what new toys would you get?
I have an amazing, wonderful, extremely supportive husband. And God bless that man, he gave me $500 to support my cake hobby for my birthday so I could get whatever craziness I've been dreaming of. I am just a hobbyist for the next few years until my girls are older (2& almost 1) so no Agbay or anything like that.
So far I've upgraded from Wilton to Magic Line pans courtesy of an amazon.com sale. I've stocked up on some petal dusts. I bought a heat lamp, torch, and another silpat for sugar work. And thanks to being thrifty I've still got a ways to go to spend this money.
SO! What do you just have to have or want desperately?! I need some ideas! Come on, people, live vicariously through me!
If you do fondant, get the Mat. You'll never regret it.
You HAVE to have an Agbay!!!!
I'd honestly get an Agbay. I hate hate hate my Wilton leveler. The small one always breaks and the big one is useless. I'm better off leveling it by hand with a knife! But if you don't really need that, I'd stock up on some cool fondant cutters and molds! I'm always finding new ones that I want but don't have the money to buy. And tappits...or something to make cool letters with because the Wilton letter cutters are U-G-L-Y!!
Just save whatever money you have left over. ANd when you see a cake toy you want to buy you have the money on hand. Just a suggestion.
AGBAY! I got mine as a hobbiest and I love it. I have the single blade and love it. The junior is out now but if you have the budget I would totally go with the wider one. When you need it, it really pays to be able to level the larger cakes.
After the Agbay for me it would be a Cake Safe but as a hobbiest that may not be high on your list so I then recommend the entire Sugar Shack DVD collection. www.sugaredproductions.com
It totally raised my decorating level.
The pans would be high on my list but you have those. For now the Agbay and the DVDs. Oh do you have a good support system. I keep several sets of SPS. If you are a hobbiest you normally are at the parties with the cake so I do resuse the plates and I use the legs a couple of times.
What a great hubby!
Oh DUH just thought of something else. CAKE BOSS software. Now you're going to tell me that you're just a hobbiest. Ummm, you still so need this software. It tells you how much money you have invested in your cake, it makes your shopping list. It's awesome. It is definitely a splurge but I love mine. And it tracks your orders even if they're just for friends and family
Hmm, Agbays are really that nice huh? I've been using my 14" Fat Daddio's knife and 2 - 1" PVC pipes to level and been fine with that so far. I figured if using 2 pipes worked to level sand for our patio I could apply the same principles to cake cutting. I may have to think about it.
And yes, I do have the Mat already. Come to think about it, I'm surprisingly well stocked having only been at this for just a year. I don't want to blow it all now, but I do like to get ideas.
Now, I could use some Tappits. Or an extruder. But for some reason I keep bumping them down the list. I usually pipe words if I need them, but that funky letter font is pretty fun.
The DVDs would be a good investment too. See, this is why I need you guys. Because I would walk into Sweetwise and walk out broke.
And yes, he is a great husband, and even more importantly a great father. You should have heard him the other day. He threw me a surprise 30th last week at the local skate center, and got me a Rainbow Brite cake from Publix. I have turned him into a total cake snob and he doesn't even know it. The cake was perfectly fine, I was happy with it of course. But he was looking at it, "I can't believe they told me they could pipe this and then had to back out and use an edible image. And they couldn't even leave the border on! I mean, what's with having a border on only one side? If they had just told me they couldn't pipe it from the beginning I would've sized it and brought it in myself." Then he told me how he actually had watched me enough that he really thought he could make me a cake, but backed out b/c he couldn't surprise me with it since it would take so much time in another kitchen. He had planned out a shoebox cake with a removable lid made of RKT, whole thing covered in fondant, and there would be a hollow spot with edible pictures of me growing up inside. Haha, I wouldn't even take that project on yet! He's got a lot of ambition.
Enough rambling about him though, I'm starting to brag too much. Back to caking. What else!? Any books you just could die for?
