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This site is dedicated to sharing what we have learned with you! Enjoy our tutorials, and if you have a question please feel free to ask! I know one of our sugar enthusiasts will either know or try to find the answer.
We all have something to share...and we all have something to learn!
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Life's A Beach!

Life's A Beach!
Celebrate Summer by Creating a Beachy Topper! Click on photo for tutorial!


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Monday, March 29, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs


This started out as an experiment. I had tried other recipes for peanut butter cups, but they never tasted quite right. My husband said they just weren't "peanutty" enough. So like the proverbial mad scientist, I went into the kitchen, determined to make a more "peanutty" peanut butter cup!! After a couple of tries, I made some ingredient adjustments and came up with this recipe. I recommend you use a high quality milk chocolate, but it must be tempered. If tempering chocolate seems too intimidating, you can use milk chocolate flavored candy melts.
****
Jacque's Peanut Butter Cups

1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup peanut butter
2  Tablespoons softened butter
dash salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cups powdered sugar
Melted Milk chocolate ( tempered)


Grind peanuts very fine in a blender or processor. In a bowl, Mix together  ground peanuts, peanut butter, butter, salt and brown sugar. Add Powdered sugar and incorporate until you have a nice dough, about the same feel as a pastry dough. 



If it is too crumbly, add more peanut butter. If too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Roll out on a silicone mat or wax paper about 3/8" thick.


 Using a 3/4" circle cutter, cut out patties and set aside.

Use only what you need. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Fill a medium sized Peanut Butter Cup mold  almost half full with milk chocolate.

Using a stiff artist brush, paint the chocolate up the sides of the molds.

Place peanut pattie in each cup. 

Drop enough chocolate over the top of the patties to fill cups.
 Lightly tap mold on counter to remove bubbles. Place in freezer for 5 minutes. Pop out of mold.




Wash mold and repeat process.
____________________________________________

For Easter Eggs, use a chocolate egg mold.  Form the peanut butter centers into ovals instead of round.
 Follow the directions as shown above.
Pop out of mold for your own Chocolate Peanutbutter Eggs.



Now if you want the Easter Bunny to deliver these, you will have to hide them!
Because they are likely to disappear "mysteriously".  ;-)

*****************************
Photography and Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2010- All Rights Reserved

This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate Bunny Boxes


It just would not be Easter without chocolate bunnies, right? I just had to share with you these adorable chocolate boxes I made. I got the mold here.

They are so cute filled up with candies. And you can eat the whole box! Gotta love that.



Paint the accent areas inside the mold with colored chocolate and a paint brush. It's easier to do if the chocolate is cooled off a bit and a bit stiffer. Don't be too worried about staying exactly in the lines. If you paint out of the lines, just let it air dry, and then use a toothpick to scrape off the excess where you don't want it to be. Use a soft brush to brush out all the "crumbs". Why not pop it in the fridge instead of waiting for it to air dry? Because that will cause the chocolate to release from the mold, and when you try to clean it up with the tooth pick, the whole piece of colored chocolate will pop right out. And then you will cry, and have to start all over.

This is what the outside of the mold looks like after the inside has been painted.



Then fill both cavities with melted chocolate in the color of your choice. Make sure the chocolate is cool to the touch. If it is too warm, it will melt your colored accents and they will run and smear. And then you will cry, and have to start all over again.

Edited to clarify: The above mold is the 2 pieces of the box. One side is the top, and the other side is the bottom part of the box with the cavity for the candies already in there. When you unmold it, the 2 pieces come out as you see in the finished product. I apologize for not getting a photo of the bottom part of the mold empty.


I put it in my freezer for 12-14 minutes, and then the 2 pieces come right out of the mold with a gentle tap. Let them come to room temp in cool room before you touch them. If not, you will get finger marks on the condensation you will not be able to repair. Then you will cry, and have to start all over again.


Isn't he cute???





All packaged up and ready to be delivered by the real Easter Bunny.



Wishing all of you a blessed and peaceful Easter with your family and friends,
Sharon

SugarEdProductions

Tutorial and Photography courtesy of Sharon Zambito
2010
All Rights Reserved
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oops!! How Do I Fix That?!!



Have you ever had those days when it seems like everything keeps going wrong?  I was having one of those while I was making this cake for a bridal show.


I had so much trouble with my black fondant breaking and cracking and pitting!  Used the wrong type of coloring medium!!  Anyway...I was finally able to get my fondant to work and finished up this cake.  The last thing I put on it were the gems.  I did that right before I went to bed.  The gems felt securely on the cake, so off I went to slumberland.

