A Thread For All Uk Bakers!!

Decorating By hailinguk Updated 23 Nov 2016 , 12:15am by nazya_bakes

CakeGeekUk Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 1:02pm
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Hi Ladies, it's great to have this thread for all us UK decorators!


To answer the last question (the difference between modelling paste and flower/petal paste), modelling paste is a mixture of sugarpaste and flower paste.  The addition of flower paste gives the sugarpaste extra strength and durability.  It can't be rolled as finely as flower paste but doesn't break as easily are flower paste when dry.


You can make modelling paste by adding CMC to sugarpaste but it's never worked for me - I buy the Squires bulk pack and I get ages out of it.


As for flower paste, you can of course buy it in white and colour it with gel paste colours, but I find if there's a colour I use a lot (eg red or pink) it's worth buying it in that colour to save the effort of colouring yourself.  (Colouring paste is one of my pet hates - takes me ages!)

bashini Posted 20 Sep 2013 , 5:13pm
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Originally Posted by cbouzala 

Thank you all for you comments, they are very helpful!

I used plain sugarpaste and I was hopying that since I had a wks time it would be sufficient

I will be trialing flower paste now, I just placed an order

Can I just buy white one and colour it, as I did with the sugarpaste or do I need to purchase all these different colours? It would be expensive this way I think


thanks for your help again!!!

Much appreciated



I never colour flower paste as I have experienced that it changes the texture and save lot of time. I also use squires flower paste and I love their pastel colours. If you want darker colours, you can use Beau Products flower paste and they have lovely range of colours.

The answer to the other question, I learnt that modelling pate is sugar paste mixed with CMC/ Gum Trag. I just call flower paste and sugar paste mix one 50/50. Anyway to get a good result for flowers, flower paste is the best!.:)
cbouzala Posted 21 Sep 2013 , 5:12am
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Thanks for all your answers!

I have now ordered some flower paste, so I will try it out for my models

Thank you ;-D


CakeChemistry Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 2:43pm
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AIs gum trag/cmc tylose? I must say I am on the fence about whether this actually does anything as well!

CakeChemistry Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 2:44pm
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APs I'm in Manchester x

CakeGeekUk Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 2:56pm
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Hi Cake Chemistry, CMC/Tylose/Gum Trag are all "gums" and all do the same thing, ie, add strength to the sugarpaste. I never got any satisfaction out of using them myself, but I could have been using the wrong quantities. I tend to avoid mixing/colouring/blending where I can and buy pastes ready made/coloured so I can just get straight to the fun stuff!

CakeChemistry Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 3:25pm
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AYup I prefer the fun stuff too!

chocaholikk Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 5:13pm
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AHey cakeChemistry...im in manchester too xx

bashini Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 8:16pm
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AHi CakeChemistry, like cakegeekuk has mentioned, they are all the same. As far as I can remember, you have to use 1/2 teaspoon of cmc/gum trag to 250g sugar paste. If you check aine2's vedios on YouTube, she has got one making modelling paste. I personally like to use the 50/50 mix of flower paste and sugar paste for my models and flower paste for flowers.:smile:

CakeChemistry Posted 22 Sep 2013 , 8:18pm
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AOoh lovely, thanks for getting back! X x

CakeGeekUk Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 12:20am
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Hi UK Ladies (and I assume there are some Gentlemen on here to), I have a question I'm hoping somebody might be able to help me with - do any of you know where I can get white or coloured artificial beargrass to use on cakes (in the UK)? You can get it in green in florists' suppliers, but I thought it may be available in other colours elsewhere.  I love how David MacCarfrae uses it to add a bit of pizazz to celebration cakes! I could probably spray the green stuff with edible paint but it would be much less messy if it was available in other colours.

Jenna1588 Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 12:24am
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Hi Cake Geek! (Love your name BTW) Hehe. I have absolutley no idea what you're talking about, I was intrigued so I Googled, it came up with this? I don't know if its the right thing but! http://www.cakesforyou.biz/artificial-flowers--bear-grass-242-c.asp

CakeGeekUk Posted 23 Sep 2013 , 9:27pm
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Thanks so much Jenna & Relznik! I've been looking for these for ages.  Here is a pic below of what I was talking about. It's one of David MacCarfrae's cakes: www.davidcakes.co.uk (I was trying to find a prettier example but my computer is acting up so this one will give you an idea....not sure about the jelly sweet kebabs though!)

Jenna1588 Posted 24 Sep 2013 , 2:49am
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Oh wow, thats fab! Very bright and funky!

