I'm new to cake decorating, learning from magazines, blogs, etc. Mainly trial and error!!! I have no problem baking, levelling, filling, or even putting the finishing touches to a cake, but covering the cake is killing me!!! lol.
I use Renshaws ready to roll sugarpaste. I knead until it's pliable, roll on a worktop smeared with Trex, with a non-stick rolling pin and I use spacers so it's not too thin. My kitchen gets quite warm in the afternoon, so I do it either in the morning, or evening. But no matter how hard I try, I always end up with rips, holes or cracks.
Am I doing something wrong? Is there anyway of repairing the sugarpaste without having to cover the mistakes with decorations?
Maybe try other brands of sugarpaste? I personally cannot stand renshaws, I find it way too soft to use!
^^agree. I don't like Renshaws for covering. I just buy it in lots of different colours to use for covering boards and making models.
I seem to be in the minority, and use Renshaws all the time with little issue :) One thing that jumps out is that you say you roll onto Trex? That may not be helping, as that might be causing the sugarpaste to get sticky underneath?
I do use Trex, but only when I'm kneading the icing to warm it up, I put a little on my hands and also on the worktop.
Once it's nice and malleable, I wipe off the work top to get rid of any Trexy smears, and dust with icing sugar. Then I roll out, using 5mm spacers, and making sure I move it around a quarter turn regularly, again to stop it sticking. I also keep brushing off any loose icing sugar that gets on the top, as this will dry the surface out and you'll find you get more cracking.
It's worth trying other brands to though until you find one that works for you, good luck! Lots of people have recommended Sugarpaste Direct as a good alternative.
Agree with Mel above - how much Trex do you use? I never use it on the worktop - in fact I only ever use it when I am working with modelling paste. I just powder the worktop in icing sugar and, if it's a really warm day, a bit of cornflour mixed in (but not too much or the icing will crack for sure). I was wondering if it was too thin perhaps? I always do something wrong when I sugarpaste and dig a thumb in or tear it but usually, because it's not too thin, I can mould it back and smooth it off (or even fill a gap with some royal icing in the same colour to repair) - which is why I ask about the thickness.
AAh yes, the joy of errant thumb jabs! I used to struggle with those too, until someone told me to always move rolled paste with 'extreme jazz hands!' i.e. Hands held with fingers so extended they almost tilt back, away from the icing. Looks hilarious and feels weird to start with, but I have to say my finger jab accidents have almost disappeared :-D
AHi I also had the same problems as you and started a thread asking where I was going wrong and I turned out to be my fondant I now use sugar paste direct and I love it my confidence has grown, I had started to dout myself was cake decorating for me ?? But after buying the new fondant I'm really happy and so are the people I made cakes for it tastes great and colours lovely
Thank you for all your advice!!
I don't use much Trex. I smear a little on the worktop when I'm kneading, I never thought about having to clean it off before rolling!!! I use 6mm spacers, and I turn it regularly. And when I'm lifting the sugarpaste to cover the cake, I use my rolling pin (non-stick) to support the weight.
When I started the thread, I was about to start a corset cake for my hubby (very ambitious of me!!!). I had already brought renshaws flesh coloured sugarpaste, but took your advice about trying another brand. I could certainly tell the difference!!! As carefully as I was, the flesh still tore, but the rest of the cake was so much easier.
Thank you all again!!! x