The cake decorating road test
Posted by Jules
Immy & Cam are the voice here when it comes to road testing products that are geared towards the kids market. On the same day we made My Daddy Cooks Sloppy Joes and Chocolate Salami we made some basic fairy cakes and spent an afternoon decorating them using products I had been sent to trial. The ingredients that passed the test went on to be used by pupils in my cookery school over the summer.
Until I received the Renshaws goodie bag I had only come across Renshaws as the well know icing brand. Essential to any good cake decorating shop. They have recently launched a range of decorating ingredients that is aimed at children and is slightly different to the norm including the flavoured icing that use 100% natural flavours and colours.
Snip & Swirl – a cheats alternative to buttercream that can be piped straight from the bag. Of course I’m naturally a person who makes frosting/buttercream from scratch but I can see this product being good for people who are not as confident in the kitchen and I’m all for shortcuts if it gets children involved in the kitchen but don’t expect this to be exactly the same as buttercream. It isn’t. It’s softer, sweeter and has a different taste. Rather than piping it from the bag we decanted it into Kuhn Rikon decorating squeeze bottle with a star tip which worked well. Immy managed to pipe some intricate designs with it this way. Immy & Cam loved using it and I did catch Cam at one point squirting it straight into his mouth.
My favourite ingredient was the lemon sherbet sugardough. I liked eating it! – Cam
Blackcurrant Magic Melting Icing – This went down well with Immy, Cam & my Cookery School pupils who particularly like the strong ribena-like taste. To get the icing to a usable consistency it needs to be heated in the microwave so an adult is required because it can get very hot. I only let the children use it once it had cooled down a bit. It can also apparently be blended with butter to make a flavoured buttercream, but we never managed to try this.
Coloured & Flavoured Sugardough – This was very easy to manipulate and the children enjoyed working with it. Although it was a warm day when using it it didn’t dry too fast. The cakes above with the brown, yellow & pink icing used this set of sugardough.
I’ve been using Dr Oetker (Supercook) products for years as they are easy to find, reliable and affordable. When they contacted me to see if I would try some of their new range I wasn’t going to say no as I’m always on the lookout for products to use at home and in my business.
Coloured Ready to Roll Icing– Like Renshaws, Dr Oetker sell small sets of coloured icing that are fabulous for children to use and experiment with. While there is nowhere near enough in the box to ice a full size cake is perfect for fairy cakes or smaller projects. Also great to see black icing included in the set as anyone who has coloured icing will tell you how hard it is to make a pure black icing. The cakes above with the bright red, green, yellow & black icing are made with the Dr Oetker icing.
Polka Dot Sprinkles – Possibly the most popular product I was sent. Immy & Cam enjoyed using (and eating!) them and the pupils at the Cookery School were very creative when using them to decorate cakes with. They were not just using them as sprinkles but using them to build patterns with.
My favourite were the fudge pieces, they were really tasty – Immy
Wafer Daisies were popular with the girls. During an event promoting the cookery school I had a stall and some of the cakes had these flowers on. Some parents (who confessed to not being the most confident in the kitchen) asked where the flowers came from as they would like to use them when cake decorating with the kids. They were glad to hear they are readily available in most (if not all) supermarkets.
I was also sent some fudge pieces that I used in Chocolate Banana Muffins along with some pretty shimmer sugar, citrus strands and cake release spray. I’m yet to try it but Ruth – Pink Whisk has used it and was impressed .
A big thank you to both Renshaws & Dr Oetker for letting their products loose on Immy & Cam.