In the morning....I found...OH NO!!!  What the heck!!  Several of the gems had slid down the side  Now what am I going to do!!!!!  I thought that since it was red on white, it would be impossible to remove that huge streak. 

Then I remembered reading somewhere that you can use vodka or lemon extract to clean up the spot!!  Yea!!

I used a Qtip and carefully started wiping the smudge area.  I used several Qtips because they would get really soak up that red and get dirty. 

Volia!!  Like new again!!  I then reattached the gems and was happy how this cake turned out!!

You can also use this method to clean up luster dust mistakes or smears.  If you are painting something on your cake with luster, make sure you think in terms painting a wall in your house.  Use paper towels or pieces of paper like you would drop clothes.  They can be butted right up to the area in which you are painted so that you don't get smudges where you don't want them.  Use very small paint brushes in small areas and wipe them off frequently.

Hope this helps someone in need!! 


Tutorial by Rhonda Christensen
2010
All Rights Reserved

This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coloring Fondant to a Deep Hue


One of the biggest challenges I had when I started working with fondant was how to get a deep red, blue or black.  I usually ended up with a big sticky mess, finally deciding to go to the cake supply store and buy the premade colored fondant.   Using a large amount of gel can change the consistency of your fondant.

Others who have tried using only powdered cake colors find it compromises the elasticisty of the fondant, making it unflexible and difficult to work with.

So I have found several ways to make a deep colored fondant...
I will show the different methods using different colors.

Let's start with the color

BLUE
This method is effective when you need a small amount of fondant for decorating.

Knead blue gel into your fondant until it is a nice robin's egg blue. Your fondant will be barely sticky. Once you find it becoming rather soft stop adding gel color.
Mix about 1/2 tsp blue candy/cake powdered food coloring with a tablespoon of confectioners sugar.
Knead into your fondant.  If you desire a deeper hue, sprinkle a small amount of color
on top and knead into your fondant until your fondant is desired color.

 Double wrap your fondant in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. It will continue to
deepen in color as it sets.
***************************************
Here is a technique for making fondant

BLACK
This method is for achieving a deep black without a lot of mess. It will, however, taste like chocolate!

The easiest way to acheive a nice black fondant is to start with chocolate fondant.

 It is a very dark brown, so by the time you knead in black candy/cake powdered color you will have a nice dark black hue.

**********************************************
Here is another method to make a deep colored fondant.
I will demonstrate the color


RED
This method is effective when you desire a larger amount of fondant to cover an entire cake.

This  is an easy and tastier means to an end.
Make red candy clay using red candy melts.*
It is easy to make candy clay by mixing candy melts with white corn syrup.

Use around 2 parts white fondant to 1 part colored candy clay.

Knead your candy clay into your fondant.

Once your candy clay in incorporated into the fondant, you can deepen the color by adding powdered food color. Knead into the fondant. 

Keep adding powdered color until you achieve a deep red hue.
If your fondant is too soft, knead 1 tablespoon of confectioners sugar at a time until fondant is desired consistency.
Wrap with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container until ready to use.

 I used all three of these methods to color the fondant  used for myThomas the Train pictured below.


Try experimenting with different color candy melts, gels and powdered colors. The more
you practice, the easier it gets to get that dark rich color for your decorating needs.

*
CANDY CLAY RECIPE


1 lb Colored Candy Melts
1/3 cup light corn syrup
Melt Candy Melts following package directions. Stir in corn syrup and Blend will. Place mixture onto waxed paper and let set at room temperature until ready to use.  When ready to use,  knead candy clay until malleable before adding to fondant.


Tutorial and photography by Jacque Benson. copyright 2010 all rights reserved.
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fondant Camo Hat

Camouflage: No easy way out.

Raise your hand if your arms and wrists start to ache the minute you get a camouflage cake order.

Yep, I am seeing quite a few hands going up. Doing camo in buttercream is a rather tedious process. Piping blobs of icing in alternating colors, smoothing, repeat, repeat, repeat.... till either you finish your cake or your arm falls off. Whichever comes first.


A while back I got an order for a camo fishing hat for a little boy's birthday. I wanted it to look very realistic; like a real hat. I did not think buttercream camo would give me the look I wanted. So I started to brainstorm about a way to do it in fondant. An easier and less painful way than buttercream.

Guess what. It wast not easier nor less painful. It was more so. It took for-ev-er. My children had birthdays that I missed in the time it took to do this hat. It was very tedious and labor intensive.

