Category Archives: Home Business

SiteRubix Product Review – Marketing Your Passion

Market Your Passion

I used to be satisfied with just creating my cakes and with a few friends and family members knowing about my “talents” if you would call it that… I think I have been blessed to have had inspiration from my grandmother Ana and many other people, videos, and online courses.

My passion developed over time, from following what they did and I now have certain skills that make me “competent” in what I do.

I have failed many times in my journey, and from these failures, I have learned the tips I now have, for creating my cake designs.

My confidence in myself grew also, when other people outside of my circle of close friends started noticing my cake artistry as well.

I thought, maybe, just keeping my passion for cake decorating local, would be just fine with me…but you see, the competition within the cake industry itself is very high within my local area, especially when measuring myself against other cake decorators…and, within the last few years, programs on TV like Ace of Cakes and other amazing cake decorating shows, has attracted lots of attention, not to mention also, the attraction of viewers to YouTube “how to” videos.

I go on social media and see all the budding local cake decorators and know that I have to think out of the box, for Art Thou Cakes to expand.

As my cake decorating developed and orders were coming in, I heard people who said, that they would love to create their own cake business, but have no idea how to start from home. I pondered on this for the last couple of years and knew that my passion was going to soon take a new direction.

You see, I am not one to hold information if it helps others, and it has always been my foremost passion – to help other people.
Often I would create cakes and charge people who couldn’t afford to pay, half of what my cakes are truly worth, because I wanted them to experience a wonderful milestone of their lives, and still have their cake.

Seriously, a cake will not outlast a memory. However, my desire to help others learn to be self-sufficient is a powerful motivator for me.

The cake decorating market has changed immeasurably and the world is finally waking up to the power of being part of an evolving client base.

The World Is Your Oyster

Art-Thou-Cakes-Site-Rubix- Product-Review-The-World-Is-Your-Oyster

I am sure that many of you would have heard of the well-known phrase “the world is your oyster”; well the world literally is “your oyster” because, the internet world has made that possible.

Convenience is the new fad.

I can order cake stuff online from any market platform, from anywhere in the world, using my mobile phone, tablet, laptop of Persoanl Computer screen, within seconds, and have my order delivered to me within a couple of days.

It wasn’t until I added this very website that I realized just how much of the world can be my “oyster” and ‘convenience’ my new friend.

I have been able to help many people and had also gotten myself international orders from people living overseas, who wanted cakes delivered to friends and family here in Auckland.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW I BUILT MY WEBSITE

I know aye, to think back to how, I had limited myself to only the local competition, and now I have the world as my market, is absolutely astounding.

How did I do that?

This website of course, the very one, that you are reading this post on, right now.
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW
Today, I will give you the very tool that I have used, to create this website and the platform I subscribed to, in order to make artthoucakes.com the amazing website that it is.

The purpose of this post, therefore, is to show you how easy it is to create your very own website to market your very own cake decorating business to the rest of the world.

In the ten years of searching, for a work from home online business, I viewed many websites and was intrigued to how they were created.

I read so many interesting blogs and people saying how they were staying at home and earning their dream income through their websites, just writing about their passions. I drooled and wished how I could be like them, but I had no way of knowing how to build a website and what programs to use.

I searched, and I searched. I found a few site builders, both for off-site and on-line, but after going through their e-books or PDF instructions, I was more confused than ever, and what I had initially intended to be a beautiful looking website, ended up being a mess and I would quit the program shortly after.

Another thing that put me off was the cost to continue the training, the extra costs to host, costs to buy images and the costs to maintain just one website.

I had no understanding of search engines or the importance of content writing.

Until I found SiteRubix through Wealthy Affiliate.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Therefore, this post is my product review for SiteRubix site builder.


Product Overview and Ratings

Product/Service: Website Builder
Name: SiteRubix
Website Address: https://siterubix.com

Powered and Hosted By: WealthyAffiliate.com

Other programs that assist: Jaaxy Research Tool (also included in the Wealthy Affiliate training)

Who Can Use This: Anyone from beginners to experts

Cost: No cost to register as a free trial starter member- where you are given two free sites to build straight away

Time to build and make a site live: within a minute

Included Benefits: Free starter training is provided by Wealthy Affiliate, to provide the tools for SEO (search engine optimization) and ongoing 24/7/365 community support.

Support: Through Live 24/7 Chat and 24/7/365 round the clock expert community support from all over the world.

Members: over 1 million world wide

Art Thou Cakes Rate: 9.9/10

Step By Step Instructions For How To Use Site Rubix

Building a website with Siterubix is so easy, because Wealthy Affiliate takes away all the hard work by taking care of the technological side so that you can focus on creating fantastic websites in less than 30 seconds, with just a few mouse clicks.

After finding your niche (in my case it was cake artistry) – or business focus and thought of a name you that you would like to call your website by, you are now ready to create – which is the most fun part.

First thing to do is register

Just click on the website link and register for a free account and you are ready to begin building straight away within the Wealthy Affiliate platform.


1. Click on Websites inside your profile menu:


2. A box will open with another list, and you click on Site Builder:


3. Choose Free domain (as a free member you can create two free websites):


4. Choose a theme (Premium members get to choose from over 4,000 free themes as part of their monthly subscription):


5. Once you have made up your mind (it could be too fun and take you all day – the good news is, you can change your theme template as many times as you want, if you change your mind later), then click the green button and wait a few seconds and voila! you have just created yourself a website ready for you to enter content and media.


6. Your website is now live!


Why I rated Siterubix with 9.9/10?


Advantages

I love the SiteRubix Site Builder because I am able to build my two sites for free, before I decide to own it and transfer to a .com domain of my own, once I am ready to upgrade to Premium. However, I can be free as long as I want to be.

I found that using it was easy, and I didn’t need to do anything else than follow the simple instructions above and it literally was built in less than 30 seconds.

There was no need to fluff around trying to understand any technological techniques, as I had found with other website builders in my ten years of failed experiences such as Hostgator and Godaddy, both are okay, but you do not get full control over the end result because they only offer the site builder but not the training to use them as you have with the added benefits of being hosted by Wealthy Affiliate.

The additional benefits of having Wealthy Affiliate host my Sitrubix sites, are amazing and as well, as not preloading any of their advertisements or banners, just look below to see what is included:


Wealthy Affiliate has such ace security in place, you can be assured that no-one can ever spam your site, and their help center is on to it straight away if you have any doubts.
You know what the best part is?

You get to ustilise the full power of WordPress once your site is live.

Disadvantages

For many, I would say the main difficulty with them is the fact to use the site you would need to first sign up with Wealthy Affiliate – however, I do not personally find this to be a problem in my own experience because of all the added bonuses that Wealthy Affiliate adds.

Conclusion

In summary, I recommend to anyone who has a business or passion and wants to be viewed within the global market, to use Siterubix as their site builder.

  • You will receive excellent tools to further develop your site from Welathy Affiliate’s exclusive hosting platform and excellent training modules.
  • You also receive ongoing 24/7/365 support from community experts.
  • You receive two free websites to use with free starter training.
  • You get security and speed with live Support.
  • You have over 4K free uploadable theme templates to choose from.
  • WordPress Power incorporated with your site

I chose Siterubix and joined Wealthy Affiliate to help me market my passion in Cake Artistry. I don’t think I will ever regret that decision.

How about you? Would You like to build a website too?
CLICK HERE TO START NOW!

Feel free to leave me a comment below or ask for help.

Chat soon,

Cake Artistry Featured Image

 

ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

Cakerschool-product-review-feature-image-Art-Thou-Cakes

Cakerschool Product Review – Learn Online to Create Perfection Without The Extras

Introduction

Have you heard of Emma Jayne? No? Well let me tell you that if there is ever a guru in Cake Artistry – she is the one to follow for inspiration. I view her art form as perfectly proportioned and outside the box.

Why do I mention her?, because the first time I ever heard of her work was through the Cakerschool website. Emma’s cakes go beyond what we deem as just cake into the realm of perfection in mastering art. Her masterpieces include the Swan Lake Cake: Life sized Ballerina and the Avatar Cake, as part of the Cake International Contests.

Cakerschool helps their students to achieve what Emma has done, in their own baking and in less the time, that it takes to get a baking degree.

Today I will present you with a product review on Cakerschool.

Online Course vs Degree

Although, I have taught myself since I was about 11 years old (the first time, I was allowed to use our oven), I still found that I desired a certain ‘polish’ (an aside: this could also possibly be, because I am quite dyslexic and perfectionism is one of my weaknesses – which may have nothing to do with cake decorating in itself).

I never wanted to attend an actual technical course: that I had travel to; spend hours away from home or my kids; and not to mention, would cost me an arm or a leg to attend. In New Zealand, the course fees for special baking degree range from $2000 – $5000 NZD per semester, and can take more than a year to complete. I couldn’t afford this, let alone, pay to have my kids cared for, while doing a degree.

