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apinkberet

Looking for cake painting advice.

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My wedding cake baker will be making a chocolate cake with a white chocolate glaze. I'm hoping to paint a floral themed pattern on top of the white chocolate glaze. I read elsewhere that to paint on the chocolate; you should mix your colors with cocoa butter. I have purchased some all natural Trucolor vegetable pigments in powder form and some organic cocoa butter. I saw a youtube video online that showed how to melt the cocoa butter and mix in the colored powder. I have a few questions. Should the cocoa butter be sweetened before painting on the cake? Will it adversely affect the taste? Also, the individual in the video used an emulsifier. What is the purpose of an emulsifier and how necessary is it to have one? I'm hoping to create the cake below. Thank you.

MyWeddingCake.jpg

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No sweetening required - a deodorized cocoa butter will add no flavour - since the cake is chocolate the non deodorized cocoa butter should be fine. If the pigments are powdered and miscible with fat then an emulsifier shouldn’t be required.

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My main concern is what is the glaze made of?  Is it water and gelatin based, is it a ganache? 

 

I'd use cocoa butter to paint on solid chocolate, but depending on what the glaze is, you might do just as well with the pigment dissolved in alcohol or some sort of neutral glaze.

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Hi, thank you for responding. As far as I am aware my baker wants to use white chocolate that is cocoa butter based in the glaze. I don't believe there will be any gelatin just probably white chocolate and milk or cream so probably like a ganache. 

 

Would you suggest Everclear? or Vodka? Instead of cocoa butter. We are doing a test run next week. I suppose I could try both options and see which gives me the best result.

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3 minutes ago, apinkberet said:

Hi, thank you for responding. As far as I am aware my baker wants to use white chocolate that is cocoa butter based in the glaze. I don't believe there will be any gelatin just probably white chocolate and milk or cream so probably like a ganache. 

 

Would you suggest Everclear? or Vodka? Instead of cocoa butter. We are doing a test run next week. I suppose I could try both options and see which gives me the best result.

Good idea

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I don't make as many cakes as, say, @JeanneCake, maybe she can weigh in.  I've  painted on fondant by thinning gel colors with alcohol.  I think if it is a fairly firm, dry glaze, the cocoa butter would be fine. 

 

Agreed, a test run sounds like a good idea.  Let us know how it goes.

 

 

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Hi Everyone,

 

I have never hydrated a food color gel or powder before. Can you hydrate with a non-alcoholic base? I have relatives who will not eat anything that has alcohol in it even if the alcohol has cooked out or evaporated.

 

Thank you.

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I would seriously consider using a white chocolate fondant, or a white modeling chocolate as a means of covering the cake.  You will be less likely to have problems as you paint on the sides, you can fix errors far more easily on those than you can on a glazed surface.  You might also want to consider exploring a new trend similar to impasto,  that is uses a painter's palette knife to apply buttercream (it could also be a colored ganache) to form impressionist-style flowers.

 

If you are going to paint on fondant or modeling chocolate, you can use airbrush color (it will dry better than thinned gel color; which always remains a little bit tacky if you go  in that direction).

 

If that video showed using an emulsifier, maybe it's to make the "edible paint" more pliable, like paint?  Does it show what it looks like before and after they mix the emulsifier in?  Can you post a like to the video (I'm curious about the technique myself!).

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2 hours ago, apinkberet said:

Hi Everyone,

 

I have never hydrated a food color gel or powder before. Can you hydrate with a non-alcoholic base? I have relatives who will not eat anything that has alcohol in it even if the alcohol has cooked out or evaporated.

 

Thank you.

 

I've used vegetable oil to hydrate colored dusts to paint on wafer paper....

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A glaze is poured over the cake's surface (usually you put a coat of buttercream or even ganache on it first), while fondant or modeling chocolate is rolled out to drape/enrobe the cake.  Some people use the paneling method to cover the cake - you cut a circle to fit the top, then  you cut a band to go around the side and then  you finesse the seam where it meets.  I myself would not use glaze on a tiered wedding cake; there is no room for error when stacking it, and you pretty much have to have border of some type to mask the seams where each tier meets the one below.  I've done it enough times over the  years with ganache (as a glaze) to know that it's a headache I don't want to deal with (so the price would be in line with the aggravation factor 😁).  If this is your own wedding cake you are working on, you don't need or want any extra stress before the big day.  (I am admitting to a bias here: I made our wedding cake and my husband - to this day - will tell you it ranks right up there with one of the dumbest things I've ever done.  There's so much you're dealing with in the few days before the wedding that you don't really  have the luxury of taking your time with the cake.  And that's when something will happen and you will be frustrated and stressed, which you don't want to be!)

