A Thread For All Uk Bakers!!

Decorating By hailinguk Updated 18 Aug 2016 , 2:18am by -K8memphis

nannycook Posted 1 Mar 2014 , 3:52pm
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AHi cakesbydeborah, I'm not far from you in Blackwood, on Facebook as nannycookscakes, I use the same recipes as you and I also bake it in two as it give s fab deep sponge.

natt12321 Posted 1 Mar 2014 , 5:09pm
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ANice to see local people! (well relatively anyway!)

I'm in Swansea, been making cakes for 3+ years, but finally went into business 3 months ago.


I always use VS for my cupcakes but I use a 'genoese' recipe for my larger cakes cos its stays moister longer than VS imo.

nannycook Posted 1 Mar 2014 , 5:58pm
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ANatt love your cakes, I have to make a minion cake Next week alittle different from yours as they want a round cake.

Mel37 Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 12:07pm
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AWow, how has it taken me so long to spot this thread?! Doh!

My name is Mel and I currently work from home (after quitting my horribly dull day job last year) near Oxford. Been baking and decorating for years, but finally got the guts to start my business after a bit of a life 'wake up call' and I realised that life's too short not to at least try and do something that makes you happy! And so far it's going really well :)

Looking forward to chatting to you all more!

Oh and can I just say - I just spotted your avatar Snowflakebunny, and OMG I saw that cake at Cake Intl last year and I totally fell in love with it!! It's so amazing, I took so many pictures to try and figure out how you constructed that, it's gorgeous!


swordfish Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 1:04pm
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ive made a madeira cake and iced and used chocolate buttercream ive been let down by someone wanting it that was 2 wks ago could someone please tell me if it is still edible, or is it ready for the  dustbin :( i would be grateful for any reply many thanx .

bashini Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 2:45pm
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Hi swordfish,


If you have put it in the freezer, then yes. You can use it. You can keep a cake in the freezer up to 3 months. If not, then chuck it in the bin. HTH.  :) 

swordfish Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 3:28pm
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hi bashini,

 many thanx for your reply bin it is then .:(

nannycook Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 4:17pm
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AHi Mel, I wished I had the guts to do the same as you, quit my job and have my hobby army job, love doing this so much more.

Mel37 Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 7:10pm
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AHi Nannycooks :)

It was really scary, but DH & I went through some personal stuff last year which made us reevaluate things, and decided life was too short not to at least try and see if I could do this. We are really fortunate that I could do this though and I totally love DH for supporting me! I've given myself to the end of the year to see if we think it's going to be a viable business, and so far things are going pretty well :)


nannycook Posted 2 Mar 2014 , 8:40pm
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AYes Mel I know what you mean, however my husbands was made redundant few yrs ago so I'm the bread winner now, if he hadn't I definitely would do it, I'm really trying to build up my business, and I am turning people down as I cant fit them in, I work every Sat too so my only option is to make them after work at night and on my day off in the week, I get tired and irritable as this is what I want to do, its making that jump though.

Mel37 Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 11:45am
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AOh no, sorry to hear about your husbands job :( Hopefully you will get your chance one day though, it certainly sounds like you have the customer base to make a go of it if you are that busy! :)

chasingmytail Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 12:23pm
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Hello! My name is Ceri and I'm from just outside Newport SE Wales.  I only do cakes for close friends and family.  I have a farm, construction business, house renovation and two young boys so I'm limited on time to concentrate.  I have done the sums and its not a profitable business for me. I worked out I'm only making £20 profit on the odd cake which is not an option.


Looking at the amazing standard and quality of cakes made in this area I cant compete with the standard and levels expected by the top end. If I did consider doing cakes in the future I would aim to the higher end as you are battling with so many other homebakers/supermarkets when doing value cakes.


So I just do the odd cake when it suits me.  I enjoy the crafting and taking ideas and implementing them into my design. My boys expect a great cake now at birthdays so no pressure!!!


Like you Nanny I do much late at night which is no good as last night I was in bed 8pm as I get very fatigued. Coupled with spending time on the rowing machine (which is killing me!).

chasingmytail Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 12:33pm
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I'm looking at feedback on what is the best sugarpaste to use for larger cakes.  I have a plain wedding cake to do.  I cant afford it to tear or elephant skin.


So far I have read Satin Ice or Covapaste is great for coverage.  Because I dont need a lot of SP cost is not an issue.  