My-Sweet-Sensations-Chocolate-Decorations-Cakers-School-Start-Your-Own-Business

On top of all this, I didn’t want to learn everything else that did not involve cake decorating, for example the chemistry of foods etc. I wanted a block course that gave me the skills I needed, to start earning. Hence, I chose an online course that taught me the specifics, with every information that I needed to establish my own home baking business.

It took me less than a few months to complete and the lessons were easy and practical. Also, I didn’t need to give my arm or leg to pay for expensive course fees.

Therefore, if you are seriously looking at building a baking/cake artistry portfolio for your home business, I encourage you to do an online baking course that will teach you everything that you would need to know about cake artistry, and learn as you create, how to set up and run a home baking business straight away.

Product Information

Name: Cakerschool – Learn Cake Decorating

Main Website: https://cakerschool.com/cake-business/

Owners: Happy Caking Ltd, 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London

Description: Small short courses to help with starting a small cake decorating business from home.

Courses provided:

  • Beginners Cake Decorating Lessons/Tutorials
  • Cake Decorating Classes
  • Cake Business Courses

Tutors:

A range of professional and experienced authorities who specialise in cake decorating.

Course Fee:

Start your Cake Business Course – $197 USD

Course Description:

  • 12 Modules in your Workbook
  • Workbook Questions
  • Business and Marketing Forms Pack
  • Vendor Guide
  • Photograph Your Cake Course
  • Deep Dive Facebook Course

8 Video Modules

  1. Video 1: The Successful Business Owner
  2. Video 2: Guiding Questions
  3. Video 3: Business Basics – Research and Regulations
  4. Video 4: Business Basics – Insurance, Legal and Accounting
  5. Video 5: Marketing and Targeting
  6. Video 6: Social Media
  7. Video 7: Pricing and Client Management
  8. Video 8: Creating a business and a life that you LOVE!

Other Products Sold:

  • Cake Decorating Supplies
  • Shopping Spree & Indulgence – Gift ideas
  • Guides & Recipe Books

Subscriptions include:

  • Cakers Magazine/Newsletter – with updated news and cake creations of cakers
  • Tutorials – Cake decorating single tutorials paid individually (if you do not want to do full course)

Membership/Subscription Fees (a choice of two):

$179 USD/yearly For the following:

    • 300+ hours of amazing video content designed to teach you everything
    • Over 50 downloadable resources
    • A FREE E-book with every tutorial
    • Practical video classes with cake-stars like Verusca Walker, Handi Mulyana, Margie Carter, Molly Robbins, Rose Macefield, Sylvia Elba and many more…
    • Mentorship from top cake decorators
    • Various techniques from basic fondant and gumpaste to professional isomalt, wafer paper and tempered chocolate
    • Online forum for comments and help
    • Community of like-minded cakers

    $19 USD/Monthly for the following:

    • 300 hours of HD quality cake decorating tutorial videos
    • 50 PDF pictorial e books
    • recipes, pro tips, tricks and hacks
    • multi-award-winning teachers
    • closed online community
    • online help with your questions, problems

    My Personal Rating: 9.5/10

    Special Features

    • Tutors are experienced and are authorities in their own specialised decorating skills.
    • Fun page – features different caker designs and special news blogs
    • Easily followed in social media
    • Easy website navigation

    Customer Satisfaction/Reviews

    The positive reviews of this online cake decorating school is vast and to give you an idea, their social media followers speak for itself:

    FaceBook Page = over 6K Following

    Pinterest = over 8K Following

    Product – Disadvantages

    The fact that the school is based in the London, shop products such as cake decorating tools cost more for freight and can take longer for parcels to arrive in destinations outside London.

    Product – Advantages

    • Courses are concise and accessible online, which can be studied anywhere
    • Videos and E-books are excellent with colorful, clear imagery
    • The information on newsletters and blogs are really helpful and interesting
    • Great support for queries
    • Exceptional Tutors who have both experience and knowledge
    • The total course cost for starting a cake business is very affordable
    • Subscriptions are very cheap, considering the ongoing video tutorials and information

    My Personal Rating

    I have rated 9.5/10 for Cakerschool, because of their affordable training and course materials. They are generous in how they share information and always have interesting news articles, that inspire cake decorators to perfection, in their art.

    They have a trusted presence in the internet world and especially within their market.

    Conclusion

    As I have already stated, if you are seriously considering running your own cake decorating business, Cakerschool, will give you the basics on what is required and will help you to perfect your cake artistry skills, using the most effective tutorials and tutors.

    If you already have a business – subscribing to their monthly or yearly membership will advance your own authority within your social networks.

    If you would like help with anything or have anything to add in this post, please leave a comment, which I will be happy to respond to.

    May you have an awesome day,

    Cake Artistry Featured Image

     

    ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

    Art Thou Cakes Alternative Ingredients in Cake Artistry for Food Intolerance

    Alternative Ingredients in Cake Artistry for Food Intolerance






    My post today was inspired by a comment made by one of my readers, Emily, from my post about royal icing being the queen. She had asked bout using alternative ingredients in place of egg whites. I promised to write a post specifically for this and about using alternative ingredients in Cake Artistry for food intolerance.

    I used to work at a natural medicine college, where I learned about the holistic make up of my health.

    From as young I as I remembered, eating dairy or gluten always left me with side effects. Dairy made me sprint to the bathroom, and gluten caused me to bloat so much; my stomach hurt. I found that I was losing energy, not sleeping well, and often blamed it on work related stress etc.

    Fortunately for me, all my colleagues were practicing naturopaths, who advised me to get a hair test in our clinic. I took their advice and what I suspected all along was confirmed. I am both, dairy and gluten intolerant, as well with egg, banana and a few other foods.

    Once I understood and accepted this knowledge, I tried my best to refrain from any gluten or dairy products (okay, to be honest, I actually really struggle with this – I love cheese and hot white bread).

    I have used a great recipe e book ‘Grave Bakery Gluten Free Cook Book‘ – this is a great starter for desserts that do not to include: gluten, grains, peanuts, refined sugars and soy.

    I also, researched alternatives to what foods I could tolerate and ones that I couldn’t. I also gained a lot of knowledge about the range of alternative ingredients that I can utilise in cake artistry, to help those who have food intolerance, like myself.

    Egg White

    Even if you are not intolerant to eggs, you may still hate that ‘eggy’ taste in meringues or other light cakes. I dislike sponge cake and pavlovas, only because of the strong egg flavour, I only include sponge cake in my Christmas trifles and pavlovas are always smothered in fresh cream, with layers of fruit.

    Aquafaba

    A lovely alternative to egg, is aquafaba,(further information can be found on the Vegan Society’s page).This is the name given to legume brine.

    It is by far the cheapest and most perfect replacement for egg white. The brine can be drained straight from the can of legumes or chick peas. The other way to get this liquid is from slowly cooking dried beans in water for a few hours, until the brine becomes like the egg white consistency (of course it needs to be cooled first).

    Other acceptable aquafaba is water from packaged tofu. The measurement of aquafaba per egg is 3 tablespoons (although according to the Vegan Society, this is not a hard-fast rule).

    Aquafaba can be whisked and layered into sponge cakes, meringues and pavlovas. This liquid is also just as delicious and effective in creating meringue type buttercream icings.

    Aquafaba can also be an alternative to using meringue powder (which is dried egg white powder) in royal icing.

    Flour

    Okay, I know that this ingredient is really for baking, rather than for cake artistry/decorating, however the information is still useful for those who need an alternative for gluten/wheat.

    You can purchase gluten free flour from the stores, my favourite is the Namaste brands. Remember that food intolerance vary in levels to how much a person can handle, and for those who are high (such as celiac disorder), it would be better to make your own mix of flour.

    12 alternative flours:

    1. Chickpea flour
    2. Quinoa flour
    3. Buckwheat flour
    4. Sorghum flour
    5. Almond flour
    6. Rice flour
    7. Tapioca (also known as Starch flour or arrowroot flour)
    8. Potato Starch
    9. Xanthum gum (guar gum) – this is also used together with fondant in creating toppers or pasting icing decorations
    10. Coconut flour
    11. Polentia flour
    12. Chestnut flour

    Each flour type has their own specific taste and texture and I suggest that you research recipes, that are suitable to what you are creating/baking. Some have a stronger smell than others and could easily be disguised with natural flavourings.

