I have always been a bit of a mixed media artist. Even back in high school art. I love to mix things together for texture and colour. So I didn’t see why cookie decorating (or any sweet medium really) needed to be any different.
I often switch between royal icing, glaze and fondant depending on the finish I want, what the customer has requested or how things go together. There have been times I have used all 3 - on the same cookie!
There have been times where TIME is the determining factor. Those last minute orders that are needed in 2 days(in reality 33 hours away), packaged in cello bags - glaze definitely isn’t an options, royal icing would be pushing it, so fondant it is - just to be safe.
I have done similar designs in different mediums too. The results are different. Why choose one over the other? Well, which one goes with the rest of the event? What suits your clients personality? You don’t have to totally redesign something to make it unique and personal - little changes...
The first few times I tried royal icing I failed miserably! I was determined to get it right, so I did a lot of research. Watched endless videos, read blogs and experimented. Finally I got the consistency right and everything else fell into place. I wish someone had told me that consistency is the key right from the start.
There are so many different techniques you can use with royal icing but if you dont have the right consistency they wont be right.
Whatever method you are using, (outline and flood consistencies, one consistency for everything, dipping) always start with the same base recipe, mix well (don’t over mix) and then colour and thin from there. There is a chemical reaction that needs to happen in the right proportions before all the alterations can be made.
There are loads of videos about what each consistency should look like.
You want to get the surface dry sooner rather than later. This allows you to keep decorating, add another layer, prevents co...
Fondant covered cookies - some people love them, some hate them. They have their place in the world. Some techniques will only work with fondant. There are times when TIME is a factor and fondant is the only medium that will work.
Whether you love them or hate them there are some tips that will make a fondant covered cookie more successful.
Start with a firmer cookie
Fondant sets on the surface but doesn’t go hard like royal icing so will add a bit of softness to your finished product. The moisture from the fondant also transfers to the cookie over time. To counteract this I start with a cookie that has been baked for a couple of minutes extra.
Don’t add water to the cookie
Adding water to a cooked cookie will make them soft. If that’s the way you like them, then you can skip this part. I like my cookie a little crispier so water is the enemy. So how do you attach the fondant to the cookie? Well I use water of course! But the water goes on the fondant not the cookie. Water and fondant...
There are many different recipes and methods for sugar cookies. Some recipes will give you a soft cookie, others a crispier cookie. Some claim to be spread free straight out of the bowl and others need chilling.
I know you want me to give you a recipe here but I feel that would be doing you a dis-service. I’ve tried recipes that claim to be fail-proof - guess what? They didn’t work for me. Everyone bakes a little different. Others I didn’t like the taste or texture of. Try a couple of different recipes and see what works for you. Don’t despair though, I’ll tell you what I do to counteract some of those common pitfalls - you can apply this to almost any recipe. Keep in mind this is my way, it is not the only way. It is what I find works for me based on lots of trial and error.
Keep in mind that the end result of a decorated cookie will be slightly different than what the cookie is like straight out of the oven. Royal icing or fondant will add different texture and fla...
One of the things that seems to cause a lot of stress for hosts is what to order or make for an event.
What if no one likes it? What if? What if? What if? If you keep going with the what ifs you will never get off the ground.
There will always be someone who doesn’t like ALL the choices but it is rare that they won’t like ANY of the choices. The greatest challenge is people with food intolerances or allergies - and we will chat about this a bit later.
The easiest place to start is - what do YOU like? Chances are your friends will like similar things. If you like out there flavours but aren’t sure if your guests will, include ONE of those options.
Next make sure you have a variety. For example not everyone likes chocolate (crazy I know but it happens) so have a couple of other options. Such as fruit based flavours, caramels, or custards
If in doubt look at what is currently popular. Social media is a great place to see what is trending. Another place is google (or whatever your p...
Traditionally mirror glaze was used to cover mousse cakes (called entreme), petite gateaux and tarts. Now people are using them to cover all manner of cake and dessert. Or even as a garnish - such as the drip on a drip cake.
Those desserts in the cup things, what are they called….so many names come to mind. Technically they are called verrines which means….a small glass, jar, bowl, acrylic tube (you get the idea) containing layers of food
Dessert tables are a fabulous way to treat your guests to a variety of desserts. Best of all they get to choose what they want - they will thank you for that. If you are like many people, you want it to all match or at least have a theme to represent you and your event.
There are many different ways to work towards a cohesive dessert table, You may want to start with one (or more) of the following
Colour as a theme is great. You can use it as a basis for all your desserts or you can use it to bring a random assortment together. The thing to consider with colour is, it can limit your flavour choices if you have your heart set on everything being the same.
The red and silver selection below is a statement. It is obvious what their theme is and it took precedence over everything else. The flavours were chosen to suit. The second mix of desserts was selected by flavour first and brought together with silver accents....
Are you flying off to a special destination for your wedding? It might be so you can keep it small or it might be a central location because you have family all over the world. What ever the why is, there is no reason you can't still indulge in some wedding traditions.
Many brides feel it's all to hard to arrange a beautiful bomboniere or wedding favour for their destination. Or they find their options very limited if they are bringing them from home. The other common concern is they are more expensive if sources in the destination country/ location. I'm here to tell you it is easier than you think and you have almost as many options as someone having their wedding at home.
The secret? There are a couple of considerations, well THREE to be precise.
1. Check the regulations of the destination and your airline.
There may be restrictions on what you can bring into a country or location. Australia has some of the strictest food import laws but many destination wedding loca...
Juggling that wedding budget is tough. If you are anything like me, you will keep seeing things that are "oh so pretty" and you have to consider if you can include them. My questions is..."why can't some of those things serve a dual purpose?"
A perfect example of a wedding something that could also be something else is the bomboniere or wedding favour! If you are looking for suggestions, check out the article I wrote recently about different options for favours
Have you considered combining your bomboniere or wedding favour with the place settings? Guests love those special little touches of things with their name on them. It's especially good if Uncle George or cousin Sandra is known for trying to stockpile a heap of goodies to take home. Options include cookies stamped with names, tags on packaging with individual names or little sign posts on mini desserts.
The next thing is the dessert buffet. Consider providing small boxes so people can take a selection of small things...