When Should I Place The Bow?

Decorating By goddessofmath Updated 12 Jan 2015 , 11:00pm by maybenot

goddessofmath Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 2:47pm
post #1 of 20

I'm new to posting in the forums, but I've lurked reading tips for years.  I've been googling since last night, but I can't quite find the answer I'm looking for.  I knew you lovely decorators would know the best answer though.

 

I'm working on an order for a baby shower cake.  The cake is pound cake with a shortening based icing.  The icing dries firm.  I've made a bow (see photo below) out of Wilton fondant (no time to make MMF this time) and added disco dust.  The bow is about 6-8 inches across.  Last night it dried with paper towel supports in it.  I took them out this morning to take the photo, but they're back in now as it dries longer.  It felt pretty firm after drying for 12 hours.   

 

 

The customer is picking up the cake tomorrow, Saturday, at noon for a Sunday afternoon baby shower.
 

Here's my concern & question(s): if I place the bow on the cake tomorrow right before she picks it up (and she keeps the cake in a cool dry place until the shower), are the loops of the bow likely to deflate before the shower?  Will they find moisture in the icing & flatten?  What's the best option?  Should I place it on the cake with the paper towel supports in place, so she can pull them out right before the shower?  Should I place it on the cake, take a photo for her, take the bow off, give it to her separately from the cake, and allow her to set it back on the cake before the shower starts?

 

Anyone with experience in placing fondant decorations 24 hours before an event?

19 replies
-K8memphis Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 3:05pm
post #2 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by goddessofmath 
 

  Should I place it on the cake with the paper towel supports in place, so she can pull them out right before the shower?  

 

 

i vote for this ^^^ and a thought for you is to try and shake off as much loose disco dist as possible so it doesn't get on the cake -- and just be sure the paper towel will remove easy and isn't tucked under anywhere --

 

best to you

goddessofmath Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 3:15pm
post #3 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 

 

i vote for this ^^^ and a thought for you is to try and shake off as much loose disco dist as possible so it doesn't get on the cake -- and just be sure the paper towel will remove easy and isn't tucked under anywhere --

 

best to you


Thanks! Thankfully the disco dust is stuck like glue. I've been experimenting with it, and this time I moistened the fondant with water right after the bow was formed & brushed/sprinkled the dust on.  I was surprised how well that worked.  :)  I need to cut the supports smaller before I hand it off.  :)

-K8memphis Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 3:21pm
post #4 of 20

well done, gom

MBalaska Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 7:12pm
post #5 of 20

This post reminded me of a celebration cake that I saw on one of those New York tv shows recently.  It was presented on the live tv show and it had a big stand up bow on top much like yours.  I laughed as the standing up bow loops still had big pieces of (what looked like) white Styrofoam - holding the loops up.

When the camera cut away and a minute later the cake came back in to camera view...........voila........someone had removed the Styrofoam.    ha! The magic of television.

Jedi Knight Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 8:04pm
post #6 of 20

ADisco dust is non-edible.

maybenot Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 10:33pm
post #7 of 20

Without a drying agent added to it--tylose, cmc, gum tex, gum tragacanth--the fondant may feel very dry from the outside, but it will actually remain somewhat moist on the inside.  I dried blue Wilton fondant stars for 6 weeks in an air conditioned home [dehumidified] and I could still bend them [and when bitten into, they were soft in the center.

 

I would place the bow immediately before pick up, with paper towel supports for the loops in place.  Have the client remove the paper towels right before display.  It should be fine for awhile, depending on the heat, humidity, and icing moisture content.

 

Please tell the customer that the bow must be removed before serving and discarded [not eaten by anyone] because now with disco dust on it, it is considered INEDIBLE and for decoration only.

kblickster Posted 9 Jan 2015 , 10:34pm
post #8 of 20

I made a open gift box cake w/lid cake once and tucked paper towels between the box lid and the fondant tissue I made for added support during transport.  I also left some paper towels inside the bow on top of the box lid.  I showed the client both and told her to remove them once she had the cake where she planned to display it.  I saw pictures of her party later and she never took the paper out.  Totally ruined the look of the cake.

goddessofmath Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 6:36pm
post #9 of 20

Thanks for the tips.  I left paper towel supports in and told her to remove them. I was very specific about NOT putting the cake in the fridge and not keeping it airtight.  She said everyone loved it, so I'm guessing the bow held up. I am typically the one to deliver the cakes right before an event, so this was the longest a cake was out of my hands prior to an event.  Ideally I would have placed the bow right before the shower started.  

 

Here's the finished cake: 


I used fondant on the edges to make it look like a book cover. Even mitered the edges. It's not my best cake, but I was happy with how it turned out, and my customer liked it. 