    Dairy

    Here are 5 alternatives that can replace dairy products:

    1 – Milk

  • Cashew Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Soy Milk – if you are not allergic to this of course
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Hemp/ Flax Milk Again, as with flour, these different milk substitutes have varying effects on the recipe being used. For much thicker consistency, I suggest using coconut milk – which also can be bought from organic stores without flavours.2 – Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable spreads (not a fan of these)
  • Avocado (mashed) – this is only good when the recipe is an uncooked food – great as a chocolate cake icing
  • 3 – Cheese

    4 – Whipped Cream

    • Thick coconut cream – whipped

    5 – Condensed Milk

    • Mix Coconut milk and maple syrup (yum)

    Sugar

    I use pure organic maple syrup (you are lucky if you live in Canada, because these are so expensive anywhere else)

    I have friends who are from Canada and they gave me a taste of their mayple syrup bottle (specially delivered from Canada to New Zealand) – after that I came back home and threw away any fake syrups in the cupboard. I never bought any more non-pure, maple syrup again.

    The other organic sweetener, that I use as a subsitute for sugar is 100% pure honey, now that is one thing that I can say I am blessed for, living in New Zealand. Our honey is among the best in the world, especially Manuka honey, which is renowned for its healing properties.

    You can also use stevia, isomalt or coconut raw sugar too, as an alternative to using white sugar.

    Conclusion

    Now, if you are following a specific diet or health program, you will be able to find just about every type of food can be substituted, however, for the sake of cake artistry, I have only listed the main food items that I would use as alternatives in my cake artistry.

    I do not get much cake art orders that require gluten free or dairy free products and I certainly do not profess to be a pro in this area.

    It is my intention that this may help a reader find some alternatives to their own food intolerance, especially when creating cake art.

    Please comment or share your own experiences with food intolerance, so that I can learn and that it may further help other readers as well.

    Until my next blog,

    Cake Artistry Featured Image

     

    ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

    Art Thou Cakes best cleaning ingredient baking powder

    The Best Cleaning Ingredient to use – in Cake Artistry





    In this post I digress from creating to cleaning. Food preparation must always go hand in hand with hygiene and cleanliness, and, although the Food Safety regulations require the use of strong chemicals to maintain a 99% germ free environment for food preparation, I still prefer to use my own natural or home made cleaning products.

    There are several ordinary kitchen ingredients that I use when I clean my kitchen and baking utensils (actually I use these for just about everything in my house).

    I use white vinegar, lemons, olive oil/vegetable oil, baking soda, used green tea bags, baking powder, walnuts and a list of many other ordinary kitchen products and ingredients. Each item has their own valuable use. However, you will be surprised to know that my favourite of all these items, is the humble baking powder…hold on, you might say, “but, don’t you mean the baking soda?”

    Nope, I meant the baking powder – I do know about the baking soda and how it is also useful, but I will prove to you why I believe the baking powder outshines the baking soda, and why, it is the best cleaning ingredient to use, in cake artistry.

    Art Thou Cakes The Best Cleaning Ingredient for Cake Artistry Baking Powder

    Background Information About Baking Powder

    In the past, the process of baking was very painful (when pounding or kneading for hours to get the correct texture) and used to take hours waiting, for the baked goods to rise under the correct temperatures. Failure to rise meant that the whole process had to be repeated or the household was forced to eat rock breads and cakes, (hey, I remember this in the Flintstones cartoon!).

    According to an article written by Ben Panko, in Smithsonian.com, a British Chemist by the name of Alfred Bird, created baking powder in the late 1840s. He combined cream of tartar with baking soda, as a way to assist his wife’s bread making. However, cream of tartar was too expensive and each ingredient had to be used separately to avoid reacting too early prior to being baked.

    The patent and refinement of baking powder into what we now know and use, came about in 1856, by Eben Norton Horsford a young chemist, driven by the search for an alternative product. Later in history many other companies joined in further improving this food chemical ingredient. Baking powder has become a multi million dollar industry, which is hard to believe when you look at how cheap and humble the ingredients are.

    Ingredients in Baking Powder

    Originally, and in fact quite interestingly, baking powder, was made from a combination of mono calcium phosphate (extracted from, boiled down animal bones) and baking soda. The resulting compound was an acid that created the much-needed CO2 bubbles.

    Nowadays, it is made from mined mono calcium phosphate (rather than boiled down animal bones, and this is the part where all the vegetarians sigh in relief) and baking soda.

    As far as baking is concerned, I am happy with the fact, that I do not have to pound or wait for hours for my cakes to rise.

    So why do I use baking powder for cleaning?

    Simple: it can be used on its own or just with water. Huh? you may say…

    I will repeat it: it can be used by itself or with water. It is cheap to buy.

    Then you might respond, how did you come up with such a brilliant (or dumb) idea?

    Well, I came upon this, by accident.

    One day whilst cleaning my bath tub, which was ringed with greasy dirt residue (my least favourite area to clean), I wanted to use something that wasn’t going to make me high and queasy. I had read many reviews about baking soda before being used together with white vinegar, so I got some from my kitchen and mixed as required in a spray bottle.

    I was amazed by how quick and easy the application was. The bath tub shone, like it was never used (I banned my family from it for a few days but that didn’t last).

    Okay, so I wanted to bake a cake that evening and after rummaging through my cupboard, found my baking soda untouched and my baking powder all used up.

    Hmm, I thought, surely I bought a new box (both baking soda and baking powder have very similar Edmonds packaging). It dawned on me that I had used the baking powder by mistake. That’s when I also realized that I may have found my miracle cleaning ingredient. Aha! Baking Powder.

    I do not fully understand the full chemical stuff that goes on behind baking powder, but I do remember when I was young many eons ago) having being told to use baking powder to oust a fire on the stove. This practice still works, you know. However, other than that, the only thing I do know for sure is that there is something about baking powder that makes it slightly different as a cleaning agent.

    I guess, this I will understand in due time with more research, but for now, it cleans very well and that is all that matters.

    There are many ways that I would like to share about how I use baking powder, but I would like to show you how I use it specifically, for when I have finished my cake artistry. So here we go.

    My Kitchen hack for cleaning baking ware

    If you are like me, and have to clean a lot of baking ware/pans with hard to clean cake residue then follow these simple instructions. I promise you that you won’t need to scrape or scratch your baking tins so that they end up looking like my image below.
    Art Thou Cakes the Best Cleaning Ingredient for Cake Artistry Scratched Bake Ware

    To my family’s delight I woke up early this morning and baked a few cupcakes (all eaten by the time I took these photos), so that I could show you how I clean my bake ware with baking powder.

    I purposefully created a mess so that I can have some hard to clean baked residue. These spots harden when cooled and are very hard to clean.Art Thou Cakes The Best Cleaning Ingredient to use in Cake Artistry hard to clean residue

    1. First pour or spray cold water into the baking tin.
    2. Use a food grade brush to brush the baking powder on to each spot to be cleaned.Art Thou Cakes The Best Cleaning Ingredient for Cake Artistry Baking Powder Use a Brush
    3. When the baking powder has been brushed on to the baked residue, spray again with water and leave for 5-10 minutes.Art Thou Cakes The Best Cleaning Ingredient for Cake Artistry Baking Powder with Water
    4. After the minutes are up, use a water soaked kitchen cloth and wipe the spots off. You will find that they come off easily.Art Thou Cakes the Best ingredient for Cake Artistry Wipe with water soaked clothArt Thou Cakes the best Cleaning Ingredient for Cake Artistry Wipe with a cloth
    5. Rinse the baking tin under cold water to clean everything and to make sure that no more residues have remained.Art Thou Cakes The best Cleaning Ingredient Rinse with Water
    6. You will now have a beautifully cleaned bake ware, and best of all there are no harsh scratches.Art Thou Cakes The Best Cleaning Ingredient baking Powder leaves no harsh scratches behind
    7. A closer look below

    Art Thou Cakes the best cleaning ingredient for cake artistry a closer look

      Conclusion

      And there you have it. Baking powder doesn’t need vinegar, the cleaning process is quick, and your bake ware, will be left without any scratches. Baking powder is a non toxic chemical that will not fume you to high heavens, and is very cheap to buy. Try it and see, for yourself.

      Thank you again for visiting my post. What are your most favourite bake-ware cleaning products/ingredients? Do share if you found this post useful to you in any way, or comment on anything that you may need help in.

      Have a lovely day and see you again in my next post,

      Cake Artistry Featured Image

       

      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer – Enhances Productivity in My Cake Artistry



      When you recieve so many cake orders that are only weeks apart, you will need a trusted and high quality product that can assist with getting a greater amount of decorations done, within a small amount of time.

      I found that the KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer, does exactly that; it enhances productivity in my Cake Artistry.

      This is my personal and honest review on the KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer.

      It is my intention to provide a fair perspective on this product so that you can make an informed decision for what to use in your own cake artistry – whether it is for a home business or just for your personal use.