Taste wise Regal is horrible.  I used a Sainsburys one last week and was surprised how nice it was yet too soft.  If you had a soft SP could you add gumpaste/Tag to it at a percentage to give the strength? I can afford for tearing on the corners it was to be firm too if the cake is plain.


What about Sattina, Squires Kitchen? Anyone got good reviews on this one? It has to be firm and taste ok.


Because I chocolate ganche I do get bits on the SP so considering double layer, 1st one to cover the chocolate to prevent any contamination from my fingers. As for thickness it it an issue as the guests only have a finger piece so the SP is only on the very top.


Thanks in anticipation.

catsmum Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 4:30pm
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I used SatinIce once and liked it. I also used Renshaws Regal Ice Celebration (Ivory) for the wedding cake in my photos. Generally I use the Tesco sugarpaste for most of my cakes. I can tell you though that over the weekend I used Renshaws Décor Ice for the Ferrari cake I made (photo posted today) as I needed a deep red and frankly it was the worst sugarpaste I have ever worked with - far too soft,  even before I had to start adding extra red colour to deepen the shade. Hopefully it and I will never have to come together again!  It's a pity though because they have a good range of colours.

chasingmytail Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 5:03pm
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Quite amazing Catsmum you obviously are very talented with scale models. ! Fantastic


How do I view your photos?  I struggle to see - I can see your posts but not photos?

chasingmytail Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 5:10pm
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Sorry - found the photos right down the bottom of the page!! Catsmum on the Shimmer wedding cake - was this an ivory cake that you brushed shimmer over - or better technique? Ta

catsmum Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 5:15pm
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Originally Posted by chasingmytail 

Sorry - found the photos right down the bottom of the page!! Catsmum on the Shimmer wedding cake - was this an ivory cake that you brushed shimmer over - or better technique? Ta

Yes it was the Celebration Regal Ice brushed over with an edible lustre.


I've just found that Renshaws have had to change the name of their RegalIce  to Décor Ice for legal reasons according to a Google entry. Given the experience with the Poppy Red paste at the weekend I would now be worried about using the Celebration paste again in case it was of the same consistency.  However I have a wedding cake to do in April so I have to find a solution.

chasingmytail Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 5:29pm
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Not fussed on Regal Ice, I find it I get stretching and elephant skin plus not the best tasting.  I have read on another thread Sugarpaste Direct.


So far then I have Covapaste, Squires & SPD.  Read a few on Satin Ice and mixed reviews seeing that I'm a amateur too so have a habit of poking my finger through.


Sattina have some lovely vintage colours that I like (same as Squires).

LisaPeps Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 6:25pm
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AIf cost is not an issue the best fondant to use is Carma Massa Ticino which you can get from town and country fine foods.

bashini Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 9:12pm
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AHi chasingmytail,

Welcome to the thread. I always use covapaste and it is so much easier to handle. Recently I tried Satin Ice and loved it. I love the vanilla flavour smell it has. But it is a bit more softer than Cova paste. :-D

Lizzybug78 Posted 5 Mar 2014 , 12:20am
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ASugarpaste direct do the nicest pastes I've used. They taste good (as good as it can anyway) and it's not too expensive.

It's quite firm but not at all dry, and it's been good for cracks /elephant skin so far. The only other paste I use is Sattina when I want a specific shade (their pale green is lovely), but it's more expensive and imho is not *quite* as nice to work with.

I didn't like covapaste much at all, and Satin Ice is hideously expensive. Seeing as I felt it's on a par with the Sattina for quality I can't justify spending out for it.

Steer well clear of tesco own. After they 'improved' the recipe I found it awful to work with.

natt12321 Posted 5 Mar 2014 , 1:11am
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Originally Posted by Lizzybug78 

Steer well clear of tesco own. After they 'improved' the recipe I found it awful to work with.


I did for the first couple of months too, but now I wouldn't see any reason to buy anything else, I only use Tesco cos I think it's great to work with AND it's the cheapest I have found. £13.20 for 6kg!

Relznik Posted 5 Mar 2014 , 8:39am
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Sugarpaste Direct for me!!  :grin:

Lizzybug78 Posted 5 Mar 2014 , 9:19am
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Originally Posted by natt12321 


I did for the first couple of months too, but now I wouldn't see any reason to buy anything else, I only use Tesco cos I think it's great to work with AND it's the cheapest I have found. £13.20 for 6kg!