CakeGeekUk Posted 25 Sep 2013 , 11:47pm
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He's a very bright and funky kinda guy, is David MacCarfrae -have you been on his site? It's a hoot!!! He posts lots of videos but unfortunately they don't give away a lot about his techniques (the cake above wouldn't be representative of his style of cake decorating...he's best known for his royal icing!) You have to go to his classes really. Would give anything to go to one - will put it on my Santa list, I think!

emma_123 Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 9:54am
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Hey ladies and gents, I haven't been on here for ages but have been having some problems getting my cakes as nice and neat as I would like them and also I've been having lots of air bubbles these past few weeks too.  Do you guys all use buttercream or do you use ganache?  I love working with ganache but nobody ever asks for it and think it'd help get my finish neater but I don't want to put people off if I only use that.  Any suggestions? Also, do you put your cakes in the fridge before covering?  I leave mine out for around 15-20 mins but I'm still having problems with air bubbles and if the cake is too warm its harder to cover.  Oh and I use Regalice - I've tried others but not got on with them at all well, so think its more my dodgy techniques rather than the icing!  Any help would be most appreciated! x

CakeChemistry Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 11:20am
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AHiya Emma, I too love ganache! What I have started to do is use bc for torting, with a ganache dam, then ganache the outsides for a none bulgy finish. I have to use white choc (not technically choc!) for some cakes depending on flavour. I haven't mastered the technique of beautiful sharp finish using buttercream alone. I too struggle a bit with fondant. I can do it on a round cake but find square cakes quite difficult, particularly the air bubble. I watched a lady online (who makes cakes that look beyond perfect) and she would ganache and then fondant, but recommended the fondant no more than 3mm thick and would then use a sterilised quilting pin to pop and bubbles and smooth them out, and you would never know there was a pin prick in them. I keep trying, I think it is just knack more than anything!! The people I make cakes for love ganache, is it the pricing difference that put them off? I was on a thread on here a few weeks ago and loads of us talking about ganache were putting forward our favourite chocolate to use. I put my neck out and told everyone I use the Fin Carr from Lidl (35p/100g dark choc 50%cocoa solids) and also the Aldi equivalent (30p)! I buy my cream from Costco which is £1.99/litre so for 500ml cream and 1kg choc it costs me £4.50 and this goes really far, will torte and fill a three tier stacked if you want it to plus some left over. I have tried the more expensive chocolate, but honestly, I am notn tasting the difference apart from when the cocoa solids are too high and I then thi it tastes bitter and funny. I personally love milk chocolate ganache as it doesn't seize so hard so as a frosting alternative which is more stable it's yum yum, but obvs you need more choc per cream ratio. Bit of a ramble x x x x x x x x I'm waiting for my cake-stuff.com order to make some models so it's cake central time!!!

bashini Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 1:30pm
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AHi Emma, my favourite is ganache too, although I use bc for my vanilla cakes. But I have made a decision to use ganache on all my cakes. I had few problems with fondant last few months. There were lots of air bubbles!!! I use Cova paste which I like better than regalice. I don't put my bcakes in the fridge. It is a big no no for me. :D

emma_123 Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 2:43pm
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Thanks both of you, I've just texted my customer who I'm making a cake for next (who is a lady I know) and asked whether I can do a test on her as I'm thinking of changing how I do it so will see if she agrees to be my guinea pig, I love ganache so hopefully can move onto using that.  


I did try Covapaste recently Bashini but found it really hard to work with and had lots of air bubble (even more than normal) with it too so have gone back to Regalice.  I do wonder whether the changing weather isn't helping things at the moments too.  So Bashini can I ask - do you leave your cakes to set up before you cover them with fondant or do you put it on straight after you've covered it in buttercream?

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 4:28pm
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Go for ganache :-D!  I'm not planning on giving customers a choice on the ganache any more unless they specifically don't want it for some reason.  I've found the finish on buttercream is somewhat finicky...  Did a small last minute cake for a friends' get-to-gether when it was really hot a couple of months back and it was a total disaster...never again!  I've never really had a bit problem with bulges, bubbles or buttercream leaking out the bottom but got the whole load on this occasion.  Even chilling it in the fridge for a bit to let it firm up never seems to make it strong enough to keep the nice sharp corners when the icing goes on (and of course can have the added trouble of getting condensation on the icing if it doesn't get back up to temp).


As for icing, it may sound cheap but I love Asdas own.  Got to cover a black double depth tier with regalice later on though so keeping fingers crossed :-x :-) Happy caking!

LisaPeps Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 8:10pm
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AHave Asda altered their recipe yet to make its workability better? I loved it and it used to be the only icing I'd use but then they changed the recipe and it was absolutely awful... Please tell me they've made it all good again XD

I only use ganache, I hate icing with buttercream. If my customers don't want ganache then they don't get cake from me. I'd rather not compromise the quality of my work because I am THAT awful at icing buttercream covered cakes with fondant. I love sainsburys own brand chocolate for ganache (Tesco's is gross). I start with frozen layers. I torte and fill using the upside down method then do one rough layer of ganache on the outside (smooth out so its not over the edge of the board but not so much so that its perfect). I then put it in the fridge for 5 mins, then add another layer of ganache which I try to get a perfect as possible, then fridge again. I then go round with my set square to make sure the edges are straight and add ganache where needed, a final smooth and flip and put in the fridge. I chill for another 5 mins and peel the parchment off the top of the cake, sort out any imperfections on top and leave it at room temp for 30 mins. Then I ice it with fondant.