      Reasons For Using a Quality Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in My Cake Artistry

      If you do not have one, then maybe my reasons for using one may help you to decide:

      • It Saves time – you can produce much larger quantities (and doesn’t give you aching arms from using a hand held mixer)
      • Cost effective – you can make bulk amounts of icing for up to three cake orders at one time
      • You are in control of what you produce – this helps you to create the most delicious icings, which store bought do not supply (if they do, costs can be very high)
      • Ease of use – switch it on, lift bowl up and down, preventing splatter and messy clean-ups
      • Easy to maintain and clean – wipes easily after each use
      • Attractive design – looks great, and comes in a variety of colors to suit your kitchen set up

      Product Specifications for the KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer Sugar Pearl Silver

      Product Name: KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer
      Color: Sugar pearl silver

      Brand Name: Kitchen Aid

      Price: Is in USD >>click here for actual price<<

      Actual Worth in Kitchen Aid website: $779.99 USD (on Kitchen Aid website) Amazon sells the same product for almost half of this price.

      Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
      Shipping: International and local

      Specifications>

    1. 16-Cup Flour Power Capacity
    2. Includes PowerkneadTM Spiral Dough Hook, Flat Beater, and Stainless Steel Wire Whip
    3. Largest Capacity Residential Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer Available
    4. Professional bowl-lift design
    5. Horse power is 1.3
    6. RETURN POLICY: You can return your order within 30 days from the purchase date.
      My Ratings: 9.5/10

      Amazon’s Customer Star Ratings

      5/5

      Unique Features I like

    7. The arm lift, is the main winner for me. My old mixer always, left me with a great mess to clean up at the end of my decorating. I would get icing everywhere just trying to twist the mixer attachments off. Now I can just lift up the whole mixer head with the handle and easily remove the bowl without any mess, from the beater/whisk/paddle attachments.
    8. A long-lasting product and quality of design is very attractive.
    9. The larger capacity bowl, makes it easier to create bulk icing.
    10. Less heat build up and horse power is amazing (you won’t get that burning smell and the fear that it may burst into flames)
    11. My tips for maintenance

    12. Never soak mixer pads/whisk/beaters or any parts in dish liquid or chemicals. This can affect the quality and longevity of your mixer.
    13. Prevent rusting and dust by wiping the stand and bowl with a little olive oil on a paper towel.
    14. Make sure that fat ingredients to be used are at room temperature to reduce clogging and improve outcome.
    15. Use a damp cloth to wipe outer parts.
    16. Do not submerge the actual stand mixer in water, this is a safety risk, as it has electrical outlets.
    17. How I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer

      My stand mixer is used for more than just for creating cakes. I use it for other food creations:

    18. Various cake and muffin baking recipes
    19. Royal icing in bulk
    20. Making home made fondant in bulk
    21. Any Buttercream in bulk (this is my main use, since I need a lot to cover crumb and cover each cake)
    22. Making edible lace mixtures
    23. Home made ice cream – hey, its not only cake decorating I do
    24. Whipped cream in bulk
    25. Cream Cheese frostings
    26. Bread and Pizza dough – yeah, I bake these also up to 8lbs worth from one mix
    27. Baked Cheesecakes
    28. Rather than sift my dry ingredients I just use my mixer
    29. Chocolate frostings (using real chocolate)
    30. Jelly
    31. Puddings
    32. Choux Pastry
    33. Cookie and Slice batters (up to 14 dozen cookies)
    34. My Personal Review

      Having a stand mixer kitchen aide helps my productivity, not only with mixing cake recipes but with the different variety of icings I use in my cake artistry.

      In the past, before I could afford one, I would mix my recipes with an old-fashioned egg beater (you know the one, where you would spin the beaters using one hand) or a small electric beater; this cost me an hour of production time (not to mention sore legs) or just mix with my hands (I still do this, sometimes, when I cannot be bothered -yes I am human).

      The only issue I would have with myKSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer is the storage.

      Since I have a very small kitchen area, I store it in one of my lower cupboards because it is quite large. When I need it, I constantly bend to get it out and it is quite heavy to move around.

      This is probably the only issue. However, I guess that if I did have a much larger kitchen area, it would be more ideal to have it displayed as a main kitchen feature, only because it has such a gorgeous design (a culinary masterpiece).

      ConclusionHaving a quality stand mixer is one product that every serious cake artist/decorator should include in their kitchen. I know it can be expensive, but if you can afford just one expensive product for your cake artistry, then  a KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer is the one you should try to get.

      It will become your savior, when you are creating several cakes at once and do not have the time to keep mixing different batters or icings.

      Remember that it is not only cake artistry, that a KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer is useful for. It can be used when creating many other foods.
      If you wish to add your experience with using a Kitchen stand mixer, please feel free to add a comment below. Thanks.

      See you again soon,

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      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      Most used cake artistry cake decorating techniques

      Royal Icing – The Queen of All Frostings





      Royal icing, may appear to be a difficult and outdated cake decorating technique, yet it still results in some of the most elegant and splendid cake designs that exist today.

      My attraction to Royal Icing

      I used to stand for hours, at a local cake decorator’s shop window, transfixed with the way her skillful hands, caressed the royal icing around her cakes. I had no cake artistry skills in those days, or had any knowledge of what royal icing was, being a twenty-something year old, who was on the wrong track of life heading into the nowhere, at this time.

      I thought back to when I used to day dream of decorating cakes, some day, with that same level of expertise.

      Fast forward, many years into my mid-thirties: divorced; living with three kids; as a solo mum, on an income that was dependent on the government’s generosity. I could view my lost dreams again, once I got back on my feet towards independence and taught myself how to breathe once more. My dreams to become a cake artist, became a reality.

      The first cake order, that I had ever made, was for a twenty-first birthday. The first icing that I took the time to learn and use, was royal icing. I believe that it was the best cake that I had ever decorated by hand. Sadly, I was too poor at the time to a have a means to capture and save a picture, but it will forever be imprinted in my mind, as being my first and ‘almost’ professional looking cake.

      Today, I can honestly say that, after meany years of cake artistry, royal icing is, the queen of all frostings.

      Basic Requirements

      Here are some basic requirements to note before you delve into the art of mastering royal icing:

      • You will need a good quality kitchen aid stand mixer to prepare your icing, and especially if you have more than one cake. I use the KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer Sugar Pearl Silver. There are other excellent kitchen aid mixers, also designed by other brands but I prefer this one, as it is durable and the style is much more “non-fiddly”. By this I mean that the mixer can be moved up and down, so that the mixing bowl can be easily removed, unlike the usual design of twisting the mixers off (getting icing all over the place). Also, it is much cheaper than most brands, but has all the qualities required to make beautiful icings/frostings. 
      • You also need a set of cake spatulas and a long stainless steel ruler (to get precise and straight edging) 
      • Use large food grade covered bowls to store un-used icing inside a chiller/fridge. 
      • Once cakes are covered, they should be stored in dry, dark areas free of ants and other small pests.
      • Ensure that you have a quality stainless steel set of piping equipment and reusable piping bag/s.
      • Use food grade gloves – it could be a very sticky business.
      • Allow yourself plenty of time to decorate your cake/s. 
      • Always try to use fresh ingredients to enhance the flavors and to get quality results.
      • Make sure that you work promptly when covering cakes – as royal icing can harden within minutes of application. 
      • I suggest using turn tables for round cakes only, and to just work around square cakes one side at a time.
      • Cakes must be crumbed first using, either; a layer of marzipan, or a thin layer of fondant, before being covered in royal icing. 

      To Egg, or Not to Egg? That is The Question?

      Royal icing can be either, purchased from a store or made with your own home made recipe.

      As usual, and if you have been following me in my posts this far, you will know that I prefer to make my own icings from scratch, unless, of course, there is absolutely no other option. Royal icing do not involve too many ingredients and can be whipped up ahead of time and stored in the fridge/chiller at least 3 days ahead.
      Basically, there are two ways to make royal icing; with or without raw eggs. I like both, however, my choice to use one instead of the other, is purely based, on the amount of time to prepare it, before the cake is to be eaten.

      Using Eggs:


      If a cake is made to be eaten within a day of its creation, I often leave the decorating until the evening before, for when the temperature has cooled down, and to also ensure that egg whites are still safe to be eaten.

      Always try to obtain fresh organic eggs, as this will lesson any food safety risks in your ingredients. Fresh eggs always taste so much better and has a better outcome to your icing.

      When I wish to incorporate raw eggs (whites only), I use Martha Stewart’s Royal Icing Recipe, which uses basic (affordable) ingredients and is easy to follow. However, instead of water, I use lemon juice. The addition of lemon juice adds a nice balance to the overbearing sweet taste of icing sugar (pound sugar or confectioner’s sugar). People who have tasted my cakes welcome the tartness as a pleasant surprise.

      Not using Eggs – The Alternative:

      The second method to making Royal Icing, uses no eggs. The alternative ingredient is to use Meringue Powder – which can be bought or made ( in my opinion, the process for making meringur powder, is so time-consuming and  “niggly” that I choose to just buy the stuff instead).

      Technically, and the irony is: Meringue Powder is actually made from eggs, but it eliminates the use of raw eggs – It is great for those who are allergic, vegan, or have some sort of intolerance to raw eggs. Meringue Powder helps the royal icing to harden in less time and can hold its shape, in both cold and hot weather as well.

