Advantages of Modeling Chocolate

Why use Modeling Chocolate instead of gum paste or fondant for some projects??? Modeling chocolate is very forgiving. You can work on the same project for days instead of minutes, and if you add another piece to the project, the “seams” can be made invisible, as the heat of your hands melts the chocolate surface just enough. Modeling Chocolate is my friend. When I made “The Lady”, I worked for days to get her just right. I could not have done that with either fondant or gum paste. Another big advantage is that the customer can keep a figure that has been sculpted from modeling chocolate for a room decoration… and sometimes for quite some time (though I would not eat a modeling chocolate figure that has been gathering dust on the shelf for the last year). Enjoyable, Edible Art. That’s what it’s all...

My Homemade Vanilla Marshmallow Fondant

Deb Miller’s Vanilla Marshmallow Fondant This is my recipe for Vanilla Marshmallow Fondant. It’s very smooth to work with, drapes beautifully, and tastes somewhat like candy corn. I’ve been asked for the recipe, so I figured I’d finally write it down and share it. It’s color is a perfect match to my homemade butter cream. It is not a bright white. It has more ingredients than many recipes, might take a little longer to make, but it is worth it. Enjoy! ….Doubles well. Ingredients: 1/3 cup – shortening (and more as needed to grease hands while working) 16 oz. – mini marshmallows 2 TBLSP – water 1/4 cup – salted butter 1/2 tsp. – clear butter flavoring 1 TBLSP – glycerin 2 TBLSP – corn syrup 1 1/2 tsp. – clear vanilla Approx. 2 3/4 lb. Sifted 10X confectioners’ sugar 1 1/2 to 2 TBLSP Tylose (as needed for your project) This recipe makes about 3 lb. 13 oz. fondant. Recipe Doubles well. Directions: If you plan to melt marshmallows, etc. in the microwave, use a large glass bowl. You can also melt them in a large, greased bowl over a pan of water on the stove. The choice is yours. If you use the microwave, heat it in short spurts, and check and stir often. It’s WAY faster to use the microwave. 🙂 Grease large bowl with the 1/3 cup shortening. Add the marshmallows, water, and butter (cut in pieces). Heat, stirring often, until it is smooth and melted through. Remove from heat, and stir in Butter Flavoring, Glycerin, Corn Syrup, and Vanilla. Either lightly grease a mixer...

Counting the Cost of Custom

Ever wonder why custom cakes cost so much more than cakes from the grocery store? I’ll try to compare, but honestly, there is not much to compare. The grocery store usually has X number of cakes to choose from. They have lots of layers mass-baked, for you and a number of other people. That fluffy white icing comes in a lovely white plastic 5-gallon bucket, and the raspberry filling was squeezed out of a see-through plastic sleeve that was on the shelf with all the other kinds of fillings. They purchase in bulk through the store chain, so the ingredients cost very little. The cake bases, cardboard circles, etc. are there, as there are only so many sizes of cakes offered. Customizing? That may vary some from one store to another. Production is key. Get it done fast. They will probably sell it to you at a price that barely breaks even, knowing that when you pick up your cake, you will probably purchase all the chips, soda, burgers, etc. that you need for the party. Now lets go custom: I’ll be asking you lots of questions…  How many people are you serving? Is this the only dessert? Do you need larger servings, or “typical” wedding-sized servings? Do you have an idea in mind? You want a 6-tier cake shaped like a kangaroo? Time to sketch the cake plans, to make sure it feeds everyone, and will stand upright. A few hours of planning, drawing up the contract, meeting with the customer, emailing… Vanilla-Almond Sour Cream cake with raspberry filling? I’ll be going to the grocery store and paying...

How many servings are there?

An IMPORTANT tidbit of information for when you shop for a wedding cake… SERVING sizes vary, depending on the baker / bakery. Here is an example: When you go to W**-Mart, they have a handy-dandy little brochure that shows some of their wedding cakes. If you look closely, you will see that the serving size is for a 1 inch X 1 inch X 4 inch tall serving. Here is where it gets interesting. They say you will have 134 servings from a 3-tiered cake, based on a 6 inch tier, an 10 inch tier, and a 12 inch tier. Apparently my servings are much more generous. In my book, that is only 83 servings. I sell a 6 inch tier as 8 servings…. W**-Mart says that same tier is 16 servings. My 10 inch tier is 30 servings…. W**-Mart says that is 48 servings. My 12 inch tier is 45 servings…. W**-Mart says that feeds 70 people. You might think you are getting SO MUCH MORE cake for the money at the Big Box stores or the grocery store, but if they are postage stamp-sized servings, you had better hope your caterer knows how to cut that cake into slivers, or you will run out of cake in a...