|french macarons after my 10th try arrrgh!|
Today, I would like to discuss about some important cake decorating tools that a baker or a cake decorator SHOULD have in her haven, I mean her kitchen. Time and again I have shared to my students that cake decorating is easier and more efficient if you have the RIGHT tools for the job. If you have the right tools for cake decorating you will achieve more professional results. All are available from cake decorating supplies store and online store is just one way to conveniently get them.
I can only limit my discussion with FONDANT cake decorating since that is my expertise and I can only share what I have been using all these years.
In preparing fondant dough (go check my blog about fondant in the Philippines), you will need a mixing bowl which is suitable for microwave. When I was in the Philippines, I bought mixing bowl in SM which is big enough to prepare fondant (P250+++ each)
You will need also a wooden spoon which will only be use for fondant making...exclusively for fondant it is! Don't use it for cooking or icing preparation. JUST FOR FONDANT! Buy also a big strainer for sifting your powdered sugar. Save yourself from agony....go and sift your powdered sugar in order to avoid big chunk of powdered sugar once you knead in the melted marshmallow.
|exclusive for fondant|
Invest also for a durable and dependable silicon working mat. Trust me, it will be your best friend from day one. One that I will recommend is Ateco Silicon mat. One of the reasons I love this mat is because I have no issues with sticking and cracking on my fondant once I start rolling it out. Here is my Ateco Silicon mat which I bought in 2008. It has been my best companion in rolling out my fondant all these years. I know that there are several working mat in the market but for those of you who would like to invest on good quality tools, I can suggest this wonderful working mat. I know it is quite expensive, but hey, it's all worth it!
|my favorite silicon mat!|
Can you still prepare marshmallow fondant even if you don't have a microwave? YES! Use a double broiler to melt your marshamallows. Make sure that the bottom of the mixing bowl placed over a pot of boiling water does not touch the water underneath. TIP: Keep mixing the mallows until completely melted.
I would also emphasize that you have to buy a clingwrap plastic and ziploc plastic bag in storing your homemade fondant. Once you have prepared your fondant, you may want to let it rest OVERNIGHT so that the sugar which are not well incorporated well through kneading will have enough time to incorporate with the dough. I have also noticed that a colored fondant has more vibrant color after it has rested overnight. No need to refrigerate.
|let me rest overnight zzzzzz|
CAKE DECORATING TOOLS
Now that you have your fondant dough, you can now explore the world of cake decorating using that fondant dough.
Here are my top favorite things which I use in decorating my cakes and same things I can recommend for beginners:
MODELLING TOOLS. These are bought in set or singly and use to draw on, shape, frill or hollow out soft surfaces such as fondant and gumpaste. My first set of modelling tools is the Wilton set. I was jaded with it's pretty packaging but I seldom use them. I end up buying other brands and bought them per piece or another sets.
|Wilton Set. |
FROM LEFT: ball tool, bone-end tool, frilling tool, mini-quilting-end tool, comb tool,, mini-spatula, small frilling tool, mini-roller tool, star tool and anger tool.
|Organize your tools using an icedrop molder|
|Fat Diddo's mini-roller tools and comb tools. I bought them per piece at $7.69.|
One of my favorite set of tools is this set.....
|bone tool (small and large), star tool, ball tool, veiner, sculpting tool, ball tool |
and that pink sculpting knife/frilling tool
I confess that in every trip to my cake decorating supplies store, I make sure to buy a piece of modeling tools. I just love collecting them!
ROLLING PINS. I always recommend to buy one large rolling pin and one small. If you have the budget, buy a rolling pin that is 20 inches long and made of white, hard, polyethylene plastic. It is non-stick and very convenient to use on fondant and gumpaste. In covering cakes with fondant, use a longer rolling pin in order to achieve a perfect round, rolled out fondant. With that result, it would be easy to cover a round cake without having trouble of having elephant-skin fondant or cracking. I would also recommend small version of this kind of rolling pin whch is only 7 inches long. You will use this kind of rolling pin for making cake decoration or cake toppers.
|small, medium and large rolling pins|
PAINTBRUSH. These tools are important as modeling tools because it is very useful and versatile. I use paint brush in applying tylose glue on my fondant. I also use them to apply luster dust, disco dust, petal dust on my gumpaste. I used the handle as frilling tool or when I just need to make a tiny indent on the fondant (just make sure it is thoroughly clean). I also use them in making my swag around the cake. I would advise that you invest on good quality paintbrush. Don't buy the synthetic ones because you will have some trouble on applying colors or dust on your fondant. Again, go for QUALITY!
FOOD COLORING. I think I have thoroughly discussed why I personally love Americolor brand for gel food coloring in my previous blog. I just want to emphasize that you should collect the basic color and if you have extra cash, try to collect additional colors to save time and effort on adding color to your fondant. Buy also the electric colors like electric pink, blue, yellow and green because the color is so vibrant....you will love it.
IMPRESSION MATS. I have a huge love for these tools because it simply add beauty on a plain fondant. There are variety of designs to choose from. I started collecting the Makins' textured sheets which I have used a hundred times on my cake decorating activities. I also love the Autumn Carpenter's Floral and Fabric sets collection. They are the daintiest ever!!! For texturing fondant cakes, buy impression mats which are 24" x 20" in size. The designs I can recommend are swirls, floral and cobblestone. These are the three basic designs which are useful to me.
PIZZA or PASTRY CUTTER. I love this tool because it is easier to cut fondant strips or cutting off excessive fondant on the cake.
If you wonder why a certain cake artist came up with a beautiful fondant cake.....you must consider the factor that he or she has the basic and huge collection of these above-described cake decorating tools. The more they have these tools the more it is easy for them to create beautiful, pretty and dainty cakes and cupcakes. If you invest on quality products, you will be rest-assured that they are legacy for you to pass on to your kids who wants to bake and decorate cakes too. Again, when you buy your cake decorating tools, always consider the durability, usefulness and reasonable price. Buy only stuff that you can use on your cake decorating activities. Don't you just hate it when you buy something so expensive and yet it has been sitting there on your tool box for 2 years?
In choosing cake decorating tools, like in marriage, pick the RIGHT one!
Happy Baking everyone!