When preparing sponge cakes for a wedding or other special occasion, bake the cakes so they are 2.5cm (1”) bigger in size than you need so the darker crusts can be removed before covering.
Fruit cakes are best baked to a depth of 7.5–10cm (3–4”). If you’re baking a traditional fruit cake and need it to match the height of layered sponge tiers, sandwich a separator between two cake boards and place them underneath the fruit cake before covering.
When coating a very deep tier, the sugarpaste can tear easily. Drape the sugarpaste over the cake carefully and secure the top edges straight away. Work quickly to smooth the paste down the sides, taking care not to pull the sugarpaste down from the top edge.
If you’re using liquid or paste food colours to achieve a strong shade, add dust food colour at the same time to maintain the consistency of the icing or paste.
When dusting colour onto a cake tier, use a cosmetic brush reserved solely for sugarcraft. It has lots of fine hairs and holds more dust colour for better coverage.
If cake lace feels flimsy, allow the first layer of Flexi-Ice to dry then add another coat. The result is a much stronger lace.
Steaming and glazing can alter the colour of a dusted leaf or petal. It can be helpful to steam and glaze one before continuing with the rest to make sure that you are happy with the final look.
Use a clean, damp brush to push piped royal icing into place if it’s not quite the right shape. If it’s completely wrong, carefully remove the icing with a sharp knife. Clean up the sugarpaste with a damp brush and wait for it to dry before piping on it again.
It’s best not to attach a long strip of ruffles around the circumference of a cake in one go as it will be difficult to handle and can tear. Instead, use a few strips, overlapping them carefully to disguise the joins within the ruffles.
When painting with edible paints, build up the layers, starting with the lightest tones first and finishing with the darkest tone. Use big strokes, being careful not to overwork the layers. Don’t worry about being too precise; you need to incorporate movement and energy into your painting for the best results.
Designer Cake Decorating is the must-have book for anyone looking to step up their sugarcraft game and make their cakes look as polished and professional as possible. Take a look inside!