      When using meringue powder, I follow the basic recipe created by Sally’s baking Addiction which is just as simple as Martha’s raw egg recipe. Again, I use lemon juice instead of water, for the same reasons that I gave with the raw egg method.

      Both Royal Icing methods, can be flavoured and coloured accordingly. They can both be  made ahead of time and chilled a few days before their use.

      My Story – Why Lemon Juice Instead of Water?

      Well, there is actually a story to why I like to use lemon juice and it is one of my many childhood memories of, now, what shall we call it? “un-witnessed crimes”. The story goes like this:

      My family was invited to one of my many cousins’ one – year old birthday celebrations. I was about six years of age at the time (1978), and my aunt had left her baby girl’s lovely pink birthday cake, (that she had lovingly made), on a small hall side table, covered in thick lace.

      The children were told to strictly stay out of the house and away, from the birthday cake. We were all banned to the backyard to play hide-and-seek. 

      Now, I had seen the cake just before my aunt had covered it and I was so intrigued by the cute little rosettes, that I couldn’t help sneaking back into the house, when the adults weren’t watching.

      Royal icing Queen of all Icings-using lemon juice

      I started by sniffing, the delicious smell, then I thought, just one little touch wouldn’t hurt, but after a rosette broke off, I had to eat it, (to get rid of any evidence) and before long, I had eaten a big chunk of the corner, leaving a massive hole. 

      OMG! It was so, so  delicious! – homemade chocolate cake and yummy, yummy, yummy lemony pink royal icing…mmmmm. I quickly composed myself (when I realised what will happen if i got caught),  covered the cake, wiped my mouth and took off outside to continue hide-and-seek with the other kids, just as if nothing had happened.

      I do not remember much of the cake being brought out later, but I do remember my aunt being furious and only caught snippets of my parents asking, who would’ve done such a terrible thing. Needless to say, I didn’t say a word, and as you do, being a child,  forgot about it, growing up. But, I never forgot the taste of that glorious tangy pink royal icing, the reason why I endeavor to make my icings taste just as good as they look.

      There you go, I have just admitted to a crime that I was never punished for, and hopefully that cousin of mine won’t ever read my blogs.

      You may ask, so what was the purpose of this story again? The purpose is to show you, that sometimes I use a particular flavour, because I reminisce about something amazing that I had tasted in my childhood (and try to incorporate it in my cake artistry) so that my cake eaters can experience my stories, as well.

      Despite this, if you prefer not to use lemon, then by all means, it is, after all, your preference that matters.

      Using skills that are unique to Royal Icing

      Unlike fondant, royal icing cannot and should not be rolled. Instead, it is applied by hand, using a lathering technique, a little similar to how buttercream is applied. However, royal icing is much trickier, when trying to be precise in straight and sharp edgings.

      Royal icing Queen of all icings mastering royal icing

      Decorating with royal icing takes a lot of patience to master, and might, at first sight, appear to be really difficult, but as you get familiar with using icing tips – you will get better and much faster at it. 

      Royal icing looks more elegant with the use of smaller tips. Actually the smaller the icing tip used, the more intricate the detail/designs.This is what I prefer, when piping designs straight onto my covered cakes.

      Instead of a scraper, I choose to use a large and long cake spatula or stainless steel ruler (as seen in the image). It takes longer to cover a cake because you need to follow a rule of thumb; 24 hours for each covered side to dry, before the next side is to be covered in icing. A circular cake may in comparison, not be as time-consuming to cover and to dry, although the rule of thumb will still apply.

      The reasons for this? So, that each layer of covering is given enough time to harden and to dry completely, before the next layer. Failure to do this, will result in your cake sagging, or losing its shape if its foundations are not dry. This also results in decorations falling off the main structure (trust me, you don’t want this happening while everyone is watching).

      So in effect, a cake needs to be covered at least a few days ahead, so that you can give yourself time to get the decorations done in time. I suggest doing this, at least a week or two before you start decorating.

      Mastering Such Finesse

      In regards to simplicity and elegance, I rate royal icing to be the best above all the other icing techniques. Although it is outdated, It is a skill that cannot be mastered without much practice and help from more experienced cake decorators short online courses and, watching lots of other people’s cake videos and blogs. I suggest that you do the same, if you are serious about starting a cake artistry business.

      I continue to up-skill myself in mastering this icing for my cake artistry, and still believe that royal icing is the queen of all frostings. It is my hope that this post will help you also, to improve your own knowledge/skills in using Royal Icing, as part of your cake artistry.

      Please leave a few words below, on your thoughts about royal icing or, ask me anything that I may help you with.

      See you again soon,

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      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      Cake Artistry featured cakes-decorating techniques

      My Most Used Cake Art Decorating Techniques




      Cake artistry can be time-consuming and demoralising at times, when you cannot achieve that particular finished look. Sometimes, just the thought of what decorating technique is best to use, can be quite a task in itself.

      I am in no way an expert, and know that just about everyone who bakes will have their own fair share of decorating techniques.

      I too, have used the ideas and techniques of other well-known cake artists, but applied and made those skills my own. Therefore, in this post I would like to share a list of my most used cake art decorating techniques for you, to adapt and to make your own as well.

      Piped

      In my previous post, I had mentioned piping and stated that my favourite was the Lambeth technique. Despite this, I have to say, piping isn’t one of my strongest decorating skills and like I said, am still developing in this cake art form.

      Piping, is a technique that requires great patience and focus. Once you decide to pipe your decorations, it is too late to change your mind (this is speaking from experience).

      Unlike painting and smudging, the iced covering may not look so good after you try to wipe it off, should you decide mid way to change your decoration medium. If you do, you may need to gather your wit about you and become very resourceful.

      Most used cake artistry cake decorating techniques

      My first attempt at decorative piping

      The only time I appreciate a cake turntable is when I do piping. If you have not got one, I suggest you purchase a good quality one that enables you to do your cake artistry with precision.

      I have a ‘lazy Susan’ which is okay, but it can turn on its own which makes my piping go wobbly. The only reason I still keep it, is because it was a gift from my sister.

      The next thing you should have for piping, are piping bags, piping tips and couplers (each size relevant to its purpose). Your cake/cakes should already be covered in smooth fondant or royal icing, before you pipe.

      You can choose, to either be very lavish and sophisticated in your piped decorations, by going for the retro look; intricate lace looking frills and scallops, or, you can use piping to draw cute and basic designs; such lettering/numbers or tiny scallops on the edge.

      Whatever skill level you may possess, piping is a technique that all cake artists should have some experience with, even if it is just, to say that you have done it. When I decided to do elaborate piping for the first time, I had to actually psych myself up to get the courage to actually do it.

      You see, to me, skilled piping is the pinnacle of cake artistry techniques. Unlike all the other art forms, it gives very little room for errors, especially if it is going on someone’s $3000 wedding cake.

      Smeared

      The smear technique is quite modern and very simple. It only requires the use of an icing spatula or smoother to smear patches of different coloured icing to or around the circumference of the covered cake, by turning the turntable very slowly as you do this.

      This technique is also used, when wanting a marbled pattern effect or making a background for other decorations to be placed on. This is a very easy, and effective technique when wanting something that is quick but still stand out.

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques smeared

      Smeared technique used for a marbled effect

      Another way to smear is to use a sponge with edible paint straight onto the smoothed fondant and does not require patterns to be aligned.

      Painted

      Okay this the one that I specialise in, more than any other cake art technique.
      I have always loved coloring, mixing and using any form of painting. I am not sure where this passion came from as my Grandmother never did anything with painting.

      My mother did tell me once, though, now get this, when I was already married, had three kids and divorced; that from the age of four, my parents knew I had a talent for art, when they often caught me hand drawing horses and really difficult forms, and then used coloring pencils to fill in my lined figures.

      Now, why did they not see that, and support my talent!  I could’ve been a child prodigy, be now famous and living of my art…okay, this is just one of my many “if only…” moments.

      I guess life only gives you what you need, at the right time and I have to have some regrets in my life to keep me grounded.

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques paint

      Icing was hand painted with brush

      Now, yes, back to the cake painting, well if you love to paint, there are many forms and all use edible paints:

      • air brushing – this creates very precise lines and shades
      • hand painting – using brushes
      • water painting affects
      • painting onto or on top of a stencil
      • roller painting
      • brush brushing or dabbing
      • spray painting
      • sponge painting
      • paint air blowing

      Now you can see why I get so excited with painting, it has no limitations to what I can do and use.

      Dusting

      Pearl dusts and colored dusting has become a very popular way of coloring fondant or royal icing without the added mess of liquids. These dusts are edible powders that are supplied in various colors. They can be used to create edible paint with a little mix of vodka, but also dusted straight onto hand made toppers.

