Notice my contact info to the right, if you want to contact me with any questions. I would also like to say that I do attempt to give credit where credit is due. I do not make any claims to cakes in my blog except the ones in my slideshow. If I show a cake I will try to post some type of identifer with it, however, if I don't know who posted the cake it is impossible for me to do that. I am only using the cake to illustrate a specific technique.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Caker Must Haves

You will find when you embark on your new caking journey it requires the right kind of equipment. And, like with an hobby, it can get to be expensive if you run right out and buy all the "toys" of the trade. While these "toys" are great, if you can afford them, a lot of them are not necessary, and I would suggest making sure this is really something you want to pursue before making a large investment in said "toys".

Some of the more expensive gadgets you can buy include, The Cricut Cake Machine, Edible Image Printers, Air Brush Systems, and other miscellaneous tools. While they are wonderful products, they are not necessary to do the job. However, they do make it more convenient and once learned can be faster then doing it all by hand.

Some less expensive options are (instead of the Cricut) using plastic cutting boards, exacto knives, stencils, patterns, or cookie cutters to cut out your own cut-outs. Instead of an edible image printer use icing bags, printed images, wax paper, scotch tape, icing tips, recipes for royal icing and buttercream, a clear sheet of plastic or glass (tape the edges) to make a royal icing transfer or a frozen buttercream transfer. And instead of an air brush system get a good set of paint brushes, clear vanilla, and at least the primary (red, yellow and blue) icing colors.

Using the above mentioned tools, you can make your own cut-outs, make a royal icing or Frozen Buttercream Transfer, and hand-paint your own cakes.

Other things that are nice to have include: molds (you can make your own), gumpaste, flower making tools (you can start out with an inexpensive set...I got mine at Michaels for $20.00), a good rolling pin, cookie cutters, edible ink markers, pizza cutter, non-skid foam (for transporting cakes), etc.

If you get really passionate about caking, you will (and I guarantee it) find caking tools in the strangest places, especially hardware stores. I find my walking through a store and something catches my eye, and I think, hey this would be good for doing such and such on my cakes. One good example of this is the bench scraper tool. Go to the hardware store and find you a really good wide putty knife. Or, like one of the ladies on (Melvira) does... she smooths her buttercream icing with one of those rubber paint rollers you get from the hardware store. Here is Melvira's post from cake central.

Other strange items might be toothpicks to help thin the petals of flowers, scrapbooking stamps to stamp images on fondant (e.g. footprints, wedding bells), stencils from the craft section, thin plastic cutting boards to use a cake lifter, homemade icing spatula out of an empty container lid. This is ultimate recyling at its best. I think two of the best ones I have heard of though are using a carpenter's laser level to help tort your cake and a drywall cutting tool to cut out your own cake boards out of cardboard or foamcore board. Look around will be surprised at what you can find for little or no cost.

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