BUT..... it looked friggin' awesome man! It looked like a real fabric hat! People were amazed that it was cake. The press came to my house to report about it. The President called to congratulate me. They put up a plaque in my honor at the Wildlife and Fisheries Museum here in New Orleans. Yes folks, it looked just that good.


Oh wait, none of that happened. That was the exhaustion induced dream I had that night.


Anyway, let me show you guys how to do this technique if you ever lose your mind enough to give it a try:



First I carved 2 layers of round cake to have a slight taper up the sides. I also carved some small indentations into the sides to give the look of rumpled fabric, like a truly worn hat. That was crumb coated and covered with a very thin layer of white fondant.


The camouflage layer was made by putting "puzzle pieces" of the colored fondant together side by side. First I penciled the camo pattern onto a piece of paper, marked them the color I wanted each to be, and then cut those pieces out. Each piece was used as a template to cut out the corresponding color of fondant.


Each piece of colored fondant was stuck to a thin layer of white fondant underneath with a little water. This under layer of fondant was there to ensure that the pieces stayed together and did not fall apart when I picked up the larger finished piece. I kept the whole piece under plastic while I was working on it to prevent it from drying out.


When I got one piece big enough to cover the top of the hat, I used a slightly fabric textured mat on it to give a little bit more of a fabric look. That piece was then glued to the top of the hat with water. And the excess hanging over the sides of the top of the hat was cut off with an exacto knife.


The same process was followed to make a piece to apply to the sides. I used two pieces to wrap around the sides, and covered the side seems later.


Here is one side piece in place and the top edge trimmed flush with the top of the cake.


Here is the 2nd side piece in place, about to be trimmed on top.



The same process was done to cover a cardboard cake circle, which served as the brim of the hat. The cake part was put on top of this cake circle.

Then I used strips of green fondant, and some strings from the clay gun to finish off the cake and hide all of the seems. My stitching tool was used to put a stitching effect on the wider strips of green fondant.

The fishing lures and dog tags were made of gumpaste and painted silver.

I doweled the base cake and put the camo hat on top.

And here is the finished product:



Ta dah! Pretty cool huh? It really did come out great and had a very realistic and clean look. My client and I were both very happy.

Give it a try if you have a chance. If you are like me, you will do it once because the cake artist in you must conquer it. Then you will never do it again. LOL


Seriously, I hope you guys try this. It was time consuming, but very fun to watch it all come together. Be sure to send me pics if you do!


Happy caking,

Sharon

http://www.sugaredproductions.com>
 
The photography and tutorial by Sharon Zambito, SugarEd Productions, all rights reserved- 2009
The preceding tutorial was used with the permission of Sharon Zambito and may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.



SugarEd Productions Presents!


 
TWO NEW

TITLES!



The wait is finally over. Our two newest DVD titles are on sale now! Learn everything you need to  make fantastic sheet cakes!



 
  SHEET CAKE SECRETS DVD 
Sharon Zambito shares with you all of her secrets for making fantastic sheet cakes. Learn four different methods for creating images on your cake, basic airbrushing techniques, borders in both buttercream and fondant, fondant decorations and a lot more. Watch Sharon decorate three cakes from start to finish. This 2 disc set includes special bonus items as well. Almost five hours of instruction at a great price!
 


 
 lagniappe dvdBONUS LAGNIAPPE DVD

 
Sharon shares with you even more techniques that you can use to bring your sheet, single layer, and tiered cakes up to the next level. The techniques taught in this DVD compliment the instruction in the Sheet Cake Secrets DVD, but also stand alone and may be used on many different cake styles and shapes. Run time: 25 minutes.
 


NEW TOOLS USED IN DVD:

 FENCE CUTTER
ROPE TWIST CUTTER
DAISY PLUNGER CUTTERS
 
 


VISIT OUR BLOG:
 

 

 
 


 

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The Tutorials This Week Were Generously Shared by

SHARON ZAMBITO, BOBBIE NOTO, RHONDA CHRISTENSEN & JACQUE BENSON

Thank you
thank you pictures

And to ALL of our Readers...

ENJOY EACH DAY!

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Think CHOCOLATE!

A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto

A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto
Who doesn't love old fashion homemade ice cream? I'll show you how, in my video tutorial, to Create and Decorate Retro Ice Cream Cookies! Click on photo to see the video tutorial!

How adorable is this?

How adorable is this?
This darling creation is the brilliant work of Yanira Rivera, a member of our SugarTeacher's Facebook group.

How Yummy does this sound? Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!

How Yummy does this sound?  Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!
A great recipe shared by Rhonda Christensen. Click on photo to see this blog post.
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