Different strokes and all that :)


The Sugarpaste Direct one is £14 (white) for 5k or £16 (coloured) with free delivery, so not hugely more expensive, and to me it's much nicer to work with. 

chasingmytail Posted 5 Mar 2014 , 2:17pm
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Thanks all so so much will order SPD Ivory.


I assume more experienced decorators can work with types of SP.  I have read so many mixed reviews on Tescos but was really impressed with Sainsburys taste but like I said too soft.  I'll def use the supermarket ones for modelling etc but for coverage on a wedding cake I need something extra special.

sugarluva Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 10:36am
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Hi everyone,


I have been a lurker on this forum for a while and have just discovered the UK thread. I am based in Manchester and although I love reading all of the US tips and advice it is very frustrating to have to constantly Google UK alternatives for ingredients. I did start reading this thread from page 1 because there was so much advice but by the time I had gotten to page 31 and realised there were 220 pages in total I thought it best to give up and jump to the end otherwise I'll never get anything done!


I have been baking cakes for about 18 months now and have been told time and time again I should turn it into a business. I do already run my own business (pet sitting) and am so busy with that I don't think I have any time for anything else at the moment but I do like to bake for family and friends functions. I am building up my confidence with my larger cakes but I am definitely my own worst critic and I never feel like they're perfect enough. 


My biggest problem comes with actually covering the cakes with fondant. I can make models and details OK and I don't have a problem with baking the actual cakes, but try as I might I always get problems with covering the cakes. I have been using Tesco's own brand fondant icing purely for price reasons and thought it was just me but after reading a few reviews maybe it is the brand? The last cake I did was worse than ever - I was attempting a 3 tier cake. Every tier was made with Tesco fondant, each coloured by me using different brand of gel colouring (I am working on buying all the sugarflair colours slowly but surely as I love them!) but each tier just tore and creased and had awful cracks around the corners. I was tearing my hair out by the end and had to do an awful lot of cover up work on it. 


No one at the party knew the cracks were there by the end and they loved it but I just feel like its the only thing holding my back now. Does anyone have any tips? I have tried everything, rolling it thicker/thinner, not colouring it etc. Shall I just swap brands completely do you think? Does anyone know of any other brands that are good for the same price?


Sorry that turned into a longer intro than I intended! Love all of your cakes on here by the way you are all so talented!

natt12321 Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 10:44am
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AAs someone who loves tescos and has no problems with it I can't help with the other brands cos that's all I use although if you look back a couple of posts there are suggestions from others of what they use. Very few pastes are even close to the price mark of Tescos though. I find with any pastes you need to practice practice practice. Perhaps get a dummy came and just practice covering that until you are happy about how its turning out? Its a little bit different on

maisie73 Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 11:16am
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AI've been following this thread for a week or so and another one about fondant, can't remember what it was called though! Anyway, I usually use Tesco's because of price but use Satinice for a special cake - really expensive though. Someone on the other thread said Sainsburys is good and that's probably a similar price to Tesco, someone else said Covapaste which I found on Ebay for £20 for 5kg, so not too much more.

maisie73 Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 11:19am
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A"How do you cover up mistakes etc on sugarpaste" is the thread with everyone's suggestions for the best fondant. Hope it helps. :-)

sugarluva Posted 7 Mar 2014 , 11:25am
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If other people aren't having a problem with the Tesco fondant then maybe it is me. If it's not a problem with the product then I will definitely just keep practising as it's so much cheaper than any other I have found so will be worth it if I can get it right. Any idea of what I am doing wrong? I roll out using a slight dusting of icing sugar. I knead for a long time before I start rolling especially if I have coloured the fondant myself. I also pick it up using the fold over rolling pin method and then put it straight on the cake (after buttercream). Last time though it just tore on all the edges and cracked on all the corners straight away before I could even do anything with it. Maybe it's just me. I have watched lots of videos of how to do it so maybe I just need to keep practising.


I have attached a pic of the last cake I made (it was to launch my Dad's new business so it was a play on the super hero cakes I have seen going around - with the top tier changed for his business logo). It's not perfect and I am disappointed with the outcome. I had to cover up most of the cracks and tears using the capes which were precoloured fondant so weren't as bad as the Tesco stuff. 




People loved it like I say but I can see every crack and bulge in the sides and it drives me mad! :(

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