Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cake Design--Yes, Another Cricut Post

Okay, I said that I was done with this topic, but I lied... I got into an online conversation with Tobias Wilhelm from Cutting Edge Cake Art, during which I told him that the recipe they were using for Cricut gumpaste was a lot different than my usual recipe. He thought that I might not have kneaded it enough in order to get the air out of it before I used it, but the ingredients in the two recipes are really different. Their recipe ends up being a lot more marshmallowy than mine, and it's noticeably wetter and springier.

I sent him my recipe so that he could look at it, and I decided to do another comparison of the two in my own machine. I made the gumpaste this morning and let it rest for about 8 hours. that's enough time to have it harden up, but it's was still soft enough to roll out very thin on the mat.

Here's another tip: To remove the adhesive on the cutting mat, just put a layer of shortening on the mat and let it sit. After about half an hour the adhesive scrapes right off with no effort or chemicals needed. I discovered this by accident, oops.

Back to the topic at hand...I rolled the gumpaste out directly on a slightly crisco-ed mat, and it ended up being thin enough to see the lines on the mat through. (Note the thickness of the coins, just for comparison's sake.)

The third photo shows how smoooooth my gumpaste recipe is. Something that I noticed about Tobias's recipe was the texture, which never really got completely smooth. When I use it in the next test, I'll knead it for a long time to get as much air out as I can, but I think that mine will still be smoother. Ah, like a lovely sheet of glass...

I had to let it dry out a looong time because the gumpaste was freshly made, and I probably could have let it go longer. It was cutting best after drying for over an hour, and it was ripping a little after 45 minutes, so you do have to make sure it's dry enough.

I did the butterfly on the needle depth notch between 4 and 5 (I don't know if there's technically a 4.5), and minimums on both speed and pressure. It didn't cut completely through, but when I increased the pressure it pulled a little. I had more success with an increased needle depth and the lowest pressure and speed. For my gumpaste the best results were with a needle depth of 5 and minimum speed and pressure.

I'll try to do run through the machine tomorrow with the other recipe, and see how the other gumpaste compares setting-wise. And I promise to try to get it as smooth as I can before I use it, Tobias...

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.biz and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com


Charmayne said...

Hey there, I love reading your blog, it's very informative for someone like me who is just starting out in the cake business! I'd never heard of this Cricut machine before, is it very popular in the US (I'm in England)? I can get it over here but it's very expensive, do you think it is worth getting?

Kara said...

Personally, I probably won't use it that much. Since everything I do is custom, I won't need it unless a bride wants something that I can't do without it, and I can't think what that could be right now! If you do a lot of special-occasion cakes and are horrible at piping or drawing it might be something that you use on a regular basis. I can also see it being useful if you have to do a lot of a patterns, maybe for decorating cookies or something like that. The cake Cricut has just started being available for pre-order, so I think that it's more of a fad of people wanting the next big thing than anything else. You can also use it to cut paper, though, that was its originally intended use, so if you do anything like that you could double-purpose it! But honestly, for most people, I think that it's something you'll buy, mess around with for a while, then use one in a while, but not on a regular basis.

Jenniffer said...

Hi Kara! I just found this post and since I ordered my Cricut Cake yesterday, I was wondering if you would be willing to share your gumpaste recipe with us? Yours look SO smooth! Thanks!


k parker said...

She sells it by the pound on her Etsy page, I believe. I think it's great that she is selling it because I can't imagine all the time she put in the kitchen and the materials she went through. Thank you for your blog Kara! Greetings from Ft. Worth, Tx.