7 April 2012

{Tutorial} Gel Colours

If you want really really vibrant colours, then gel colours are a MUST! They give you a whole range of colours in your cake batter, butter cream, fondant and modelling pastes without upsetting the consistency. The colours you can make are endless!!

There are three main brands.... Wilton and Americolour come from America and Sugarflair comes from the UK. Sugarflair is my favourite, but I do mix and match. Americolor is good for some particular shades. Wilton is pretty much what you see on the outside of the bottle. But the colour panel doesn't show you the potential of just one colour pot.

For example, these buttons are made from just one pot of colour: Sugarflair Mint Green. You can get even darker shades, I just stopped at 4. 

So where do you start? I would start with a few primary colours. Then you can mix colours to get new colours. For example, this first button is a light shade of Wilton ice blue. Then I mixed a little Sugarflair Chestnut into the paste to get that vintage blue on the right. then, a little more white paste to get that vintage green in the middle.

And it's the same case for all these colours below... 4 pots of colour.... sky blue, ruby, chestnut and grape. And that's not all. There are heaps more colours I can make with those 4 pots.

Some colours you can't mix for example Purple. My favourite purple shade is Violet by Americolour, you get that nice bright purple. Grape by Sugarflair comes out a bit grey for my liking. But then it depends on your own designs and colour palettes.

Hope this helpful :)

5 April 2012

{Recipe} Buttercream

People are scared of buttercream for some reason.... it's not hard... you don't even need measuring equipment!! Just an electric beater!

500 grams of icing mixture (supermarket brands are fine)
250 grams of good quality butter (I like Dairy Soft in the white tub)
1 tbs of good quality vanilla essence

... and 4 tbs of good cocoa powder if making chocolate buttercream....

This will make enough for about 25 cupcakes or more if you put a little buttercream on top. If you are making less cupcakes then you can halve the recipe.

Put the butter in a bowl and beat until it's smooth. Then add the vanilla and half of the icing mix or icing sugar. Once combined, add the rest of the icing mix and then it won't fly out everywhere. Beat until its nice and smooth. It should feel light to spread when you dip your spatula in.

Use an icing mixture as opposed to pure icing sugar as icing mixture contains cornflour and won't clump. you won't need to sift it because the cornflour stops the sugar clumping...

{gluten free}... then use pure icing sugar.... but you WILL need to sift it does not contain corn flour...
Use a good quality butter because this is what makes buttercream great. My favourites are Danish Lurpak butter (UK) or Dairy Soft (AUS) in the white container. Both are more expensive but worth the money as we usually make buttercream for special occasions anyway!

Don't keep buttercream in the fridge as it will take on fridge flavour. It also goes hard and won't pipe. So if you do make it the day before, you can keep it on the table with cling film over it. If it's the middle a hot Queensland summer, put it in the fridge. Let it come back to room temp before you try and pipe it. 

{vegan buttercream} quantities are the same, just swap butter for non-dairy spread... I find Nuttelex has the least flavour and takes on the vanilla, chocolate or essences you add. If the buttercream looks to soft and curdling, just add a little more icing mix. 

You can see how to make grass icing here.

{TIP} Do not use a butter that is labeled 'spreadable' for buttercream as it is butter blended with vegetable oil, you won't get the nice firm consistency and the buttercream will too soft.

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