Summer 2016

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THE Information Source for Bakers & Sugar Artists

Under The Sea Tutorials 3 unbelievable artists share their love of the sea

Fearless & Curious

Celebrate an Icon

Learn a new fondant technique and pay tribute to Prince by making this cake


Maria Nerius explores the joys of baking in her kitchen with this new column

Inside the NY Cake Show See the winning entries here

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Shoe Tutorial By Sidney Galpern

Wafer Paper Birthday Card Cake

Dorothy Figure By La Belle Aurore


A Fisherman’s Ode


Sea Isle

By Jörg Amsler



By Tami Utley

Nothing Compares To You — A Tribute Cake to Prince


By Chef Mitchie

By Danielle Gotheridge

Shabby Chic Sea Life Cookie By Aixa Zunino

63 3

Features 44

7 Habits of a Highly Effective Baker by Maria Nerius Maria Nerius shares her insights after visiting with Ron Ben-Isreal


New York Cake Show 2016 by Maria Nerius Don’t miss this review of the biggest show in New York!

Departments Get the Price Right Every Time by Chef Jörg Amsler

Fearless & Curious by Maria Nerius

Ruth’s Truths by Ruth Rickey

Baking Basics by Penelope d’Arcy Graham

What’s New & What’s Hot


12 14 16 18 68

On The Cover:

This sea-inspired cookie created by Aixa Zunino will bring a little of Spain into your home. View the tutorial on page 63.

Your number ONE information source for cake decorating and sugar arts!

Summer 2016 Editorial Cheryl Naughton Publisher Nichole L. Ballard Editor Columns Chef Jörg Amsler Penelope d’Arcy Graham Maria Nerius Ruth Rickey Contributors Sidney Galpern Danielle Gotheridge La Belle Aurore Chef Mitchie Tami Utley Aixa Zunino Editorial Offices P.O. Box 870614 Stone Mountain, GA 30087

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tor and Musician, Men aordinaire... Extr Cake Artist MacCafrae shares ressions

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A Tutorial by Sidney Galpern of Simi Cakes & Confections, LLC

Sidney Galpern is a certified professional chocolatier, cake designer, sugar artist, international instructor, and an ICES approved teacher. She graduated with honors from the prestigious Ecole Chocolat School of the Chocolate Arts and has the distinction as the youngest student to ever complete the program. She trained with top sugar artists and chefs in New York City, London, Orlando, and West Palm Beach. She designs and manufactures her own line of sugar art tools, manufactures her own brand of isomalt, as well as writes articles for national publications. Galpern has appeared on television and released her first DVD for cake decorators in 2012. She co-founded the Brevard Cake Artist’s Club. Her bakery, Simi Cakes & Confections, is located in Melbourne, Florida.


• Simi Shoe Kit • 6 ounces clear isomalt • 3 ounces colored isomalt • Simi Transfer Sheet in pattern of your choice • Silicone work mat • Chef’s blowtorch • Silicone bowl • Scissors • Microwave • Clear edible glaze spray

Create beautiful and intricate edible isomalt shoes using the Simi Shoe Kit, and the brand new Simi Transfer Sheets for a fun cake topper.

Melt isomalt in microwave on high heat in a glass or silicone bowl until liquid and stir in color if desired. Remember to use powder or liquid to color isomalt, never gel. CAUTION: Isomalt will be extremely hot. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Fill the heel mold all the way to the top and allow to dry completely at room temperature (about 20 minutes). Remove from the mold and torch away bubbles on the surface.

Print out a transfer sheet using an edible printer. Pour enough clear liquid isomalt to cover the bottom of the mold cavities, depending on desired design for the sole, straps and other details. Cut the transfer sheet into pieces slightly bigger than the mold cavity and lay sheets print side down directly onto the liquid isomalt. Lightly press down to secure.

Allow your pieces to dry for 10-15 minutes at room temperature and remove from mold as soon as they release from the silicone and are still flexible. TIP: If your pieces get too cool to bend, quickly torch over the front of the piece to soften it. Do not torch over transfer side. 7

Torch the top of the heel and align on the back of mold. Be sure to torch away from the Styrofoam and not on or near it! Line up the back of sole with the heel and allow the sole to bend to the form. Let dry until firm. Remove accent straps from mold and torch to soften if needed. Bend to shape of shoe and let the straps cool slightly before using torch or liquid isomalt to glue pieces together. Embellish as needed with molds and decorations, and seal with edible glaze spray. Using an edible glaze spray locks out humidity that can cause stickiness and cloudiness to keep your piece clearer longer. News: Are you signed up for our brand new newsletter? Welcome to our brand new newsletter to stay up on all things Simi. We will highlight upcoming trends and artists, new products and classes along with tutorials, tips and tricks, links to fascinating cakes, sugar, chocolate and more! Visit to sign up today!

Are you hosting an event, show or class? Launching a new product? Do you have news you’d like to share? We would like to share it with our community!

Send your information and photos to



Reasons Live Classes are Better Than Online... and 4 Reasons They’re Not

Cake baking and decorating is an art. Every professional knows that perfecting that art is a lifelong process of continued learning and mastering new techniques. Taking classes is one of the primary avenues in which to perfect your skills. With the increase of online classes it may be tempting to do most learning while staying in the comfort of your own home. Completely replacing live classes, however, may not be a wise choice.