 

It's not my intention to start a debate on disco dust as I'm guessing it's already been debated on the boards before...  I did tell the customer that I didn't recommend eating the fondant pieces because they wouldn't taste very good. While disco dust is not classified as a food, it is non-toxic, so it shouldn't hurt anyone. I recognize the difference in edible and non-toxic. I wouldn't recommend eating something coated in it, but my family has all eaten it sprinkled on cakes or cookies over the last couple of years with no ill-effects.  It's amazing to me how many cake pops I see posted on Instagram that are filled coated in the stuff (like that top little butterfly in the top right corner). I wouldn't want to eat one of those!

kblickster - I hate to hear that she didn't take the paper out! That would bug the heck out of me if my work didn't look perfect!  That's a bummer.  

maybenot - I just learned about using those additives.  (I'm totally self-taught, so I get my info from reading, my imagination, and copying what I see. I was the main cake decorator at a grocery store back when they actually decorated cakes...) I need to try that next time! 

Jedi Knight Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 6:49pm
post #10 of 20

A.........It's not my intention to start a debate on disco dust as I'm guessing it's already been debated on the boards before...  I did tell the customer that I didn't recommend eating the fondant pieces because they wouldn't taste very good. While disco dust is not classified as a food, it is non-toxic, so it shouldn't hurt anyone. I recognize the difference in edible and non-toxic. I wouldn't recommend eating something coated in it, but my family has all eaten it sprinkled on cakes or cookies over the last couple of years with no ill-effects.  It's amazing to me how many cake pops I see posted on Instagram that are filled coated in the stuff (like that top little butterfly in the top right corner). I wouldn't want to eat one of those!......... [/quote]

Um.

goddessofmath Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 7:00pm
post #11 of 20

A

Original message sent by Jedi Knight

.........It's not my intention to start a debate on disco dust as I'm guessing it's already been debated on the boards before...  I did tell the customer that I didn't recommend eating the fondant pieces because they wouldn't taste very good. While disco dust is not classified as a food, it is non-toxic, so it shouldn't hurt anyone. I recognize the difference in edible and non-toxic. I wouldn't recommend eating something coated in it, but my family has all eaten it sprinkled on cakes or cookies over the last couple of years with no ill-effects.  It's amazing to me how many cake pops I see posted on Instagram that are filled coated in the stuff (like that top little butterfly in the top right corner). I wouldn't want to eat one of those!.........

Um.[/quote]

Yes? I'm sorry. I meant I'm not here to start a fight but did want to share my view since you already did so yourself. I thought that was fair. Is that why you said, "um"? It's hard to tell what you're reacting to here. Can you explain? :)

I honestly was just looking for help on when to place the bow. I didn't realize mentioning the disco dust would be an issue.

maybenot Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 7:08pm
post #12 of 20

I'm working hard to get the word out about not using disco dust on things that will be eaten.  I'm contacting state departments of agriculture, health, and food safety to letting them know about the practice.  If I see it being used on cake pops, cupcakes, fruit, beverages, cookies, or cakes,  I comment on it.

 

I aim to start a debate about using it EVERY single time I see it on something that will, or can, be eaten.

 

The comment that "I've eaten it and it hasn't hurt me or my family" is short sighted.  Disco dust is craft glitter made from plastic, mylar, polyethelene, etc.  No one should eat food with that as an additive.  Small, lightweight plastic particles can stay in the gut, aggregate in the appendix, burrow into intestine walls and become infected, etc.  Those are usually future illnesses, not immediate problems.  Crest is being forced to remove "glitter" in some of its toothpastes because the glitter is burrowing into peoples gums.........

 

Customers trust their bakers to use things that [per many food safety programs] are classified as GRAS--Generally Regarded As Safe.  Plastic sprinkled on food is NOT EVER GRAS.

 

The customer should have been told to remove the disco dust covered items before serving and to throw them away.

Jedi Knight Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 7:12pm
post #13 of 20

A↑ This. I'm on the bandwagon.

goddessofmath Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 7:19pm
post #14 of 20

AAwesome. Well it was all firmly attached to the decorations, and I suggested she remove them. I confused as to why disco dust is sold in cake decorating stores and labeled as non-toxic if it is toxic (as you describe it).

I've been decorating for 12 years & started using disco dust sparingly on some cakes & cookies over the last two years or so. Thank you for the kind education. By the way, as I said, this was my first post to the forum. Guess I stepped right in it.

Jedi Knight Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 7:58pm
post #15 of 20

AIt's not toxic. It's non-toxic. Non-toxic does not mean edible.

maybenot Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 8:00pm
post #16 of 20

Well, they sell it because they can make money off of it.  It's extremely cheap to buy in bulk, re-package, and sell for about 10X cost. 

 

Rationale?  Well, I suppose they sell a lot of "non-toxic plastic decorations", picks, lay-ons, etc., so they lump it in with that.  The shops generally buy it already repackaged & marked as non-toxic, so they assume that the decorator knows what it is and how to use it.