      The latter technique gives a beautiful effect to flower petals and add an almost realistic blush/hue. Dusting is also useful for shading highlights on the faces of figurines and modeled toppers.

      Stenciling

      If there is one advice to give here, do not buy cheap stencils that will break, or not stick to your cake. There, I think this pretty much explains what comes next.

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques stenciled

      I used a stencil and edible spray paint for this cake

      Stenciling can be just as difficult to correct as the piping technique. Stencils are made from rectangular plastics cut with intricate designs and shapes. Some are worded phrases or letters/numbers and others are of filigrees and lace designs.

      Stencils are held in place to the covered cake with sewing pins or craft pins, and icing is then smoothed with a spatula on top of the stencil. Afterwards, the stencil is removed the designs remain imprinted on the cake icing.

      Another form of stenciling, that I personally use in conjunction with piping is imprinting, by using a piece of hard plastic or an A5 clear thin piece of glass (usually recycled from a small photo frame).

      I use royal icing (which hardens very well) to draw the outline of an image or shape. I leave this for a few hours to harden and then use the glass or plastic to press the imprints onto my cake and then either paint the colours into them or pipe the outlines with royal icing.

      Imprints, Embossing, Texturing

      Imprints, embossing and texturing are all similar, in which they use impression mats, rollers and textured mediums to create different patterns on icing to give a specific appearance or dimension. I have included some examples below in how each can be used:

      Imprint – very much like a stencil but the mat is created from silicon and engraved with the shapes or designs. This mat is pressed onto fondant covering to give an elaborate patterned texture.

      Emboss – this too uses a mat but not made of silicon. The patterns are imprinted onto either small shaped plungers or on elaborately patterned metal plates. These are pressed either straight onto the covered cake or onto the rolled icing and then pasted to the iced cake. This also has an opposite method called debossing, used exactly in the same way, but displays the opposite effect.

      Texturing – this technique is useful when, for example you would like to make a wooden treasure box and require the right texture. These use, imprinted mats as well as patterned rollers or patterned tools to create the right textures.

      Overlayering and laces

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques-layering

      Overlayering technique I used for a baby shower cake

      Both overlayering and lace artistry techniques use fondant icing.

      As the name states overlayering, is when fondant shapes are either cut by knife, or shape cutters, and then pasted onto the fondant covering, layer by layer. These give a beautiful and clean looking effect. This technique alongside the smudging technique is probably the easiest cake art technique to follow in my view.

      I think my reason for this, is because it brings me happy childhood memories of my kindergarten days playing with colorful play dough.

      Lace techniques, require a little more skill and finesse. If you do not have delicate touch, don’t bother, just buy the ready-made ones.

      I have made a few of my own following easy homemade lace recipes and of course using expensive lace mats that I had to order on the internet. The difficulty of lacing is, when trying to remove the damned lace from the mat.

      My impatience can sometimes get the better of me and instead of tearing the dried lace carefully, I end up pulling the lace out of proportion altogether and tearing it apart. This is my main frustration with laces.

      However, laces layered onto the cake can be spectacular, if done properly. I have not given up though, and am still working at improving my lace art.

      Gold and Silver Edible Wrap/Leaf Paper

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques gold leaf paper

      Using gold leaf paper decoration

      I am not a fan of these, for the main fact that they are an added expense. I would rather paint metallic silver or gold and not have to pay for an expensive sheet of paper that ends up being shredded to be pasted on cakes. Nevertheless, most customers like the modern ‘ad hoc’ or rustic look of ripped gold and I do have to admit, it is art after all.

      Melted Sugar

      Spinning sugar and making sugar glass can add effective looks to any cake art. Spun sugar is a food art in itself, and can be used for more purposes other than just decoration.

      This technique is not for the faint-hearted, it requires exemplary skills to not only to cook but also to handle. This is another cake art form that I am working towards mastering, amongst they are a rare decorating request amoung my Tongan customers.

      Sugar glassmaking, is yet another artistry technique that needs skill to prepare and shape. This decoration is useful when creating windows for a gingerbread house cake, or making a snow glacier themed cake. Although quite difficult at first, sugar glass can be a fun addition to any cake and make you very popular with the kids.

      Just remember that both these artistry techniques require the correct tools and most specifically; a food cooking thermometer. This is one of the items I had listed in my ‘Basic Kitchen Rules-for Cake Artistry’ post.

      Toppers

      Home made edible toppers are really fun, and anyone who played with play dough as a child will enjoy this technique even without any artistic back ground.

      There are many YouTube videos posted to give step by step instructions and the internet has many guided posts. There are many tool kits also, produced to assist and make it easier to create your own toppers.

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques toppers

      My Thomas Topper decorated cake

      However, toppers can consist of just about anything that can be imagined; from the most extraordinary to the most basic, whether edible or not, such as:

      • hand made – pictures, edible flowers, animals, toys, figurines, jewelry, adult themed or children themed, fantasy or science fiction etc.,
      • by 3D printing – using pretty much anything, but this too, is an added expensive
      • using silicone moulds – using your own or a store bought moulding dough
      • non- edible items – i.e., toys, ribbons, lettering, real flowers etc.,
      • nature/rustic – twigs or dried fruit and leaves

      Chocolate crafts

      Shapes and forms, using decorating chocolate can be great but not so practical, when you live in a hot temperate location. Chocolate decorations are most popular during easter or Christmas.

      It is easily pliable and a great medium for lettering and piping drippings off the edge of cakes. Nowadays chocolate can be flavoured and coloured to unique specifications. They can also be moulded and shaped to add beautiful sculptured art decorations.

      A quick way of adding chocolate toppers is to just buy chocolate lollies like pebbles and throw them on top, if you are running out of time or you just want to add a fun looking cake for a child’s party.

      Baked toppers

      Not many people reaslise it, but this form of decorating has crept into artistry and is gaining popularity. Adding a couple of wafers biscuits, meringues, macaron or even cupcakes are now acceptable forms of cake art. Add a little sprinkle of gold dust or dribbled chocolate with some little edible flowers and you have a masterpiece.

      Most used cake artistry decorating techniques baked goods

      Using baked goods as decorations

      Baked goods can be either bought or home-made, but I prefer the latter. Other baked goods such as chocolate covered fingers and Tim-tams can be used as structural support too.

      Conclusion

      The techniques that I have briefly explained are my most used cake art decorating techniques. I may choose to use just one on its own, or use several techniques together to ensure the specific design or look that I am aiming at.

      This is not an exhaustive list as I am sure that you may have your own techniques that are not listed here, however these are only my own and I am more than happy for you to share or comment about yours.

      I still prefer to make everything from scratch but there are those rare occasions, where it is not my call, but the exact request of the customer, to add a non-edible topper or natural floral decoration.

      I hope that my post be of help to anyone who wants to further improve their skills in cake artistry. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions, or email me at ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com.

      See you in my next post,

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      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      My savingMy-money- tips-in-cake-artistry

      My Best Money Saving Tips For Cake Artistry





      I had briefly mentioned in my previous post, about the costs involved with Cake Artistry. The total amount of money required to bake, create and decorate just one cake will depend on the final design.

      Being extra creative comes at a cost, but no fear, I have compiled a few of my best money saving tips for cake artistry, in this post, for you to include in your own.

      Alternative Ingredients

      Beef Fat or Tallow

      My money saving tips-alternative ingredients

      A close up of the tallow that I use – clear and 100% fat

      I use tallow (100% organic beef fat) in addition to whole cream butter, in my butter icings. I got this idea, whilst watching YouTube one day, from a well-known cake artist, who lives in Canada, Krazy Kool Cakes (now, one of my favourite cake decorators). Her reasons for using this ingredient, instead of only butter, was because the majority of her cake orders were for the hot season.

      Tallow (which, she bought from Walmart) mixed with butter held the buttercream shape longer in the heat. It was also much cheaper than using only butter. Check out her video, she is a Krazy Kool chick!

       
      My Nana also used tallow, when she deep-fried her Tongan famous fried yeast cakes (keke). Unlike the ones people make today, using canola oil, Nana’s kekes always remained soft and kept their round forms without the oily residue.

      I buy my tallow bulk (20kg box), online from an organic New Zealand farm, that produces clear white one hundred percent pure beef fat, which doesn’t affect the icing flavour. It cost me $60 but it has lasted me for a few months.

      Half a box has provided me for more than forty cakes, and I also use it for our home cooked meals instead of some oils. I use a one part  butter and two parts tallow in all my buttercream and cream cheese icings. I have never had any complaints from any of my customers.

       

      Corn Flour, Corn Starch, Arrowroot Flour

      Did you know that using half part corn flour (also known as corn starch) with half part icing sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar) in icing recipes, can lessen the sweetness?

      Well, I came upon this, by accident. I had a customer, who said that she preferred buttercream, but that it tasted too sweet. She asked if I could find a buttercream recipe that was suitably less sweet. This gave me new challenge.

