Questions For Uk Bakers

Decorating By LilaUK Updated 17 Oct 2011 , 9:12pm by lissyUK

LilaUK Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 10:57am
post #1 of 10

I've been making cakes for years in the US but we just moved to the UK. In the past I doctored cake mixes and made my own frosting. I also used Duff fondant - i found it the easiest to work with. Now, I can't find any of these staples. Is there a pound cake mix I can buy from a supermarket? I tried Regalice fondant and it just stuck to everything. Really soft so I couldn't mold it. Where do I buy gumpaste? A close friend has asked me to make her wedding cake - in 3 weeks - and I have no idea where to get my basic supplies or how to make the cake. Add into that the cake has to be gluten-free and I've never made one before.

Also, what do you use instead of candy melts? What is considered a good molding chocolate? Do you just grab a bar of dairy milk? icon_smile.gif

Please help this novice! I need all I can get

9 replies
idontknow Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 11:53am
post #2 of 10

hi lila, not sure where you are in the UK but i live close to Sugarshack in NW London but still buy most of my cake stuff online from a couple of big stores, cake-stuff.com and the cake decorating company, etc. you can buy ready made gumpaste, like the satin ice brand from those as well as try out different fondants. Sugarshack is great to browse in if you live close by?

to be honest, using cake mixes is very rare in the UK, the supermarkets stock Betty Crocker mixes for a few different cakes, like Devils food, as well have their own brand - I can't advise you on those as I have never used them. i think they are aimed at time-pressed people who want to make a dessert type cake or bake with kids; mostly its standard to bake "from scratch" here.

HTH

jehanmmv Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 12:04pm
post #3 of 10

there are online stores that sell American stuff. I used to live in the US, so i buy a few things online. try www.americansweets.co.uk. they also have next day delivery. they stock a lot of the cake mixes from Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker. Candy melts, you can buy them in most cake decorating shops and they are quite cheap. £2.99 per bag of the wilton ones.

miss_sweetstory Posted 11 Sep 2011 , 12:07pm
post #4 of 10

Hi Lila,
I'm an American living in the UK for 8 years. You do need to make a few adjustments, but over time you'll figure it all out.

1st question, is the friend that you are making the cake for an American or British? Are the majority of the wedding guests American or British? I ask because the expectations of a wedding cake are a bit different.

In reference to fondant (known as sugarpaste in the UK) were you using the Regalice from the grocery or "Professional Regalice" from a cake decorating supply shop. I feel that they perform very differently and I like the Professional Regalice quite a bit (it performs much like Satin Ice if you've ever used that.)

There are several reliable online retailers in the UK. I like Sugarshack, Almond Art, and Design a Cake. If you want gumpaste, you need to look for "Flower Paste"... same thing. If you are doing some modelling, you can add Tylose Powder (CMC) to the fondant to get a good paste.

I can't give you a very good answer on mixes, particularly pound cake as I don't use the British ones.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions, PM, whatever. I will help as best as I can. BTW, I am located in Cambridgeshire so can give specific shop recommendations if you are anywhere near.

LilaUK Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 12:03pm
post #5 of 10

Thank you all!

I don't know - I realise cake mixes are more for the at home baker but I've always found them handy for odd cakes like red velvet, and pound cake is amazing!! Plus super fast and you KNOW its going to turn out well. I will have to start experimenting with recipes but since the wedding is in 3 weeks, I don't really have a lot of time to do that. (Factor in I just moved across the world and my belongings haven't arrived yet)

misssweetstory - thank you for the help. I had used satin ice but I really prefer the duff - u warm it to work with it and it is pretty solid! I only discovered it recently and to be honest - never turned back. I did buy the pro regalice and it felt very moist and soft. I couldn't make any kind of shapes with it.

I actually moved to Scotland - Edinburgh and my friend is Scottish. She wanted a special carved cake and a set of pillows. Not really a big deal but in my current state of affairs, its becoming a bit stressful.

Thank you all for the advice and jehanmv thanks for the site! I will check it out!

Dayti Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 4:40pm
post #6 of 10

I saw this earlier, it might help you. I have no idea if they have a minimum or what their prices are like, but it could be worth checking out!
http://www.psfoods.co.uk/index.html

mumof3 Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 5:20pm
post #7 of 10

Hello there,

It get's quiet frustrating moving and not being able to get what you need. I am from the UK but moved to Riyadh! I have stumbled across corn syrup, but no fondant, I have learnt to make my own now!

Maybe this will help. There is a Cake Decorating exhibition in Birmingham. I think the dates are early November. Suppliers will be coming from all over so you may be able to pick up some stuff. http://www.ichf.co.uk/cake/

Hope this helps.

M_Mischief Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 8:48pm
post #8 of 10

If you don't like the regular sugarpaste that's available here in the UK Karen Davies does a marshmallow fondant that is really yummy and is alot like US fondant http://www.karendaviescakes.co.uk/equip.asp

For pre-made cakes or mixes, Sweet Success is a very reputable place to get them from if you've no time to learn how to bake from scratch. http://www.sweetsuccess.uk.com/vshop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=2&cat=Sponge+Cakes+and+Cake+Mixes

Flower paste is used for fine flower work or you can make Mexican paste for modelling anything that you need to dry hard. There's a great recipe here for Mexican paste http://www.patchworkcutters.co.uk/POM/pom_mexican1.asp

rich833 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 8:22pm
post #9 of 10

I use www.americangoodies.co.uk to get all this kind of stuff, as far as I know, psFoods (mentioned above) are B2B suppliers, not for the public

lissyUK Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 9:12pm
post #10 of 10

I like covapaste if you can't get prof regalice- good to work with and nicer tasting than some. As you're pressed for time, try hobbycraft for supplies. bit overpriced, but they'll have modelling chocolate. I've also bought stuff on eBay- precoloured fondant etc from a seller called knight pilgrim.
Again just holler if you need something specific. I'm usually in a cake shop at least once a week (it's an addiction), so will happily mail you something if you get stuck!

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