Live classes are better because: 1. Personalized Instruction

An instructor can actually step into the process with you in a live class. Each step in the baking process can be monitored, tweaked and perfected in a way that’s simply not possible when you’re learning online.

2. Interaction With Other Students

You’ll likely learn as much from other students as you do from the instructor. You’ll have the opportunity to form connections and contacts that can improve your career.

3. Immediate Feedback

Yes, you and your family can taste whatever you’ve just made after watching an online class, but they’re likely not going to be able to tell you where you went wrong if the final product is not quite what you expected.

4. You Get to Engage All of Your Senses

Baking is not just visual: it engages all the senses. A successful baker uses not only sight and taste, but touch and smell to know how well a cake is progressing. You’ll only be experiencing part of the process if you’re not participating in a live class.

But you still need online classes because: 1. You Can Learn From Anywhere

If a New York chef is offering a class in Manhattan and you’re in Minnesota, it’s obviously ideal to be able to tune in online. Online classes offer flexibility regarding not only location, but addresses the time constraints many people have.

2. Learn at Your Own Pace

Sometimes an instructor simply goes through the process at a speed that makes it difficult to keep up. Being able to replay a video as many times as it takes until you understand the process is one of the most important reasons to take online classes.

3. Fewer Distractions

Taking a class in the privacy of your own home when no one else is there makes it much easier to concentrate. Even though working with others can provide several benefits, it can also create distractions.

4. Financial Constraints

Taking a class in an actual classroom or a fully equipped kitchen will usually be more expensive than taking an online class. Not only will the tuition probably be cheaper, but you’ll save money and time by not having to commute.

While online classes are great to help supplement knowledge, it’s important to remember that live classes cannot be replaced. As wonderful as technology can be, the hands-on art of baking is something that must be experienced on every level to truly be mastered.


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M A G A Z I N E The Art of Free-Hand Royal Icing Piping In an exclusive tutorial by David “Cakes” MacCarfrae

THE Information Source for Bakers & Sugar Artists




11:23 AM

THE Information Source for Bakers & Sugar Artists

Poised for Prominence

Master Designer of Many Mediums, Ron Ben-Israel’s Life Long Dedication and Self-Discipline Shaped a Formidable and Influential Cake Artist

Musician, Mentor and Cake Artist Extraordinaire...

The Passion for Chocolate in Five Formations

David “Cakes” MacCafrae shares his inspiring story

Decorative boxes, fall flowers, Halloween figurines, liquorsoaked shooters and 3D turkey cookies demonstrate the versatility of chocolate in cake artistry

Cookie Expressions Check out today’s hottest cookie trends!

Learn How To Make Gumball Characters from Geraldine Kidwell

FALL 2015


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Get The

Price Right Every time

By Chef Jörg Amsler

Are you pricing your wedding cakes for their full worth?

Here in Boston the word “seasonal” is not just a term, but a lifestyle. We live season to season. Everything is seasonal: fruits, vegetables, clothing, outdoor fun, the beach cottage, boating, swimming, skiing, fresh cider and apple picking, farm stands and weddings. That’s right. We like to wait for the warm summer months to tie the knot, so we can rip it up all night, and wicked “paahhdy haahhdy!” And with that, comes the opportunity to tap into one of the most lucrative markets in a cake decorator’s world—the wedding cake. With some business sense, the right marketing and promotion, you can make a nice chunk of change during wedding season, if the price is right. Make no mistake; The wedding cake is not just a cake. It is the one cake, probably in life, that matters most, especially to a bride. Not to sound chauvinistic, but women have their stuff together much more than us men when it comes to wedding planning. The wedding cake will be a reflection of her: the choice in flavor, design, picking the flowers to maybe matching them with her bouquet for the topper or as cake table garnish. The wedding cake is special. It is that once in a lifetime object that has to be perfect. There is no Plan B and absolutely zero room for error. Over the years, the wedding cake business has drastically changed. The only option you used to have was to go to a bakery or pastry shop to order it. Today there are more options. Venues will include them in a package and show you a variety of cake photos to pick from. Your caterer will provide that service and either subcontract it or produce it in-house. Or, you can consult a cake decorator that works under the Cottage Food Law or home-kitchen zoning. Cake decorators working from home has become a huge trend over the last decade and has turned into a major competition for commercial businesses, such as traditional bakeries and pastry shops. Almost all of my students that take my cake decorating classes and artistic courses are women and men working out of their homes. Working from home comes with great financial benefits. Most monthly payments that commercial businesses have, such as a lease, insurance, payroll, commercial rate utilities, dumpster fees, landscape, snow removal, property taxes and on and on, are nonexistent. A home-based business has profit margins that are drastically higher.