      After searching for a few days on the internet, I couldn’t find one recipe. So, I looked in my cupboard, and mentally created recipes with each ingredient. It was when, my eyes rested on the boxes of corn flour and arrow root flour, that it hit me!

      Both corn and arrowroot flours have the same consistency and use as icing sugar, but were not sweet. I did some research to make sure that mixing the ingredients was not going to cause any health issues, and all the information I found only gave positive reviews.

      My money saving tips corn flour

      Therefore, I made a few buttercream recipes using each of the flour ingredients (tested each on my family, as I do) and voilà!

      They tasted incredible; were less sweet and much creamier. The buttercream consistency was much better overall, because, the corn/arrowroot flours bound the ingredients together to create more hold to the shape form, without too much crusting, (too much crusting can cause icing to crumble and break).

      The new buttercream recipe’s debut was at my great aunt’s birthday, which was held on a very hot day. The icing held its shape, right to the end, even when it was accidentally bumped into. I got a rave review for the taste.

      I also use corn flour when rolling fondant or royal icing – much less sticky when rolled. The best part about these new ideas were the fact, that I could save more money buying less icing sugar.

      These are only two of my favourite alternative ingredients that I have used to save money, but I am sure to find more and will update this post when I do.

      Opportunity Shops & Online Trade Markets

      I prefer to purchase used goods, rather than new. My grandmother also, was a lover of used goods stores, she used to take me along when she visited them.

      I buy a lot of my cooking/baking/cake art tools second hand (usually at less than $5 an item). I only buy new items for quality (online stores) or for things that I cannot find anywhere else.

      Some of my most valuable and unique cake art tools were found at opportunity shops, items that are either no longer produced or limited editions from eons ago, that the new generation have no idea how to use.

      A few of my favourites: egg yolk separators, hand held butter/dough slicers (dicing butter into the dough), and fondant flattening spoon for rose petals. Fortunately, I have seen my Nana using some of these to know what they are used for.

      I am still old-fashioned in how I make my cakes – preferring to whisk/beat by hand rather than use machinery, not only to save the use of my power, but for the love of feeling with my hands to create.

      I would rather create my floral arrangements or cake toppers, from scratch. Most of these old fashioned tools give me that opportunity, and not to mention the arm exercises are an added bonus.

      Money saving tips - opportunity shops

      If I ever choose to sell my cake artistry tools, they would have no monetary value, but their usefulness and effectiveness, are worth a thousand times more, than many of the costly new modern items being advertised today, that have no longevity.

      They have saved me a lot of money.

      Online trade markets are also just as useful for saving money. I found an old fridge, which was given to me free, on local online trade market via Facebook. It was old but still worked well. It was converted it into my cake chiller, and is stored in my garage. To save money on power usage, it is only turned on for cake art.

      I have also, found unusual plant holders online too, that can be converted into ornamental cake stands, with a little TLC.

      Recycle left overs

      Do not throw away your left over cake art. Fondant or royal icing decorations hardened with tylose can last for years, because of its high sugar content. On saying that, the ‘foreverness’ of your creations, will depend on how, they will be stored.

      They need to be kept away from moisture and pests, in dry cardboard boxes (not enclosed in plastic containers) covered with paper towels, to allow them to breathe.

      Money saving tips-recycling left overs

      My left over floral toppers from February this year

      I have many left over flowers and roses kept stored away, to be recycled in any future cake art requests.

      Some topper decorations are more than six months old. I try to recycle them within a year, as I do not believe in keeping anything for longer than a year.

       

      Buttercream icing can also be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container, or 3-4 days in a chiller/refrigerator. Royal icing using meringue powder, can be left out for up to 3 days, and royal icing made with actual eggs can be chilled for up to 3 days.

      Fondant can be kept in enclosed containers away from sunlight, in a cool dark part of your pantry or food cupboard. I have fondant stored from the previous year, that I still use. Fondant hardens once it is exposed after its initial use, but can be made pliable with 30 seconds in the microwave and kneading for a few minutes.

      Recycling cake topper art, can save you a lot of money and time in the long run.

      Bulk Buying

      When I have quite a few cake orders, I like to combine all the required ingredients and buy these in bulk ahead of time. This also saves me from doing several trips as well as save money. I am sometimes fortunate to do this when some large department stores have their monthly bargains.

      If I do not use all the ingredients,  it becomes part of our family cooking or donated at church.

      Here are some products that can be bought in bulk:

      • Flour – I buy two 5kg bags
      • Sugar – I buy three 5kg bags
      • Icing Sugar – I buy about 10 x 2kg bags, less than $3 each
      • Corn Flour – I buy about 10 x 500 grams boxes, these cost less than $2 each
      • Tallow/ Beef Shortening – I buy 1 x 20 kg box online

      Creating My own

      I am always on the search for home made recipes or things that will help me to save money. I have added two of my favourites, here as examples:

      • Home made fondant

      Fondant is so expensive yet, it is, the most used ingredient for my cake art. I use a simple recipe that uses marshmallows to make my own fondant – this saves me money, gives me better creativity with flavours and it is not as sweet as the store bought fondants.

      • Home made silicon moulds

      Money saving tips home made moulds

      When I first started cake art, I tried to buy a topper for one of my cakes. The cake shop display price was $50 for a small figurine. I vowed that day, to make my own toppers and after much research, I found a basic food grade silicon mold recipe online.

      I used this to create my own moulds for cake toppers and other creations. These moulds last forever, and can be squished again and re-used for other shapes. My homemade silicon mould dough has saved me so much money. However, for those who don’t want to go through all this trouble, you can just buy polymer clay.

      • Home made cake dividers

      Money saving tips home made cake dividers

      I save large pieces of styrofoam that were used as part of packaging. I then cut these using box cutters and a lighter, into various shapes to use as cake dividers (as seen in the image above).

      With a bit of imagination and a few ornaments or coverings, these foams develop into spectacular cake dividers, which can be used again or sold as part of the cake arrangement. This is such a money saver for me, because foam cake dummies are so expensive these days. A 10 inch round foam costs between $30-$40, but my home made foams allow me any size that I want for free.

      • Home made cake stands

      Sometimes, just using people as resources can save money too. I am blessed, to be married to a metal engineer/welder. I can design a metal cake stand and ask my husband to weld them together for me. These stands are used for household decor too, when not used for my cake art.

      I use glue gun to stick clear plastic plates and bowls together, to create gorgeous crystal looking table cake display stands, which I decorate with glass looking craft beads for additional glam. I sell these stands as part of the display  with the cakes.

      Conclusion

      There are so many more money saving tips for cake artistry, and I have added but a few of what I use. I have no doubt, that as I progress in my cake art, I will discover many more ideas on how to simplify my budget. I also know, that you too, may have some amazing tips to add, so please share them, I would love to read your comments.

      Feel free to ask me anything, or add your thoughts below, I would love to know what your money saving tips for cake artistry are.

      Until my next post,

      Cake Artistry Featured Image

       

      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      cake decorating ideas

      My Simple Process To Get Easy Cake Decorating Ideas





      Sometimes, for many of us, thinking up cake decorating ideas can be really difficult, and can create many sleepless nights of dreaming and endless hours spent googling. I am going to write a simple process, that I follow, to get easy decorating ideas for my cake artistry.

      When I receive requests for specific occasions, I get really excited, but what excites me more, is when I am asked by my customer to surprise them with any unique design; I can pretty much do whatever I want.

      However, despite this permitted freedom, I ensure that the people, I am making the cakes for, are involved in every step; from start to finished product.

      Regardless of skill level, this simple process will assist anyone to design and create unique cake art.

      The Occasion or Purpose

      When I receive a cake order or request, I try to have an initial consult with my customer. My first question is always: what is the occasion or purpose.

      Getting this information, is crucial so that, designs can be customised according to the occasion. Some cake art designs, factor in cultural backgrounds, or to portray funny memories/thoughts, or even weird items/themes.

      You  find out about any diet requirements too, during this initial consult.

      My cousin’s children graduated from university recently and I had the pleasure of creating their cakes. She requested that some of our Tongan culture be included in the decorations. I created each cake with the university logo and decorated the sides to look just like our Tongan tapa mats (all hand painted by the way).

      Graduation cakes for my cousin

      My cousin’s children’s graduation cakes

      Another aspect to finding out about the occasion is, to get details to where the ceremony will be held. For example, if the venue/ reception will be outside, and during summer, the design of that cake will need to withstand bugs and the heat.

      Therefore, finding out the occasion or purpose, will give you, an idea of the ingredients needed and how the cake should be designed.

      Budget

      Sometimes, the amount of money that the customer can afford, will have an impact on your cake art design also. I personally like to customise my cake art to how much my customer can afford.

      For example, if a young couple cannot afford a lavish cake design, I try to offer them a more affordable yet beautiful design. This is my way of giving back to the community, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see people happy. Money does not make beautiful cake art, people do.

