October 20, 2011

Adding Knowledge To Your Base

Over the past months, I really feel like I'm starting to learn something about cake decorating! Finally! After many mistakes and mishaps, my cakes are coming out better than ever. I'm feeling great and encouraged that I really do know what I'm doing and then it happens: the fondant on my cake board cracks at the delivery site when the cake is moved; a gumpaste figure looses it's key feature piece when moved out of the car and it's too late to do anything about it; my gumpaste monkey seems to be shrinking as his legs are lost in his boots, buckling under the pressure of his body. Great! I guess I don't know anything after all!

My mishaps and overconfidence in my ability is identical to my relationship with God. Things get going well, I'm learning more about him, my life is going great and I think I start to figure him out. Then it hits. My life seems to fall apart as I realize how little I really do know about God and I absolutely cannot predict his next move! It's a humbling feeling and a lesson that I fear I'll be learning until the Lord finally lets me come home.

Isaiah records in chapter fifity-five, verses eight and nine, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (ESV, 2001) God is so much bigger than I am and my human brain will never be able to understand why he does what he does. He will open my small eyes to many of his great wonders and ways, but not all of them and not all at once. God is big and mysterious, but he is always good.

Humbled as I now am knowing how little I really do know, I have been given a choice to continue down a path thinking that I know everything and stumbling through cakes and going through countless boxes of tissue to deal with the disappointing outcomes, or I could admit my weakness and look to God for help. I'm not the smartest, but I'm not stupid enough not to request help when it's available! In response to my cry for help, I was blessed with lots of new information, tips and tricks for constructing a cake! I am now humbled in my weakness and ready to listen and learn all I can and feeling so blessed by how God has chosen to provide exactly what I needed to know!

In case you didn't know this either, I'd like to show you the secret to constructing a base for your cake.

For a thick sturdy base, use 3 cardboard cake boards and glue together. One decorator suggested turning the boards so the coragated lines where going in opposite directions. I found that the cardboard circles I have were not cut perfectly therefore that concept would make the edge look sloppy even after covering with a ribbon, so my lines all went the same direction. I prefer using tacky glue for this job.

To ensure that the cardboard cicles are as close together as possible, I set something heavy and just smaller than the cicle on top. In this case, my flour jar works perfect! For larger boards, I use a glass bowl turned upside-down.


If you are going to cover your board with a decorative paper or liner, do that now. A little tip: put down the aluminum foil! If that's your only option, get a cake board covered in a plastic coating and just leave it exposed. A ribbon around the edge will hide the yucky edges. I promise, this looks much more professional than aluminum foil! For fondant covered cakes, a fondant covered board looks best, but for buttercream cakes, I prefer to use Wiltons Fanci-Foil Wrap in aluminum. It's a little pricier, but it looks great! For many of my buttercream cakes, I do cover the cake boards in the same color fondant.

This next step makes the difference in how easy it is to pick up your cake! Take a single cake board that is one size smaller (if your cake board is 12 inches you'll want a 10 inch cake board) and glue the smaller board to the bottom center. At this point you can cover the board with fondant if desired and add a decorative ribbon around the edge. The end result is a cake board you can get your fingers under making picking up your cake a breeze without running the risk of cracking the fondant on your board. Customers won't even realize the riser underneath the cakeboard, but I promise the difference is well worth putting one more item into your cake!

Hope this makes your next cake a little easier to handle!

God Bless!


October 1, 2011

The Glue That Holds Us Together

Life can take us by surprise. One minute we're feeling put together and on top of the world then a moment later things seem to fall apart. My heart often feels that way. It often feels broken and in need of serious gluing to keep it all together. While I was working on the finishing touches of a cake this morning, God gave me a clear image of what goes on daily in our hearts. This cake had been going so well and I was finished hours before it's delivery time when the arm of one of the gumpaste figures broke in half. I ran to get the glue and carefully held her arm on, putting this task as my priority. I would stand there as long as it took for the glue to take hold of the broken pieces of her arm.

We live in a sinful world, full of brokeness. There is joy, thank you Lord for that, but each one of us will experience brokeness; that's a guarantee. My heart is broken today and it feels beyond repair. I rejoice that God is there, he sees my broken state and as I write he's putting glue on the broken pieces of my heart and holding it together for me as long as it takes for healing to take place. Brokeness was never God's plan for us, but he'll be there everytime to glue us back together.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope. Then you will call upon me and aI will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Mixing Tylose Powder Glue

You will need:

Tylose powder
Warm water
Small container for storing glue
1/4 teaspoon

Tylose is a gum powder and when used in fondant, produces the product gum paste. This particular form of gum, can be used to make edible glue. Keep the glue mixture stored in the refrigerator and it will last months (bad when it smells or looks cloudy). This particular bottle is a 2 oz bottle and if just used for glue, will last a long time.

To make glue, place 2 tablespoons of warm water into your container and add in 1/4 teaspoon of
Tylose powder.

Give the mixture a little stir (2 or 3). It will look like a mess! Put the lid on your container and place in refrigerator overnight.

As it sets, the mixture becomes clear. Use to adhere fondant or gumpaste pieces together. Glue will dry clear and works great in humidity!