Home bakers or cake decorators often don’t invest in a culinary program. They invest in cake decorating classes, cake shows, hands-on courses and what’s new in the market. Practice makes perfect and some of these home bakeries are amazingly talented. I have been blown away by some home set ups, whether it’s in the kitchen or maybe a build out cake studio in the basement, there are Kitchenaid mixers or even Hobarts, full-size convection ovens and bakers racks, stainless steel tables and sinks, any size cake pans or whole sets for wedding cakes in all shapes and forms, refrigeration and freezers, and never mind all the cutters, tips and gadgets that are featured at the cake shows and expos. With that being said, I find that there is a common problem among this type of home-based business—the pricing. It’s the most important part of a business and yet it is the one thing many people end up cutting themselves short of. I talk to cake decorators with this kind of work set up all the time and I get to hear every excuse there is: “I am doing this cake for the first time; I am not as good as some of these professionals; I don’t know how to price it; I feel bad because they pay for their own wedding; I know her parents; I feel guilty charging so much.” It never stops. I’ve heard it all. My answer is simple. There is a method to pricing a cake. It’s not numbers that float around in your head and you pull one according to the bride’s situation or your generosity that day. No! It’s a precise mathematical calculation of ingredients, labor, delivery and other additional costs. Not making a profit gets old real fast. After all, you went out and got all the materials and worked on it for hours. Why slave over a cake just to give it away? It makes no sense, and yet I see it over and over again. I understand that a custom cake is not like a product that you walk up to in a store, take off the shelf and pay what the price tag says. A custom cake requires your response with a price. And unfortunately, most customers think that your proposal leaves room for negotiation. That’s where the first mistake is made. When people just agree and lower the price. Wrong! Every time you are willing to reduce the price, the customer has to give up something as well. Make people understand and realize that you precisely calculated that price. You are

“There is a method to pricing a cake. It’s not numbers that float around in your head and you pull one according to the bride’s situation or your generosity that day.


No! It’s a precise mathematical calculation of ingredients, labor, delivery and other additional costs.”

not running a flea market. After so many years in this business and hundreds of wedding cake meetings, I developed a very simple chart. Unlike my novelty cakes, wedding cakes are always charged per serving or slice. I start off with a simple cake and one serving at a price of $5 per person. Then work my way up.

realize how much labor, time and material goes into a project like that. They probably refer to some Food Network program where a group of people within an hour show put together an amazing cake. No biggie! Just whip it up. Right. That’s why I think it’s fair to explain how we decorators reach that price point.

Multiple layer cakes with assorted fillings would be $7, fondant covered $9, and then, depending on decorative piping or fondant swirl works, drapes, borders and so on $10 and up. In addition, I would price out, by labor and, materials any additional items such as sugar flowers, monograms or ornamental plaques, cake toppers, delivery charges, rental fees for the stand and a deposit. It wasn’t uncommon that my wedding cakes would range from $10 to $15 per guest.

It can be a bit tough to price 3-D or specialty cakes, since all the numbers for your cost analysis are based on estimates, especially when you do something for the first time. Of course you want to do it right and you don’t know exactly how long it will take or how much material will you use. In construction, a contractor very often will charge you by time and material. The contractor will give you a weekly bill telling you these are the hours my guys put in and here’s a stock list from the lumberyard of materials we used. We have to work within that same system, but also forecast an exact price, estimating our time and materials. Sometimes it takes experience to find the perfect price point.

The second method I used was to ask upfront if there was a budget that we had to work within. This is a great way to start off, as you know exactly how much you can spend on materials and labor to fall into the desired profit margins. Also, explain that your work method is hand crafted — a piece of art. Make the client understand that this is laborintensive. Explain to them that you have to do this in stages or individually. Things have to rest and dry overnight. Don’t sell yourself short. Time is money and we all know these things take lots of time. I created a very simple but clear and self-explanatory binder for my potential clients. It contains all the pricing, including sample photos and breakdown of delivery charges and other added costs. I do have a different approach when pricing novelty or 3-D cakes. I used to get so frustrated when people acted surprised when finding out the price of a specialty cake. But over the years I have to come to realize that they just don’t know any better. It’s not their field of expertise. They don’t

Pricing is an art with a learning curve and it’s one of the most important things to understand and practice correctly. This is the one thing that can either make or break you, and therefore is to be taken very seriously. The next step is to create a contract that includes and insures a deposit and your final payment upfront or upon delivery. I am sure that some of you will say, “This does not work in my town,” or, “I am located in a lower income demographic area.” The matter of fact is that no matter where you are, if you don’t make a profit you’re not going to last and at this point consider what you do to be just a hobby and nothing else. Be true to yourself. Respect yourself. Understand that you are worth it. Don’t undercut yourself and sell yourself short. So make sure the price is right.

Image © designer491 -

Maria Nerius in the Kitchen

When I learned my brother Jim was joining us in Florida for a family reunion I immediately told him I was going to make him a batch of divinity, a sugary confection. It was his childhood favorite. Little did I know the challenges of making divinity. And just how special the sweet treat was to my family. On vacations we always had to stop at Stuckey’s gift shop to buy Jim divinity. I assumed this was how he fell in love with the candy. But when my first batch of divinity turned out to be a sauce rather than a light, airy piece of candy, I put out a call for help on social media. When a cousin posted the recipe I discovered divinity was my father’s family tradition to make it as a special Christmas treat. The family recipe however was a little vague. It listed ingredients and instructions and simply stated to mix everything, boil it and then spoon it out into pieces that could be topped with a pecan or cherry. I was clueless as a novice candy maker so I Googled it. The internet has all the answers, right? Well, maybe not, the only additional insight I found was never make divinity on a humid day. Did I mention I live in Florida?

Family cookbook with it’s handwritten recipes is a little worn with time and use, yet treasured.