 

It's not toxic.  It's not a food product so it's not edible [meant or expected to be eaten].  Non-toxic means that you won't die/get sick quickly from ingesting it and that you don't have to call poison control if it does get eaten.

 

It's only in the last 2 yrs. that the labels became clearer, with disclaimers about decoration only.  Notice that the label has no ingredients listed.  If it said, "Fine grain craft glitter", sales would plummet......

 

My example is that I can make a cake covered in playdoh, melted crayons, silly putty, and construction paper decos----all non toxic, but clearly it shouldn't be eaten.  It would have an obvious yuck factor.  Sadly, disco dust is shiny and blingy, so it's readily dismissed as an issue.

goddessofmath Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 8:12pm
post #17 of 20

So how much is actually being ingested by a person here?  Again, I understand the difference between edible and non-toxic.  I purchased a container that I'd say had 1 to 2 teaspoons of powder.  Closer to 1.  I have used that same jar on multiple cakes & cookies for 2 years.  Fine dustings every time except this last cake where I adhered it to the bow. I would guess that means a single person is eating a fraction of a fraction of disco dust when I use it.  It's not the same as eating a piece of cake "iced" in play-doh or chowing down on a plastic cake topper.  

 

I did go read the disco dust thread on this forum.  There was mention of people with IBS, Crohn's Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis.  I have UC, and I, again, haven't had an issue from trace amounts of disco dust. Perhaps I'm lucky.

 

I remember a friend of my mom's was a cake decorator.  When I was a little girl, she made this beautiful cake with silver dragees.  They tasted sweet.  While she was decorating, she ate some as she went.  A while later my mom was looking at the container of silver dragees we had in the pantry, and noticed they said "non-toxic, for decoration only" on them. The cake decorator (and my mom) were totally surprised as they'd been eating them for years and had never taken them off of cakes before eating.  While in the USA, dragees are not FDA approved, other countries do sell them as edible.  That last part is curious to me... I know some countries sell disco dust as "edible" as well.  

maybenot Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 10:36pm
post #18 of 20

The world is full of people doing the wrong thing--over and over and over. It gets repeated until a large portion of the population no longer questions it.

 

Like I said, this could lead to a "future" issue--maybe it will, maybe it won't.  Who knows what the "critical load" is for one person?  1 flake, 100 flakes, 10000 flakes--no one knows for themselves, and certainly can't judge for others.

 

It just makes sense that we don't sprinkle food with plastic.  We just don't.  If a fast food chain put glitter on their fries, they'd be sued and out of business immediately.

 

The dragee issue is that they are sugar balls covered in real metal.  The source & type of metal is questionable for human ingestion--because they're not meant to be ingested, the sources for those materials aren't regulated the same way food products are [same issue with plastic glitter, really].  Dragees are now "illegal" in CA.  Those super tiny ones would have the same gut issues as the disco dust, too--getting stuck in folds of the gut, causing possible irritation, infection, etc.  But, once the metal coating is eroded, the sugar would dissolve.  I won't use those, either.  I don't use the larger ones for fear of clients having dental damage.  I roll my own out of fondant and I coat them in FDA approved luster dust.

 

I carry a product liability insurance policy.  Anyone who makes food for the public should do so.  Implied in that policy is that I provide products that are GRAS--generally regarded as safe.  If a client has a problem and my product is to blame, if I did something that I KNOW isn't GRAS [like applying plastic craft glitter to food], then the policy won't protect me from litigation.

 

Overly cautious?  I don't think you can be overly cautious when it comes to what people eat--or when it comes to protecting your own assets, health, & good name. 

 

I know that there are FDA tolerances for certain non-food things that get into food--things like bug parts because flour is made from plants grown outdoors and bugs are part of that environment [so they can't be 100% excluded from flour production]--but when it comes to DELIBERATELY applying something that is not food--sorry, just no excuse, ever.

goddessofmath Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 10:44pm
post #19 of 20

AMaybenot - Thanks for the info. It's fully heard; however, we're not going to agree on this matter. I'm trying to get involved in & enjoy these forums. Hope to see you around with no ill will between us.

To all - I appreciate the advice on the bow. As you can see above all the disco dust stuff, it turned out well, IMO, on the cake, and I was told it held its shape. Keeping the forms in was a great plan!

maybenot Posted 12 Jan 2015 , 11:00pm
post #20 of 20

I don't go around holding grudges.

 

I try very hard to educate and hope that more people will take that education to heart than will not.

 

Change is hard.  It means abandoning the herd.  Even smokers who quit will, at times, regret the choice.

 

Maybe, someday, this will happen here and there will be a change:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2580168/Businesswoman-sold-edible-cupcake-glitter-shredded-plastic-powdered-brass-insisted-safe-despite-repeated-warnings.html

 

My goal is to have the FDA & individual states issue something like this to all food preparers:

 

http://tna.europarchive.org/20140306205048/http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/faq/edibleglitter/

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