Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Make Wafer Paper Roses- Video

Here's a little video showing how to do wafer paper roses...Super simple. Just use the styrofoam centers, not the ones I used in the video. They were too slippery for my liking.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA

Monday, September 15, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: Chocolate Flowers

Craftsy Logo Chocolate Flowers was taught by Erin Gardner, who also did the Cakes In Full Bloom class. In this class she demonstrates a couple of ways to make different flowers out of chocolate, which is a good thing in terms of tasting better than gumpaste, but not so good in terms of melting.

Let me tell you about the monkey-iced cake...I was delivering a cake to a venue that had three separate reception locations on site. My cake was going to one of the outdoor areas, and it was 102 degrees that day. I told them that I was going to leave the cake at the indoor venue and they could move it to the outdoor venue right before the reception.

As I was putting my cake on the table I saw that there was a wedding cake that had been left there too. It looked like a blindfolded monkey had iced it and the flowers were melted because they were made from chocolate. Not a good choice on a 102 degree day. I think that whoever had made it had delivered it to the outdoor venue nearby and someone had noticed that it was melting and brought it inside, but it was too late. There was going to be one angry bride there later that day.

So that taught me two things. First, I want everyone to use the term "monkey-iced" as a normal part of conversation, and two, you shouldn't use chocolate flowers in the heat. So if you're going to do these, make sure they're a good choice for your needs.

This class covers the basics of tempering chocolate, but I suspect that there were more candy melts involved than was implied here. You can use either real chocolate or candy coating for her techniques, which aren't anything super new if you've made chocolate flowers before.

She uses tinfoil forms, veiners, molds and that kind of thing to make the flower petals and leaves, then shows you how to assemble them. She also includes a cake that's royal icing painted with brown food coloring to look like bark to make a tree stump cake.

If you've never worked with chocolate before I'd say that you should be able to follow along pretty easily, but some of the questions that people were posting seem to indicate a level of confusion that I was kind of surprised by. So maybe it's not as simple as I thought it was, but she did go over everything you'd need to know (or so I thought until I read some of the questions.)

I'd say that this class would be good for chocolate beginners or for people who have experience with gumpaste and want to try something different. If you live in the tropics or somewhere that's hot all the time don't bother. It's doubtful that you'd be able to use chocolate much unless you have a really good system for transportation that will avoid any exposure to hot air at all.

My final review:

Skill Level: I'd say beginner, but maybe not. Maybe for adventurous beginners.
Equipment you'll need: veiners, molds, etc.
Sleep-Inducing level: Pretty snoozy.
What it assumes you already know: Gumpaste basics, how to handle fondant.
Unnecessary Level Of Difficulty For Techniques Shown: Nothing much, and it's going to really freak people out when they see how much you use your hands and fingers when putting chocolate on molds, but that's the easiest way to do it.
Annoying Host Habits: Oh my God, it's ane- MO-ne! Not Ane-NO-me! That drives me nuts.
Level Of Helpful Hints Learned: Pretty basic chocolate stuff, but if you don't do a lot of work with chocolate you'll learn some things.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and is a Craftsy affiliate.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quick and Tiny Gumpaste Succulents

Here's a quick way to make tiny gumpaste succulents that can be used to fill out a larger arrangement:

Start with a set of pointy cutters and cut out three shapes. These are daphne cutters from Pfeil and Holing. ( )
You could also use small daisy cutters.

 Pinch the leaves to thin them out.
Stack them using gum glue or water to attach them together.

Press a veining tool or the end of a paintbrush in the center of the stack.

Curve the leaves up around the stick, then "fluff" them to separate them a little if you need to.

Let them dry on a cookie sheet, they should keep their shape. If they start collapsing onto themselves the gumpaste might be too soft, so you can dry them in a bumpy mattress foam pad to keep their shape.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Templates for Wafer Paper Moth Orchid Video on Youtube (and a link to the video)

And the shapes for the petals...I put a ruler in the photos so that you can see the dimensions, but you can make them as large or as small as you want. Also, I was using 32 gauge wire.

Wafer paper is available in the supplies section of my Etsy shop at

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Rihcmond VA

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: A New Look At Crooked Cakes with Colette Peters

Craftsy Cake Decorating Class
This post contains affiliate links but the opinions are my own!

A New Look at Crooked Cakes was taught by Colette Peters, who should need no introduction. If you don't know who she is go look her up. She has a reputation among cake decorators of actually being a really nice person with a good sense of humor and not a lot of self-importance, so that gives her a leg up on a lot of people. Her classes are pleasant to watch, for lack of a better term, because she doesn't come across as a massive snob. She's also taught other Craftsy classes, so she has experience with the platform.

This class really WAS about crooked cakes, as opposed to the other one that was more about how to build a structure for a leaning cake. That one was interesting but it didn't really show how to plan a topsy turvy cake. This class does show how to carve and stack a topsy turvy, back and forth leaning cake, so if you want to see the whole process it's worth buying.

This class also covered how to paint the cakes and went over some fondant quilling techniques in the last section. Colette has used quilling on other cakes that are in some of her books, and she goes over how to make a lot of different decorations to put on the cakes in the class.

The thing that will drive some people cuh-razy about her cakes is that she doesn't follow the "rules" of what cake dictators say have to be done to make a good cake. Her style has nothing to do with sharp edges on fondant, and her wooden dowels will send a shiver of fear through the heart of many a bubble tea straw lover. However, she's been doing cakes longer than you have, so you go, Colette.

The cakes that she does in this class are a traditional style back and forth wedges cake, and one that's made up of random shapes that fit together but are NOT traditional. She calls it a modern cake...I wasn't a big fan of the look of it, but it was a good demonstration of how you figure out the angles and shapes for shaped tiers that aren't the normal tapered wedges.

These cakes are not for the faint of heart, but she makes it look pretty easy to stack them without worrying about having them slide off each other. If you're going to do a topsy turvy cake like this, don't skip steps and think that you're smarter than gravity...Remember, it's the law.

Final Verdict:
Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced. This class isn't for someone who's never used fondant or stacked a cake. You need to have a little experience before trying a crooked cake unless you don't know better.
Equipment you have to have: Fondant, dowels, royal icing
Sleep-inducing level: She has a very sooooothing manner, which put me to sleep several times. So watch it with the No-Doz on hand.
What it assumes you already know: How to cover a cake in fondant, how not to freak out when you're stacking things at 45 degree angles.
Unnecessary difficulty level of methods demonstrated: Not much.
Annoying host habits: Not much, other than being too relaxing.
Level of helpful hints learned: Good information about the structure of a crooked cake and how to do the quilling. If you've never seen how the crooked cakes are built this will be highly instructive for you.

Go here for the class: A New Look At Crooked Cakes

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA and is a Craftsy affiliate.