Divinity is Divine

The second batch was closer to what I knew as divinity, but still the flat, stretchy pieces before me were far from picture perfect divinity. This time I had my husband, Ken, take the candy into work and asked for feedback that might clue me in on what I was doing wrong. One taste tester told me that I had the flavor down, but divinity should melt in your mouth, not be chewed! Oops. The third batch was totally amazing. Sadly it turned out to be taffy. Darn good taffy, but taffy is not divinity. I was ready to give up and locate a Stuckey’s. I figured I’d just take it out of the packaging and present it on a pretty plate. Who would know? I posted the fails on Facebook in hopes that someone would figure out what I was doing wrong. Really? How hard could this be? I got two great pieces of advice. One from my cousin Carmen who remembered that the divinity was always made as a team by both her parents. Her mom said that teamwork was key. The second was from my friend Chris who posted a recipe that used three egg whites instead of two.

Armed with the new advice and the helping hands of my husband I set out to make this batch of divinity sing. The fourth time was the charm. My divinity was pretty, light and airy and melted in your mouth! I can’t even explain the joy I felt finally making divinity. I was amazed by the positive response of my family; so many stepping in to help. At the reunion, divinity became one of the family stories told as we gathered around. Everyone had a story to tell about the candy. It was cool to be a part of the divinity tradition, old and new. My cousin Connie brought the cookbook that was used all those years ago to make the special holiday treat. It felt wonderful to just hold it. Generations had used it. Connie surprised me by giving me the cookbook as a gift including the piece of paper with the divinity recipe handwritten by my aunt. I couldn’t believe she was entrusting me with such a treasure and couldn’t help but grin ear to ear. To some a sweet treat is just a way to end a meal or take a break in the day, but it can also be part of a family pride and lore. It can help create cherished memories — a way to bring everyone together. My divinity took a village and it will always be the village that I cherish. Do you have a special sweet treat that is family tradition? Share your story with us by sending it to We’ll share these stories on our EAN blog and Facebook Page!

Divinity can be spread in pan or spoon-dropped. It is often topped with a pecan, cherry or walnut.

Maria Nerius worked over 35 years in the art and craft industry as a designer, writer, teacher, on-air talent and author. She took up baking and sugar arts when she retired and fell in love with it. Fearless & Curious is about her adventures. Contact Maria on Facebook (Maria Given Nerius), Twitter (@MariaNerius) or by email: Background Image © kumito - 15

Ruth’s Truths Collaboration Basics

by Ruth Rickey

GETTING PICKED Those who organize design collaborations typically choose people with whose work they are familiar. If you are a Facebook lurker, how is someone going to know what you can do? The organizers don’t have time to go hunt through your profile to see your cakes. That means that you need to be active and involved in the cake community to get chosen.

Make sure that you credit any products that you use. Often Satin Ice and Icing Images will feature the artists that use their products. More and more manufacturers are doing this and it is another way to show the world your talent.

Join Facebook groups that focus on cake decorating. Share your work. When artists have a share day on their wall, join in! This is the time to peacock. Post that you are interested in joining any active collaborations. Often, people drop out during the process and you might be able to join if you can do a cake on short notice.

Keep the secret! Most collabs are a big secret until reveal day. Don’t talk about it with your friends. Don’t post about it. When given the go ahead, change your profile picture and cover photo to the group pictures. Promote the collaboration first, your work second.

WHAT IS REQUIRED? The collaboration will usually have a pinned post in the group. Read it first. It should include your deadlines, parameters and requirements for your photos. If the collaboration is for tiered cakes, don’t try to do a sculpted cake. The organizer has a vision and you need to play by their rules. One collaboration I did had twists that we were all required to include. A couple artists failed to include those twists and had to change their cakes at the end. Following the guidelines is of the utmost importance.

Share your work on Cake Decor, Cake Central and other interactive websites. Be sure to support your fellow collaborators!

Once it has been revealed, go comment on your fellow collaborators’ work. Share their cakes. Share the page link. Use every social media outlet that you have access to. START YOUR OWN Anyone can start a collaboration. Choose a theme. Choose a reveal date. Decide on your wish list for how the collaboration cakes will look. Form a private Facebook group for your collab. Write prospective members and ask if they would be interested in joining you. Do not add people without asking them first.

Often, there will be a magazine deadline and a later reveal deadline. You get to choose which one to use. The magazine deadline can be one to two months before the reveal. Magazines have to lay out their issues well in advance and if you want a shot at being in the magazine, you need to meet that deadline.

If you aren’t great at details, enlist a friend to help you administer it. You will want each participant’s name, Facebook link, website, bakery name, bakery Facebook link, city, state and country. You may want a headshot from each participant. You will use that information to build the album for the artist on the reveal page.

The drop dead date will be the reveal deadline. The organizer must have all the photos by that time so that they can put together the Facebook page and the website. The organizer is doing this in their free time, so if you run late, you directly impact their life.

Create a Facebook page for your collab. Start inputting the information in there as early as you can. Do not publish the work until reveal day. It might be a good idea to make one or two friends administrators or editors of the page so they can help you.

You also need to have a good camera or a friend who will take quality photos for you. Usually, the pictures need to be 300 dpi. You need to use good lighting. If you cannot do it personally, you may have to hire a photographer.

Contact the magazines. Understand that there are so many collabs these days that the magazines cannot cover even half of them. If the subject fits one of their issues, they will let you know. Add the magazine editors to your private Facebook group if you want ... that way they can follow the progress.

You also need to be flexible about designs. Sometimes, the organizer will only let a certain number of people do a subject. If your favorite theme or character is picked, you need to be okay with doing your second or third choice. This is no time to throw a tantrum or pout. Collaboration is about working with others. This will stretch you as a decorator!