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I think they are using the immersion blender to mix the color and cocoa butter together; it's "emulsifying" in the way that you combine oil and vinegar for salad dressing and they want to spray this through an airbrush to color the chocolate molds. 

 

You can also use an immersion blender to make mirror glaze (which contains chocolate and gelatin as @pastrygirl mentioned above) so that's what I was thinking you were covering the cake with too!

 

 

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A good friend of mine is making the cake and I am doing the decorating part.

 

I don't want her to have too much work either as she and her family will be leaving on a trip right after my wedding. The white chocolate fondant doesn't sound like a bad idea. Thank you for the advice. I will look into the fondant. How many days before your wedding did you make the cake?

 

Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, JeanneCake said:

I think they are using the immersion blender to mix the color and cocoa butter together; it's "emulsifying" in the way that you combine oil and vinegar for salad dressing and they want to spray this through an airbrush to color the chocolate molds. 

 

You can also use an immersion blender to make mirror glaze (which contains chocolate and gelatin as @pastrygirl mentioned above) so that's what I was thinking you were covering the cake with too!

 

 

If you just stir the fat soluble powders into the melted cocoa butter - they don't mix well and you get little lumps of color when you are working with it. The immersion blender allows good mixing of color into the cocoa butter.

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The wedding was Sunday, we had to deliver the cake Saturday evening.  I wasn't working as a pastry chef at the time (I was still in high tech but I took the week off before the wedding to handle stuff.  This was before the WWW, cell phones and the consumer use of email (yes, dinosaurs roamed the earth then too 🤣).  I started baking on Thursday, assembled the cake on Friday then covered it in fondant on Saturday morning.  It was a four tier vanilla/raspberry design from The Cake Bible; I bought the marzipan roses but still.  Not being in a commercial kitchen with lots of space to spread out, I basically emptied out my fridge so I had room for the cake and despite having practiced all summer long, things still took  me longer than I estimated.  If you are working out of your friend's commercial kitchen it won't be as bad; if she covers the cake in fondant and stacks it for you, you're in great shape.  Plan 2 days for the decorating so you have extra time in your schedule already built in; if you don't need it, you have time to relax.  If you do need it, the additional time you built into the schedule doesn't force you to choose between finishing the cake and doing something else.  I don't know how much experience you have in cake decorating so please don't be offended by my long decorating time recommendation.  I would especially recommend you doing the painting on dummy cakes covered in cheap fondant to practice.  You can buy styrofoam dummies and yucky fondant at the craft store (Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, etc); for the good fondant you can buy from AUISwiss, get their Massa Grischuna with white chocolate (it's firmer than plain fondant, it has a slight ivory cast to it compared to the Americana, which is paper-white in color or the Neutral, which is more like a soft white). This is the only brand of fondant I use; it is easy to roll out (use cornstarch, not confectioners sugar,  sugar will dry out the surface of your fondant more than cornstarch will); it tastes good as far as fondant goes, and it handles well.

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Be aware that the geometric second layer in your image will be extremely difficult to accomplish. Natural forms are easier because they are more forgiving. And, geometric patterns require the cake they are painted upon to be iced with extreme precision. If you haven't done this before, your wedding cake is not the time to try for the first time. (you'd have an easier time sewing your own gown)

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Hi Lisa, thanks for the advice. I have already done away with the geometric pattern. It's just the last image I made of my wedding cake. I haven't updated it yet. Initially, I was tying a motif from my wedding dress in with the geometric pattern from my Fiance's dress, but she is now getting a different dress as the first one didn't work due to some inexperienced seamstresses who kept getting the measurements wrong. We haven't received the new dress yet, hopefully, it will work out. I haven't decided yet what to do with the middle tier in the absence of the geometric patterns.

