to go by, then the coloured fondant will be just as perfect. You can buy Select Ireland from this company called Bakeworld which you can click on here. Here’s a picture of one of my recent cakes using the fondant for you all to see.

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4. My Green Board

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Ok, so if you haven’t got one of these already, whip out the purse and BUY one! These beauties are literally a MUST-HAVE for all cake decorators a definite INVESTMENT. I literally cannot believe I used to waste so much time cleaning my counter, dusting it with icing sugar, rolling out my fondant and then for it to get stuck to the counter anyway. It was such a painful process lol, scrapping it off and starting all over again. There were nights I would sit with my head in my hands asking WHY??? OH WHY?? Ha ha, literally tormented and upset with cakes due out in little or no time and not even covered, if you feel my pain please share below in the comments 🙂 I bought mine from the lovely owner of A Cake For You right here in Ireland and I would be lost without it. Click HERE for Grainne’s website to contact her.

And that brings me to the last of my top 5 which is…….

5. My Nikon Camera

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Okay, so it doesn’t help me make better cakes but it does help me get better snaps. I cannot believe I used to rely solely on my smart phone to take good snaps of my cakes. Don’t get me wrong, I would be totally lost without my iPhone but….. then there’s my Nikon!!! It is amazing the difference in my photo’s, especially my wedding cakes, and let’s be honest, with the hard work we put in to create the dream cakes for our clients, including the late nights, early mornings (basically no sleep at all), the harsh criticism we apply to ourselves, and the intense concentration which can be extremely draining especially with intricate designs. So why not make sure that all of that hard work and design is completely clear and visible for your viewers to see? It is a reward in itself completing a masterpiece, so make sure to reward yourself also with portfolio worthy photos to show off your work!!! Have a look here at some to get an idea of prices, etc.

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So that’s my top 5 peeps. I hope you all enjoyed the read and maybe can relate to my favs. If you have any of these as your top 5 or have been swayed after reading this please feel free to comment below,

Jen ♥ XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meringue Kisses

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So I have been a huge fan of The Meringue Girls for quite some time now, and having mastered my French Macarons, you can read my tutorial blog here, I decided to give their signature desert a go!!

I googled their recipe and I was brought to Bakerella.com‘s website where I found the recipe and method for these little sweet beauties. In her blog post, she explains that she used The Meringue girls cookbook and that she found them very easy to make- I was chuffed to read this as I had been quite nervous about giving them a go for ages now.

So to get started, here’s exactly what you need:

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • Hand Mixer and large mixing bowl (optional)
  • Food Mixer with whisk attachment
  • Baking tray
  • Non stick baking paper/parchment paper
  • Disposable piping bag
  • Scissors
  • Food safe paintbrush

Method:

  1. Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper and pour in the caster sugar. Bake for 3-5 minutes at 200C until the edges just begin to melt. In my oven its fan assisted so it only took 3 minutes for this to happen, so please note ovens do vary.
  2. In the meantime, pour the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and using your hand mixer with a whisk attachment, begin whisking on a low speed until bubbles begin to form. Of course, you may do this in your food mixer too using the whisk attachment. Then increasing to high speed gradually, continue to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out. I talk about this in my blog on making French Macarons which is linked above.
  3. Take the sugar out of the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 100C. Then with the mixer still on high speed, begin to add one heaped tablespoon of the sugar at a time, making sure that the egg whites come back to stiff peaks after each tablespoon of sugar. When you have added all the sugar, continue to whisk for 5 – 7 minutes. The mixture will be ready when it has formed a high gloss and when rubbed between your finger tips it is completely smooth, with no “gritty” feeling of sugar.
  4. Prepare the baking tray again with fresh Parchment paper. To do this, use your finger tip and dab the meringue mixture on the four corners of the tray and press paper on top to hold it down in place. This prevents the parchment paper from moving whilst piping the meringues.
  5. To achieve the striped kisses, turn a piping bag inside out and paint on 4-5 stripes of your food coloring. Then roll the bag so the painted side is inside and carefully spoon the meringue mixture into the piping bag and fill it 2/3 of the way full. I find this makes it easier to manage the bag and to be more precise when piping the kisses. As you don’t need a piping tip, just cut off the tip of the piping bag about an inch in diameter to give good sized meringues.
  6. To pipe the kisses, hold the bag upright and allow the tip to touch the paper. Then squeezing the bag, pipe onto the sheet and pull upwards to get the little flick at the top. (my husband calls them gnome hats)
  7. Bake them in the centre of the oven at 100C for 30-40 minutes until they can easily be lifted off the parchment paper with the bases in tact. In my oven I used the regular setting ensuring not to use the fan. Allow them to cool completely and store them in an airtight container will keep for up to two weeks., or you may freeze them as they hold up really well in the freezer.