Remember that this is all for fun. No one gets paid. This is to stretch your creative muscles. This is to bring awareness to causes. This is to let you brag on your friends. This is for the love of sugar. And any time you get to do something you love with friends, magic can happen!

Ruth Rickey is a certified master sugar artist, instructor, judge and author of the SugarZen blog. The former attorney closed her successful bakery to teach around the globe. •


Visit the all new Ateco website for all of our latest cake decorating tools and products. 17


Baking Basics pe by Penelo


d’Arcy G

Battle of the Heavy Lifters! Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda

Penelope is a cake decorating artist and International trainer specializing in commercial cake decorating and baking skills. She has been sharing her skills worldwide for over 10 years. You can visit her at

Throughout my time teaching baking, raising agents have been a constant source of confusion to many of my students and at times myself. Why do some recipes call for one and not the other? Why do some call for both? Why do I sometimes have to rush to get the mix in the oven, whereas other times leisurely leave it out on the side before baking? Oh, it all gets so confusing! Science was certainly never my strong point at school, so bare with me throughout this article as I touch on upon a few elements of basic chemistry. The main purpose of a raising agent, be it powder or soda, is that we want it to increase the volume in our baked goods and provide a light and fluffy texture. The basic theory behind this is that the raising agent will create a chemical reaction between an alkaline and an acid. The reaction is as follows: gas = bubbles = cake is raised. Flavor and crumb color also come into play. Although the two raising agents may look the same, they certainly don’t act the same.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a blend of a weak acid (cream of tartar); an alkali (baking soda); and a drying agent (starch). Baking powder has a neutral taste. When mixed with liquid, bubbles of carbon cioxide (CO2) are created. These bubbles of CO2 expand during baking and push up against the structure of the cake to leaven the bake. Towards the end of baking, the bubbles set and the cake will have risen with an even texture.

Baking soda starts to work as soon as it is mixed with an acidic liquid. This mixture releases CO2 and a neutral salt. Similar to baking powder, the CO2 forms bubbles, which give the cake a good rise and texture. Beware! The reaction is much quicker when using baking soda so you will need to get your cake into the oven as fast as you can otherwise it may run out of CO2 and come out flat. Baking soda can create a rise in your cake with just heat, however an additional acid is necessary to neutralize the alkaline flavor. The lack of an additional acid will lead to a metallic or soapy taste.

How much to use?

Your recipe will usually state how much raising agent needs to be added. If you are in the mood for experimenting or a little recipe development you can follow the guideline below: General rule: 1 teaspoon of baking powder to 1 cup of flour Baking soda is about four times stronger than baking powder, so proportionally much less will be used in a recipe. General rule: ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup of flour

As baking powder already contains an acid to neutralize the alkaline baking soda, it is usually used when no other acidic ingredients are included in the mix because additional acid is not needed to neutralize the taste of the baking soda. The acid in baking powder is either fast or slow acting. Fast acting powder reacts when mixed with liquids at room temperature, whereas slow acting powder reacts when heated. Most consumer brands of baking powder use a mix of several compounds to create a double (fast and slow) reaction. This means you get double action for your money. This allows you to take your time because the mix can be left to sit out of the oven for a while before being baked.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate and has a light and tangy taste. This raising agent is used when another acidic ingredient is present in the recipe, such as: buttermilk, chocolate, molasses, honey, citrus, vinegar or cream of tartar. The infamous red velvet cake is a magical mixture of baking soda and acidic ingredients in action.


Take care when measuring out your raising agent, too much could result in a peaked surface or a collapsed cake. If too much baking soda is added to the recipe it can cause an unpleasant flavor and a darker bake. Conversely, if too little is used, a strong acidic flavor may remain. Heavier dough, such as banana cake, will require more raising agent than lighter dough.

When do I use what?

If the recipe has an acidic ingredient, you will want to use baking soda. If the recipe contains mainly neutral ingredients such as butter or milk, you will want to use baking powder. Now this is where it can all start to feel like it is getting a bit confusing as some recipes include both baking powder AND baking soda in the mix! Why? These recipes will most likely contain an acidic ingredient that calls for the use of baking soda. That reaction alone will not create enough CO2 to leaven the cake batter, thus additional

baking powder is also included to give it a bit of extra help with the lift. If we were to continue only adding more baking soda, the final result may have too much of an alkaline and soapy taste. By including both you create a balanced and tasty reaction. Using the two different raising agents allows you to control the final flavor of the cake. If you wanted to keep the tangy taste of an acidic ingredient (buttermilk for example), you won’t want your baking soda to neutralize all of the acidity in the ingredient. By including baking powder, you will sufficiently leaven your bake and retain some of the zingyness.

Is my Raising Agent still fresh enough to use? Over time, moisture and heat can cause raising agents to lose their effectiveness. Dates marked on the packets are not always the best guide. The starch in baking powder helps absorb excess humidity in order to prolong the shelf life and for more accurate measuring. Test the freshness of your raising agents in the following way: Baking Powder - place a teaspoon of powder into a small amount of hot water and if it bubbles energetically, it is still active and usable. Baking Soda - place a teaspoon of soda into a small amount of vinegar and if it bubbles energetically, it is still active and usable.

Here are two of my favorite teatime cake recipes that use raising agents in slightly different ways.

