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….

ellen sugar roses

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.

amanda wedding cake 2

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our top tips on choosing your Wedding Cake!

jens 2015 wedding cakes

If you are already looking at wedding cake designers, ideally by now its safe to presume you have your wedding venue booked and the dress ordered. With those two hugely important details arranged, I would recommend the cake to be next, and let me explain why…….

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1) Deadline

Most cake decorators can be booked up for at least a year in advance, so it is best to give them as much notice as possible to book in your cake. They’re not like your typical grocery store, lots of cake designers provide beautiful, bespoke wedding cakes and their skills are so much sought after that they book up pretty quick. If you have your eye on a specific designer, and you love their typical cake designs then pre-book the date with them, and the details can follow suit. But be sure to BOOK YOUR DATE! Most cake decorators will do this with a small deposit to secure the date for you.

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2) Design

If you haven’t already, then now is the time to get researching cake designs. Like I said previously, if you have your eye on a specific designer, most of the time they will have a specific type of design they stick with- be it vintage or couture, and you will most likely want one of their typical designs. But if it is more of a bespoke cake you want, for example the cake above, then you need to research designers to make sure they can create the design for you. Have a look at their work to see the cakes they’ve made before.

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3) Colour scheme/Theme

Once you have the date secured, if you don’t already have a chosen colour scheme and wedding theme then now is the time to hit Google and Pinterst hard!!! Google until your eyes are sore and cant bare to look at a computer screen no more, because your colour scheme and theme is very important. It is incorporated into every part of your big day, especially your cake (most of the time)and you want to make sure its just PERFECT! Bare in mind the time of year you’re getting married, for example if its spring/summer lots of brides go for the pastel colour range along with a vintage theme, in winter you can go for richer, deeper colours with a winter theme. But like I said, really research colours to make sure its exactly what you want……..those photos are here forever!! Once you have your colours and theme chosen, let your cake decorator know! This will help them begin to plan your cake, down to purchasing ribbon for the cake, coloured fondant or food colourings and any other coloured materials they will need for your bespoke cake along with creating the design and incorporating the theme. For example, if a pastel colour range with a vintage theme, the cake will more than likely have some hand made vintage roses/flowers with light and airy colours like pastel pinks, peaches, etc.

 

wedding cake tastings

4) Flavours

For wedding cakes, traditional is totally gone out the window! Fruit is no longer the typical cake for wedding cakes. For me here at JensCoutureCakes, the most popular is chocolate biscuit cake, followed by red velvet, and then Victoria sponge. I always ask brides and grooms what their favourite cake is and to go with that for their wedding cake, because it is their cake after all and what’s the point in having a full tier of fruit cake, for example, and it going to waste!

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5) Size/Servings

For this, you really need to decide when you want to cut the cake. The newest tradition with weddings is a second day affair, and lot’s of brides choose to keep their cake until the following day. It’s quite a clever idea to be honest, as the wedding day itself is full of food for guests and most of the time the cake goes to waste. Usually, with the second day, your guest list will be cut in half, at least, and you need to decide first of all if this is what you want to do with your cake, and if so, do you only want cake for the guest numbers that will be there or do you want some cake to take home also. Don’t let this put you off the wow factor sized cake if that’s what you want, as you can have a cake that is made up of edible cake and non edible stryofoam cakes to give you added size to your cake.

And lastly…………….

dont be afraid to ask questions

6) Don’t be afraid to ask questions!!!!

You can ask as many questions as you like. We are always here to help, we have lots of ideas and your questions are never deemed stupid or silly. We love what we do, ad more importantly, we want you to love what we do, so always feel free to discuss your cake in depth to make choosing your wedding cake enjoyable and also to ensure you have chosen the right design for you!

If you have any questions you would like to ask us, feel free to get I’m touch via our facebook page JensCoutureCakes. You can also get in touch via the following social media links:

Instagram: https://twitter.com/JensCoutureCakes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JensCoutureCake

Snapchat: jenscouturecake

or by email: JensCoutureCakes@hotmail.com

Also feel free to comment below. I hope you enjoyed the blog,

Jen ♥ xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Artistic Expression or a Ghoulish Creation?!?!?!?!

jodie til death 3

by JensCoutureCakes

Spooktacular wedding cakes are becoming more and more popular over the last few wedding seasons and what more of a suitable topic to blog about than these, after all it’s almost Halloween. With cake decorators seeing more and more of these designs being requested by brides and grooms alike, I want to know would it be a design you would have for your special day?!?!?

jodie balfe cake

by JensCoutureCakes

I absolutely loved designing this cake for a recent bride and groom, as it was literally them in a cake version lol. They both love all things skulls, tattoos, each other (more importantly) and when they approached me to to create their wedding cake, we sat and discussed designs and ideas, but ultimately, the design was left for me to comprehend on their cake. Even up to the day before the wedding, myself and the bride discussed the layout and design, but it wasn’t until I actually started it, did it come to life. When they got in touch the day after the wedding to thank me for the cake, I knew I had slam dunked the design for them (phew…..it’s always a nervous time, not because I’m not confident in cakes that leave my cakery, but because people can tend to have an idea in their mind, but when it actually comes to life it can sometimes not be what they wanted afterall!)

Personally, I’m more of a vintage/classic kinda gal but I have warmed (a little) to these designs, and let me explain why. Skulls generally freak me out, I’m kind of screamish that way, but when given free reign to design them, I like to think of it as more of an artistic expression rather than a ghoulish creation. With Sugar Skulls increasingly being incorporated on cakes, whether it be birthday celebrations or wedding cakes, there is a pretty side to them, as the artist behind them really gets to enjoy free hand designing with food grade colours (c’mon what’s more cool to us decorators) knowing that when its done and dusted, it can be eaten and enjoyed just as much as the designing itself.

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by JensCoutureCakes

There is alot of history on Sugar Skulls, relating to All Hallowes Eve, All Soul’s Day, or Halloween as we call it. But for me, that’s not what they’re about on cakes. They are an expressive art where I can use any colours I wish, any designs and pretty much free hand it the whole design. Between swirly swirls and hand painted flowers, I love getting to free hand paint. For years, as a child, I would sit and hand draw all the Disney characters from Ariel to the Seven Dwarfs, and everyone in between, so getting to free hand draw is like being a child again lol.

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by JensCoutureCakes

So whether you’re into Sugar Skulls or not, embrace your inner personality and never be afraid to have it reflected on your cake, (birthday, wedding, etc.,) after all, a cake is to celebrate you and nobody else!!

What do you think about them?!?

Jen ♥ xx