Here are my Meringue Kisses,

So happy that the #meringues worked out. Absolutely ❤️ these. Tried and tested using the @meringuegirls #recipe #jenscouturecakes #meringuelove #meringuekisses #meringuekisses #foodphoto #foodphotography #foodbloggers #foodblog #foodblogger #foodie #foodies #foodiegram #foodieblog #meringuegram #newproject #ideas #newproduct #desert #desertlove #desertlove
 meringue kisses
Its safe to say, I will be making these little sweet beauties a lot from now on, they went down a treat in my house and they’re definitely something I will be adding to my production list.
Let me know how you get on with yours and post your pics in the comments, I would love to see them!!
Have a great day,
Jen ♥ xx

 

 

 

 

JensCoutureCakes at The Gossies Awards…

 

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Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having fab week! It’s been a busy one here at JensCoutureCakes HQ but we’re finally getting to sit down and show you all the fabulous display we put on for the Goss.ie Gossies Awards 2016. When Ali, the CEO and Managing Director of Goss.ie, got in touch with me to do the display I was thrilled. I absolutely love following Goss so it was an absolute pleasure to be a sponsor for the awards. Ali left the design and display completely up to me and advised me the colour scheme was pink and grey, with a Hollywood touch for the awards.

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For the cake, which was to be the main centrepiece, I decided to go with a marbled effect. I had been wanting to do it for some time and I decided now was the perfect timing- its classy, its elegant and when done right it can make any cake a showstopper!!! I also dressed it with pearls and diamonds, and a massive diamanté brooch on the side with a huge satin bow. I feel the diamonds and pearls added some Hollywood style, remembering the beautiful Marilyn Monroe and the fabulous Grace Kelly. What do you think of the marbled effect?

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As it was a classy event, we also went with French macaroons and cupcakes to sweeten the Irish celebs. French macaroons are quite an elegant treat, not too big , not too small, just enough to enjoy something sweet. And what would the display be without some glitter? We sprinkled them with edible glitter to add a touch of glitz and glam for the Hollywood effect. They were loved by all who attended the awards. I have a tutorial on how to make these heavenly treats which you can read here.

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I also created some macaroons pops (as I don’t have a love for cake pops). And look at the fabulous macaroon wrappers that were so kindly given to me by the lovely Tatiana of Floribelle Ireland. Have a look at her fabulous page here. Tatiana makes laser cut and personalised sweet favour boxes which add an elegant touch to any event, especially weddings! Have a look at our macaroon pops below……….what do you think? Wouldn’t they be perfect for any event or occasion? From corporate events to baby showers, personalised gifts to wedding favours, these macaroon pops are sure to impress your guests.

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Tatiana also gave us some fabulous cupcake wrappers…..

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Aren’t they fab? I just love all things classy and elegant, and the detail in the cupcake wrappers are amazing….

And of course I added some sweets to the display including our meringue kisses, marshmallows and mints to finish off the cake and candy display.

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What do you all think of these massive lights from Lovin Letters ? Aren’t these just so cool…..having your name in lights……now that’s a thought 🙂 Absolute amazeballs.

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We also sponsored the Goss 1st Birthday Bash last year, and I created this fabulous cake display for them with some macaroons and mini cupcakes. Have a look below…..

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I was thrilled at the response from our display, Ali absolutely loved it and its safe to say that when we returned to take it down, the celebs had loved it too…. there wasn’t a crumb left 🙂 And to my absolute amazement, lots of the celebs shared the display on their snapchats, including FACES BY GRACE who won the award for Best Blogger, the gorgeous Marissa Carter of COCOA BROWN who won Best Girl Boss of The Year and the fabulous Joanne Larby of THE MAKEUP FAIRY even shared it onto her Instagram account!!! Yikes!!!

Here are some of the photos from Goss.ie Behind the scenes, pop over and have a look. Theres a snap of our display in here too.

To view the list of award winners, have a look here. and you can also watch The Gossies  Awards from UTV The Pulse here. I got to meet the lovely Jenny of Utv The Pulse, didn’t she do an amazing job?

If you were at the awards or have been following them on social media’s, pop by and say hello and let me know what you think or thought of our display….

Jen ♥ XX