Cinnamon Spiced Chocolate Buttermilk Cake This contains a mixture of both raising agents. This is to preserve the tangy flavor of the buttermilk whilst creating a nice fluffy texture. Ingredients: 1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease and line a round 8-inch cake pan. • 1 cup buttermilk 2. In a large saucepan combine the buttermilk, brown • 1 ¼ cups muscovado or sugar, melted butter and cocoa powder and stir over light brown sugar low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove • 4 ounces melted butter from heat. • ¼ cup cocoa powder 3. Using a whisk, gently mix in the eggs. • 2 eggs lightly beaten 4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour salt, baking powder and baking soda. • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 5. Gently fold the flour mix into the wet ingredients until • Pinch of salt fully combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake • 1 ½ teaspoons for 45 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out c baking powder clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing the cake and placing it on a wire rack. • ½ teaspoon baking soda Serving suggestion: top with some decadent chocolate gouache and eat with fresh cream.

Banana Loaf Cake This recipe calls for a larger proportion of baking powder to help lift the heavy dough created by the mashed bananas. Ingredients: • 5 ounces butter, softened • 5 ounces superfine (castor) sugar • Pinch of salt • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 eggs, beaten • 1 cup of all purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 2 ripe bananas, the riper the better • 3.5 ounces chocolate chunks (optional) • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line and grease a 2-pound loaf pan. 2. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. 3. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time until fully incorporated. If the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of the flour. 4. Sift together the flour and baking powder. 5. Gently fold in half of the flour mix to the creamed mixture. Being careful not to over mix, add the remaining flour and mix until combined. 6. Fold in the mashed bananas. The riper the better for baking with. If your bananas are a little under ripe, bake them with the skins on in a medium oven for 15 minutes. Add chocolate chunks if desired. 7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing the cake and placing it on a wire rack. 8. Dust with sifted powdered sugar.


The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Figure A Tutorial by La Belle Aurore

La Belle Aurore, a partnership of Aurora and Cristina Bonafede and their friend Massimiliano D’Orso, began its adventure in Rome in 2012 competing at the Cake for Children competition and winning firstplace. Since then, La Belle Aurore has had a succession of winning and recognition from Glamour Italian Cakes, Cake Festival, Cake Fest, Cake International, World Championship and other publications and competitions for its unique modeling and multi-layering techniques

Supplies Needed: • Silicone mat • Rolling pin • Color dusts • Cutters of different sizes • Brushes for paint and glue • Edible alcohol • Modeling paste • Scalpel

• Little plate with water • Dummy • Silicone tool • Ball tool different sizes • Wooden sticks • Cornstarch • Palette

1 Step 1: Let’s start to model the head. Model the flesh colored modeling paste to obtain the shape of an egg. Use three fingers as a size reference.


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Step 2: Smooth one end to obtain the profile of the forehead. Step 3: Make two small cavities with your little fingers at three quarters of the face towards the bottom by pressing and moving outwards. Step 4: To create the nose, smooth with the little finger under the cavities. Smooth to eliminate imperfections. Model the nose with the handle of the silicone tool and smooth in order to create the cheeks.





Step 5: At the base of the nose, create a little curve with the silicone tool. Then, create the two nostrils on the curve. Use the silicone tool to detail the nose. Step 6: Trace two lines that will help you make the mouth. In between the nose and the chin, trace a line of one millimeter just above halfway. Cut deep with the scalpel. Step 7: Lift with the scalpel and bring the upper part forward. Smooth with your finger. With the silicone tool, lower the area around the nose. With the smallest ball tool, trace the philtrim under the nose.




Step 8: With the medium ball tool, trace two guides to create the bottom lip. Join by tracing a parallel line to the mouth. With the big ball tool, shape the chin. Make two small holes with the silicone tool to give depth to the mouth. Now model the cheekbones with your fingers. Step 9: Trace two lines to define the place for the eyes. Using the silicone tool, put a small dot halfway from the nose to the eyebrow. With the scribe tool, trace a horizontal perpendicular line. Mark another dot at half a centimeter to define the size of the eye. With the small ball tool, draw the arch above the line and refine the lines by punching the lines with the scribe tool. Cut the perimeter of the eye with the scribe tool and remove the paste inside. With the medium ball tool define the inside and perimeter. Now trace an arch above the eye with the silicone tool and lift from the inside to give volume.


Step 10: Model little elongated balls of white paste to fill in the eyes. With the medium ball tool, create the place for the iris. We put the light brown paste in the hole. With the small ball tool, create a hole in the center and fill it with a small ball of black paste. Now create two thin filaments of dark brown paste for the eyelashes and let them dry for five minutes.



Step 11: Brush some pink color on the cheeks and brown on the eyelids.


13 Step 12: To attach the eyelashes wet each with a little bit of water. Blend the iris with brown and white. Paint the lips with red. Paint the eyebrows with brown paint. Next, model the paste to create the ears. These have to be placed level with the eyelid. With the silicone tool, create two holes at the center of the ear and shape them. Model the neck with the big ball tool.



Step 13: Model the skin-colored paste to create the legs. Cut the cylinder at an angle.

Step 14: Cut the legs three fingers above the knees. Step 15: Insert two sticks into each heel. Step 16: Then, create the sole of the shoes with the red paste. Stick the sole under the foot with a little bit of water. Step 17: Insert two sticks into each heel. Step 18: Use a Styrofoam base to affix the legs.



18 23



Step 19: Create the body with the light blue paste. Cut with the round cutter four fingers from the extremity of the groin. Place the body on the legs using the sticks to keep in place. Step 20: Model the neck with the skin paste and attach the dĂŠcolletage to the body with some water.