I recently ordered a 10lb Pail of satin ice as everyone raves about it and it was reasonably priced. I'm not that impressed, especially as far as its workability when coloured. Ill still to my Carma Massa Ticino tropic in future -_-

cupcakemaker Posted 9 Oct 2013 , 8:25pm
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AI tried the upside down method and liked it but the wax paper was a bit stuck. How do you stop that?

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 7:07am
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@ Lisapep-

I don't know if Asda have changed their icing recipe but I have never really had a problem with it.  It's more difficult to smooth out creases than some Rennshaw black icing was I used last night so you have to try and get it on un-creased first time but other than that, it's been dandy.  I've never used Satin Ice although I really want to try it!!  I saw rep demo-ing it at cake international last year and was amazed at how thin/durable he could make it for drapes etc but I have heard a few people comment on how it doesn't colour very well.  In the US I think they sell it pre-coloured but don't think that has reached our shores yet?


Is this the upside-down method you were referring to? http://cakecentral.com/a/upside-down-icing-technique-for-perfectly-smooth-icing

Looks very logical...I have only done it the right way up but have to say, while i can get the edges right, getting the top completely level is somewhat more difficult!!  lol.  Will have to give this a go...


@ cupcakemaker:

Could you use a smidgen of trex on your greeseproof paper to help stopping it stick?  I've never tried it but makes sense.  If it's ganache though you're using, maybe it just needs to be chilled a little longer so it goes hard?

emma_123 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 11:08am
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I did try the Asda icing once last year and felt like I'd need muscles like Arnie to use it as it was so stiff compared to what I was used to!  


Well my lovely customer said that would be fine and so I've just covered the cake in white choc ganache and its reasonably smooth.  I just love how solid it feels though, hopefully it'll cover ok.


So if you only use ganache for your cakes do you tell each customer this is what you use or do you just use it anyway?  I'm concerned people might not be keen on the idea as they haven't had it before and wasn't sure what others did.  


Hope the black tier went well snowflakebunny!    

flowergirl1 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 11:15am
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ANeed help asap please, (Today if possible) think bashina told me this a while back I did write it down,but cannot find it how many eggs (med) would I use in 14oz mix Thank you .

LisaPeps Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 11:53am
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AThis is a good tutorial http://www.threelittleblackbirds.com/2012/10/simply-ganache-a-tutorial/ for the upside down method.

You just need to make sure the cake is completely chilled, the wax paper should peel off easily if chilled enough, you don't need to put trex down. To get the top completely smooth and level you need to have your ganache slightly softer than peanut butter and really work it on to the paper (to try to get rid of any air bubbles) just make sure you don't crease it at all. When it is upside down put a spirit level on top (which is the cake board which is actually the bottom, confusing lol) and make sure its level.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 12:01pm
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Originally Posted by emma_123 

Well my lovely customer said that would be fine and so I've just covered the cake in white choc ganache and its reasonably smooth.  I just love how solid it feels though, hopefully it'll cover ok.


So if you only use ganache for your cakes do you tell each customer this is what you use or do you just use it anyway?  I'm concerned people might not be keen on the idea as they haven't had it before and wasn't sure what others did.  


Hope the black tier went well snowflakebunny!    

It should cover great but you just will need to be aware that your edges should stay 'sharp' and won't give as much when you apply the icing so is more prone to tearing.  As for telling people, it's written on my website and I'd mention while confirming fillings and flavours but leave it at that unless they expressed concern.  It's different to the norm i think in the UK (atleast for the time being) but anyone I have mentioned it to thus far has usually said, "ooh, more chocolate, great"!  Lol.


And the black tier went pretty well, thanks!  Took 3 attempts to get it right on the 6" deep one (grr) but got there in the end...I hate working with black! :-)

bashini Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 6:55pm
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AHi Emma, I think the weather is to blame for the bubbles to come on the sugar paste. I torte and fill the same day I bake and let it settle overnight. Next day I ganache. I am still working on getting the top of my cakes smooth with ganache. I saw a fab tutorial on FB. I will find it and post the link. So once the cake is ganached, I let it set, on the counter, and then use some warm water to brush over and then cover it with sugar paste. :D

madmuppet Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 4:58pm
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Originally Posted by flowergirl1 

Need help asap please, (Today if possible) think bashina told me this a while back I did write it down,but cannot find it how many eggs (med) would I use in 14oz mix Thank you .

Know its a bit late but I would use 7 eggs to a 14oz mix x

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