 

All of the advice has been very helpful. Thank you, everyone.

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Hi Everyone, 

 

I did my first attempt yesterday at painting on white chocolate glaze. 

 

There were a few issues that I ran into. Using water or vegetable oil to constitute the colors just puddled on the surface like dew on a leaf. Using cocoa butter worked but was extremely frustrating. If the paint was too thin it would puddle on the surface and if it was thicker it was much more difficult to create intricate details. Add to this the fact that a useable consistency was literally only available for less than 30 seconds before the cocoa butter solidified (it is liquid at 100 degrees and solid at 95 degrees) makes me think "I really don't want to paint on a chocolate glaze". 

 

Sadly, the modeling chocolate I ordered did not arrive in time for me to experiment with it this time. I'm hoping that it works better than the chocolate glaze and taste as good or better too. If Modeling chocolate does not work, the only thing I can think of doing is adding color to a chocolate glaze and using it as a paint. Of course, I will have to see if the thickness of chocolate glaze is also difficult to manage when creating detailed work.

 

Here are some photos. I could have made better flowers, but I was strapped for time and it didn't need to be as nice as the final wedding cake will need to be. I also wasn't using the smallest brush. The cocoa butter was weird and kept solidifying on my brush too while I was painting. 

 

Does anyone have experience painting on modeling chocolate? Do you have to use a chocolate base like cocoa butter, or is it possible to paint with vegetable oil?

 

Thank you,

 

Rebekah

IMG_5545.jpg

IMG_5546.jpg

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Yes, fondant (or the modeling chocolate) will give you a smooth surface to work on and it will be less frustrating to work on;  There are new edible paints available you might explore - there are a few different manufacturers  making ready to use edible paints, this is one example: NYCake edible paint

If you go with fondant, you have more options in terms of a painting medium - you can use straight color like the paints, airbrush color or tinted royal icing (look up brush embroidery techniques, Colette Peters is a master at this.  The key with brush embroidery  is the right brush shape, the right consistency in the royal icing and having the brush just damp enough but not too wet when you start making the petals.)  The right brush will help make the job easier too; I've used as many as four different brushes before figuring out which one gave me the right look.  Definitely give yourself as much time as possible to keep practicing to get the technique down which ever way you choose to go. 

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I'm wondering if edible-ink magic markers would be easier than paint, to give you the result you're after. I've never used them so I can't speak to how they work, but I've seen claims that they work well on fondant.


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Trial number 2.

 

I used edible art paint. Worked so much better on chocolate than the last gel paste I had previously tried.

 

Check it out, everyone!!!

 

This cake was a leftover cake from a birthday party, and my cake baker ran out of chocolate, but other than that it turned out quite nicely. I hope to post photos in the future of the final wedding cake once it comes time to do the real thing.

 

Thank you all for your advice and help.

 

Rebekah

 

IMG_6186.jpg

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Yeah, it's good to have a floral themed pattern on top of the white chocolate glaze. This will be awesome. You can search on the internet for various types of floral themed cakes.

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As JeanneCake said, I know I would never use glaze for a tiered cake.  I definitely would never try to paint on it since glaze never really dries like a fondant or modeling chocolate.  Making your own fondant or modeling chocolate is infinitely easier which allows you to quickly cover the cake, and gives the perfect canvas for most things you want to do to it.

 

As for mixing the edible powders and not wanting to use alcohol, you can mix them with lemon extract.  I personally use Everclear since it evaporates quickly, but I have also used the extract, vodka, etc. and they all work well.

 

If you get the Styrofoam cake dummies, watch the video on YT by Chef Alan at Global Sugar Art for tips and tricks.  

 

I have made variations of the video below for poppy themed cakes.  It is a good basic tutorial for painting on fondant.  Just make sure to torte and layer a barrel cake to give you enough room to paint and play.

 

 

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1186170310_Cake2.thumb.jpg.6ee9e1bbb07220d4fa4a14abf7b4ef0b.jpg

 

For anyone who was wondering how it all turned out. I definitely simplified the flowers. I didn't have time to do complex flowers. It turned out gorgeous though. What do you all think?

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