23 21 22 Step 21: Place the bands prepared beforehand to create the skirt. Step 22: With the light blue paste, prepare the cut outs for the dress.


Step 23: Now place the head onto the neck.


Step 24: To create the arms, model a cylinder of skin-colored paste that we cut it in the middle. Create a cavity at the extremity where you will place the hand. Step 25: With the brown paste, create the hair.

Finish Dorothy by adding the small details like buttons and hair bands.


Wafer Paper Birthday Card Cake Learn about this fun and new way to celebrate a special day. A Tutorial by Tami Utley


It’s a birthday card! It’s a cake! It’s both in one! This small cake is perfect for a personal birthday and is modified easily to fit any theme or special interest of the birthday person! It can also be used has a cake topper if a bigger cake is needed.

Supplies Needed: • 4-inch-square cake covered in fondant on an 8-inch board • Wafer paper in assorted colors and white • Assorted paint brushes • Edible glitter • Ruler • Pencil • Scrap book scissors with decorative edges (zigzag and scallop) • Small scissors • Food marking pens: assorted colors and black • Piping gel • Veining tool or scribe • Foam or soft pad • Graduated circle cutters


Step 1: Measure three pieces of white wafer paper 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches and cut out. Use the scalloped edged scissors to cut one 4 inch side of each piece into a gentle arc to create a slight curve. This will be the side and front flaps. Step 2: Place the pieces on a Cel pad and use a veining tool or scribe to score the rough side of the wafer paper a quarter-inch from the long edge (4 inch side). Then gently bend along the score toward the rough side of the paper.


Step 3: Use a little yellow petal dust to shade just the scalloped edge of all three pieces

3 Step 4: Attach smooth side up to the top of the cake with a tiny bit of water or piping gel. Be very careful with the amount of water/gel used, it could dissolve the wafer paper or make it very gummy and lose its shape.



Step 5: Cut one piece of white paper 4 inches by 4 ½ inches—this will be the back flap. Cut one piece of white paper 3 inches by 2 ½ inches—this will be the inside front support. Cut one piece of white paper 3 inches by 4 ½ inches—this will be the inside back support. 27


Step 6: Working on the rough side of the wafer pieces, with the veining tool or scribe, gently score along the 3 inch sides of the front support 1/4 inch from one edge and again in the center (1 Âź inches). Turn paper over and score on the smooth side a 1/4 inch from the other 3 inch side. Repeat for the back support (center is at 2 Âź inches).

Step 7: Gently make a bend for both supports in the center. Then, bend one edge the opposite direction as the center and the other edge the same direction as the center

7 8

Step 8: Using a brush with a tiny amount of piping gel or water, moisten the front support edge just creased (on the rough side) and attach to the top of the cake 1 inch from the front. Step 9: Attach the back support with piping gel on the rough side of the 1/4 inch crease to the cake 1 inch from where the front support piece was attached. Step 10: Now attach the remaining 1/4-inch creased piece from the front support to the back support and the 1/4-inch creased piece on the back support to the back flap. Attach these pieces so they will create two level steps. Step 11: Cut 12 balloon shapes from colored wafer paper. Cut four each of red, blue and green.






Step 12: Cut a slit in each balloon from the bottom to the center. Overlap the two bottom pieces using a tiny bit of water to glue in place. This will make the balloon pop forward in the middle and give some dimension.

13 Step 13: Shade all balloons with matching petal dust and food marker on the edges. Use a flat brush for the petal dust and then run the edge of the food marker against the edge of the wafer paper at a slight angle.

14 15

Step 14: Cut nine 1 ½-inch by a ½-inch rectangles from green, blue and red wafer paper. Cut a slight taper on one of the ½ inch edges for all rectangles. Cut along the long sides with zigzag scissors. Decorate with food color markers on smooth side of paper.


Step 15: Cut flames from yellow wafer paper. Draw a curved orange line with the food marker onto the flame. Paint with a tiny amount of piping gel and sprinkle with edible glitter. Then attach to top of candles with water.

Step 16: Attach all balloons and candles with piping gel to front and back supports and back flap. Staggering in height and overlapping pieces.


Step 17: Cut two 2 ¼-inch circles from pink wafer paper and then cut a spiral from the circles.

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Step 18: Attach center of one spiral to center of one side flap with piping gel/water, then attach the end of the same spiral to the back of the center balloon. Repeat for other spiral on other side flap.

19 Step 19: Cut a 2-inch circle from white wafer paper and use a food marker to write a message on the smooth side of the paper. Trim edges with scalloped scissors. Then use a green food marker to mark the edges and make a decorative design. Cut a 2 ½-inch circle from yellow and a 3-inch circle from blue wafer paper and trim with the same scissors. Attach yellow circle to center of blue circle. Carefully attach white circle to center of yellow circle. Be careful not to let water touch the writing as it will smear! Attach to front of cake.


Step 20: Punch swirl confetti from yellow wafer paper with two different sized punches and either sprinkle or attach to the top front of the cake

Tami is an ICES approved teacher with over 20 years of experience. She has written articles for various cake magazines and for ICES. She currently teaches in San Diego at a local cake shop and on Yummy Arts. Please visit Tami at


Offering a Large Selection of Pre-made Sugar Flowers, Royal Icing Decorations and Edibles!