      For people who can afford to pay, I ask for a small non-refundable deposit (20%) to guarantee that I am paid for my time, should there be an early cancellation.

      I  would list down all the required items including my labour and make up a budget. This budget is what I use as foundation to what I use, as a final price to quote for my service and end product (less the pre-paid deposit).

      Budget list for cake orders

      I usually give ‘mate’s rates’ for friends and family, which is usually a large discount (if you are reading this and you are my friend/family – this is how much I love you, but all good since, I do get to take home a mat or large ‘doggy bag’ in return).

      I suggest that you try and get a mutual agreement for the final price, before giving your service and heart to any new project (verbal agreements are fine, if its someone you know but I suggest having it written via quote/invoice).

      Another thing to consider when agreeing on a budget and also for your decorating ideas, is, to ask about, the amount of people attending and eating the cake/s that you will be creating.

      I sometimes make an extra cake or two, as a back up, not only for any extra people (uninvited gate crashers are normally expected at our Tongan celebrations), but also, in case of any unwarranted accidents and I need to fix any cakes at very short notice (especially, for long distance deliveries).

      Note: If you make a full-time earning from your cake creations –  include any taxes to be paid (GST or Income Tax) in your budget/quote/invoice.

      Icing Type, Colors & Flavours

      Okay, this should be quite straight forward. Getting the right icing type, colors and flavouring are crucial to your cake decorating ideas/designs – this is where, constant communication with the customer is advised.

      When I was working on a recent wedding cake order, the customer changed the colors about four times during the process, because she couldn’t make up her mind what colors to use for her bridesmaids. So expect to have a few leftover unused decorations after your cake art is completed.

      Another way to get the exact coloring is to request a sample color of the fabrics being used for the venue decor, or bridal party. A photo with the intended colors is also very helpful.

      Coloring and Flavours

      Sometimes, I make a 6-inch sample cake for the customer to test, with all the required icing, coloring and flavours. I then, tweak the cake art according to the customer’s opinion.

      If my customer gives an outlandish, impossible flavor, I advise them so. However, I am always up for new challenges and if I do not find a recipe, I create a new recipe (my poor family have to test drive these new flavors of course – before I offer it to the customers).

      About 95% of the time, though, I can say, without a doubt, that I have been able to accommodate most of the flavours requested. My nephew’s wedding will be held in October next year, and he requested a yam flavored cake, which I look forward to posting about later.

      Decorating Mediums

      Some designs or decorations require different mediums for greater effect. My main specialty is hand painting and sketching on fondant. This takes great patience and time, but the special effects are worth it. I encourage you to find which medium that the customer might wish to have. If you like to specialise on a specific cake art medium, using photos of your previous work, can help your customers to choose what you prefer as well.

      Hand painted decorations on cakes

      I am not a fan of sticking on pre-made or pre-bought decorations on my cakes – as this will not be true, to what I believe true ‘cake artistry’ is all about. I do my best to create everything to at least over 90% edible decorations, rather than have plastic or non edible stuff, including sweets and ‘what nots’ added, for the sake of saving time.

      Adding fresh flowers too, for me, is not being really creative, because they were not created by you! personally, I think real flowers are just another added expense and for all their glory, leave cakes looking naked once they are removed.

      Now that I have said it, feel free to add your own thoughts into the comments section. However at the end of the day, if you disagree, just do you, so please don’t shoot me!

      Basic Design

      This is my favorite part. After, I have gathered all of the above information from my customers, I make myself a cup of coffee and sit in a comfortable spot, with an art sketch book (used specifically for my cake art) and draw to my hearts content.

      This is similar to ‘brain storming’ but I call it ‘cake storming’. I lose myself in my drawings (very therapeutic) and when I believe I have a design, I take a screen shot with my phone and send it to my customer for their final comments/approval.

      Cake storming ideas

      Sometimes, if time is not an issue, I create a miniature 3-D cake model, made from glued cardboard paper and foam, and decorate with the colors. This helps me to visualise a final product and to stay focused during my work.

      I try to remain true to my customer’s requests, in my cake art. If I am given no requests, I try to use the customer’s personalities and likes, to allow them to be still a part of the process.

      Sometimes, I ask permission to view their social media pages. In this way, I am always focused on what my customer’s wants are, and not about how good I think my cake art is.

      Conclusion

      I would like to conclude this blog with a brief summary of what I have just written. In order to create unique cake art, you must have some cake decorating ideas or designs in mind. Sometimes this is the most difficult hurdle to jump.

      Have a consult with your customer and find out: what the occasion is and/or the purpose for the cake/s; how much your cake art will cost for both the customer and yourself; get detailed information on icing type, colouring and flavouring; ask what decorating mediums are required.

      With this information sketch a basic design or make a miniature model of your cake.

      Last but not least, always keep in mind that your customer’s needs and wants are more important than a showcase of your own creativity. Therefore, by following my simple process, anyone can easily discover cake decorating ideas for their own cake artistry.

      Please comment if you have found this post useful or would like to share how you get your cake decorating ideas. Despite my suggestions, I encourage you to always remain true to you.

      Best wishes,

      Cake Artistry Featured Image

       

      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com

      Food health safety certificate

      Kitchen Safety Rules – for Cake Artistry




      First thing is first, before any creative decorating or cake artistry, there are a few basic standard requirements that we need to look at first; to ensure that the people eating our delicious creations do not fall off their seats and die while doing so, or that we hurt ourselves, during our work.

      I am a stickler for hygiene and safety, especially when it comes to my food handling, whether it be for my own family or anyone else.

      Therefore, I suggest a few kitchen safety rules below, to consider before you start on your cake art.

      Food Handling & Safety

      Back in my Nana’s days, food safety standards, were quite lax, anybody could prepare anything edible and sell at the local flea market (this is what we called markets in New Zealand, in case you thought we sold fleas) or on the street straight out of their home kitchen.

      During this time, ‘flash’ and expensive restaurants would allow patrons to take left overs home in a “doggy bag”.

      Now days, you cannot prepare and sell precooked food, without a basic food safety certificate and restaurants will not allow anyone to take any food home, no matter how much is left over, and all that yummy food will go straight to the garbage bins. Continue reading

      Caker Artistry Featured about Author

      About Ilaisaane





      Welcome to my website. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, I hope that you will find helpful information to further improve your cake decorating skills.

      My Passion For Cake Artistry

       

      image of my grandmother

      My beautiful grandmother Ana Fisi’ihone Akauola

       

      I am a self-taught Cake Artist (having used techniques from various on-line videos and short courses) and Professional Cake Artists.

      My passion for baking and art, started at the age of nine, when I used to help my late maternal grandmother, Ana Fisi’ihone Halangahu Akauola (more dearly known as “Nana”). This web page is dedicated to her memory, and all that she had inspired in me.

      Nana ran a little stall in our local markets during the early 1980s, where she sold yummy fried Tongan donuts made with yeast (keke ‘isite) alongside her many other homemade crafts.

      My cousin Rose and I, were her little helpers: craft making, cooking, sewing and delivering her goods to the markets. Both of us learned skills that later developed within our own lives as we grew up.

      During this time, Nana was in her early sixties, but her spirit of self-less giving, kept her energetic. My grandmother had nothing, yet her goal in life was only to help other people, in whatever way she could.

      My fondest memories were, of her welcoming people to her home, with her baking or cooking. You could smell the aroma before entering her house.

      Sadly, Nana passed away in 1999, but those wonderful memories of her cooking and love for people, are what inspires my creations. I often wish that she could see my handy work today. I believe she would have been very proud.

      I bake and decorate cakes for any occasion, which is something that I personally call an “expensive hobby”.

      Art Thou Cakes About Ilaisaane

      Many would say that, it’s your passion that motivates you to get yourself out of bed every day, but for me, it’s what keeps me up to the wee hours of the morning, making those final little brush strokes, or dusting the final blush on a rose petal.

      I do all this to bring smiles to the faces of the people I make the cakes for, even if it doesn’t make me profit. Just like my Nana.

      Being Unique

      I love baking, but above all I love to transform ordinary looking cakes into unique pieces of art. I am not at all perfect, however, I learn from my mistakes and draw from the professionalism of other Cake Artists, to find the best, most valuable products and strategies for my ideas.

      You Can Be A Cake Artist too

      If you are bored with just the ordinary looking fondant/buttercream decorations, then try my tips and find your inner creativity. You do not have to be Picasso or have any artistic background – just a lot of passion and a love for fun.

      I will also share the products and services that I personally use, that have helped to enhance my skills.

      Purpose of this website

      This website will offer you free cake artistry tips and shared experiences. Feel free to share your own as well. I would love to hear from you.

      If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below or email me.

      All the best,

      Cake Artistry Featured Image

       

      ilaisaane@artthoucakes.com