Oh! And the cakeboss software... I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. Right now i'm just doing 1-2 cakes a month that are decorated, and trying out recipes in between those. I keep an excel spreadsheet for every cake I do. I have a template I use to estimate what my cost is going to be, then another page for what the actual cost comes out to with notations of how long it took to make it, and then another one for expenses like how much I spend in ingredients. That way I can see what comes in, what goes out, how long it takes. I just started this last month so I can go back and compare every few months. I'm a little crazy about it, and I love spreadsheets.
I do want to get some SPS stuff though. Right now I haven't done anything over a 2 tier, so I've used bubble tea straws, but I may make my friends wedding cake as a gift in March and want to use it before then.
How fun! I would get the Magic Line pans for sure. Then I would get either an airbrush machine or the Cricut. I have been wanting those for a while.
2. Sugarshack DVDs (going with the majority on here)
3. Some SPS parts
4. savings account
I would use the money to take a hands on class from Jennifer Dontz, Nicholas Lodge - or someone close by.
I would honestly get a bunch of things that make your decorating time easier. If you're not doing that many cakes, a serrated knife is just fine. But that's just me, I have an Agbay and hardly ever use it because I'm lazy and like my big knife.
I love my tappits, I love my extruder, I love my pearl molds, I love my artist's brushes. I also can't do without my Ateco nesting cutters- squares, teardrops, circles, flowers, etc.
I also have some go-to petal and leaf molds that are kind of all inclusive.
I would run off to Chicago and spend it all buying the house drinks and listen to Buddy Guy. I have no room left for any new cake toys.
IF you don't have one, a nice heavy turntable is wonderful! I have the fat daddio 12 x 5.5 with a cast iron base. It can hold a 5 tier (14, 12, 10, 8 and 6). It's wonderfully level, never wobbles. I think it's one of my best cake investments.
One of the tools I use over and over again is the set of flower cutters from Wilton. I kind of use them for everything. I try to use things that have multi purpose, and I try to look at things and use them for multi purpose.
I don't think purchasing a good set of professional food coloring gels will let you down either. Americolor was worth every dime and I love the small squeeze bottles!
And if you really wanted to go big, and you've not made the plunge, a nice mixer would be a worthy investment.
Agbay. No question.
Like you, I am an extraordinarily well stocked hobby baker (almost 2 years). However, if I had $500 I'd spend it in a heartbeat for an Agbay.
That leaves $270 after shipping.....
Find a class that sounds fascinating and GO! Classes not only expand your skills, but they are SO much fun! You are with like-minded, passionate people and it's very much like a mini vacation.
And if you are doing fine torting larger cakes with your PVC and 14" knife, skip the Agbay and spend it ALL on classes.
I can't cake without my KitchenAid mixer, stainless steel putty knife and Ateco metal turntable and a pasta machine/roller. My husband gave me a 6ft. stainless table for my shop oh and a Cricut cutter, love that.
I want an extruder, some DVD's, new books, gumpaste flower cutters, and I want to take some gumpaste flower classes.
SammieB~~So.........what ARE you getting?
Air brush, hands down. I don't know how I did cakes before I got mine. And I'm also just a hobby baker.
Haha, so far I've gotten a whole new set of Magic Line pans, som fresh vanilla beans, and sme stuff for sugar work. I think I'm going to take a class on gumpaste flowers at Sweetwise and pick up some materials for that. I may get a new turntable too, and a Sugarshack dvd if I can stretch it that far. And some tappits. Gah! I'm so picky I can't decide. Reminds me of the quote on "Friends": "Oh no! Two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. I can't fit all these $50's in my wallet and my diamond shoes are too tight!" I shouldn't really be bothered by this dilemma, huh?
Keep us informed on your final decisions. I've heard wonderful things about Sweetwise and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her free videos. All of the SugarEd Production videos are fabulous.
No doubt, hands down, I would get an air-brush system. I have been wanting one for forever.