Free shipping on orders over $200 within the Contiguous 48 States.

1-800-593-8250 31

Jörg Amsler is a renowned pastry chef and former owner of Truly Jörg’s Patisserie who has made numerous appearances on Food Network Challenge. Jörg has worked in every type of culinary environment nationally and abroad from restaurants, cruise ships, hotels, resorts, supermarkets, retail, airline and catering. Currently he travels internationally teaching cake artistry and offering consultation to new businesses.


A Tutorial by By Chef JĂśrg Amsler

Create this beautiful lobster on a bed of seashells by using your airbrushing skills. As a New England fisherman with a commercial lobster license, there is no place I’d rather be in the summer, than pulling lobster traps onto my boat. This is my ode to the amazing marine life of New England, and my favorite: The Lobster



3 Step 1: Form head and body parts by molding two separate pieces and connecting them together to make the sections of the head and the tail. Step 2: Cut out fondant circles and pinch them on each side to create the individual rings on the lobster’s tail. Step 3: Overlap the completed pinched rings, starting from the end of the tail moving toward the head. 33



6 Step 4: Cut out fondant hearts and separate them in half down the middle. Step 5: Use five of the half hearts you just made to create the end flair of the lobster’s tail. Step 6: With a small round cutter and a small knife you can create texture on the tail for a realistic look.




9 Step 7: To create the large lobster claws (one crusher and one cutter), form two teardrop-like shapes—one a bit more short and round, and the other long and narrow. Step 8: Press your finger into the large side of each claw to form the socket for the arm, and then cut down the center to create the claw opening. With small scissors, cut little spikes on the claws for extra detail. Step 9: Form two more pieces for each arm, and pinch them with the scissors as well. Connect them and place in the claw sockets and attach them to the underside of the body. 35



12 Step 10: To form the side legs, roll some small logs and make an incision at the ends to create the miniature claw. Mark the leg joints by pressing your knife into it. Step 11: Attach all legs to the body and form two antennas by rolling small strings and attaching them at the head, laying them over the body. Step 12: Create seashells with silicon molds



Step 13: Airbrush the seashells in a lighter color to create a contrast between the shells and the dark lobster. Step 14: Airbrush the lobster by layering orange, green and different brown tones. When your masterpiece is just the color you want, place the lobster on a dark surface on top of the seashells.


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Nothing Compares To You...

A Tribute Cake To Prince A Tutorial by Danielle Gotheridge

Danielle Gotheridge studied Fine Art for six years and worked as a chef to support herself through college. After having three children, she fell into the cake decorating biz. She sees icing as a building material and uses her design knowledge to create wow-factor cakes. Gotheridge has never had a single lesson in cake decorating, and her approach is fresh, simple and totally original. Her first book “All You Need is Cake: The art of cake decorating” has inspired thousands worldwide. After making cakes for celebrities, including Justin Bieber, she now teaches her signature techniques internationally and demonstrates at the largest cake show in the world.

What You’ll Need:

• Dipping solution or alcohol • Edible clear glaze • Purple, gold and black edible tints • 1 cup of strong icing or petal paste • 106 ounces of purple fondant icing • 14 ounces of sky blue icing • 3.5 ounces of white fondant icing • White lustre • Powdered sugar for surface • Non-stick rolling pin • Plastic spatula • Size No. 1 and No. 3 paintbrushes • Florist wire or bamboo/cocktail stick • Sharp craft knife • Tool with ball and shell end • 3-inch and 2-inch circular cutters • Paint palette • ½ inch of satin blue ribbon • 14-inch circular cake board/drum • 10-, 8-, 6- and 4-inch cake tiers • 2 yards of 1/3-inch lilac ribbon for edging tiers (optional) • 3 yards of plastic pearls on string (optional)


No one can deny the entire world experienced a tragic loss this year when the artist Prince died. We all mourned together. Share your love of his music and his legacy with this cake, designed as a tribute to one of the most influential artists of the century. You can dress your cake board with ribbon and drape the cake with pearls to add to the theme and celebrate an icon.

Creating T he Decorations All decorations that need the longest drying time are made first, i.e., 3-D hearts, plaque, clock and symbol

Step 1: Make 14 ounces of sky blue icing into a ball and then manipulate it into a fat teardrop shape. Push the edge into the wide end of the teardrop to cut of the way through the icing and move side to side to create a 3-D heart. Leave to dry for painting later. Step 2: Roll out some strong icing to about 1/2 millimeter in thickness, cut out a circle and use a smaller circle cutter to just mark an inner boarder. With some strong icing, roll fine sausages and cut and mold into “1999.� Glue the numbers to the circle of icing so they are slightly off the edge and leave to dry. Step 3: Create the plaque by rolling some strong icing half a millimeter in thickness. Use the craft knife to cut the shape of the plaque roughly a third higher than the height of the cake tier. You can make the plaque any shape you like ... be creative! Step 4: Using the strong icing again, roll to inch in thickness, cut out the symbol with the craft knife by free hand. You can use a circle cutter as guidance for the top of the shape. If you are not confident, you can print off the symbol and use it as a template. Once you have cut out the symbol, place a florist wire, bamboo stick or piece of spaghetti pasta vertically, 1 inch through the center of the icing. Leave to dry. 39

Applying The Wrap The Wrap is my most famous technique. As well as making a cake look like its wrapped in material, it enables you to apply decorations to your cake without any supports. Step 1: Starting at the top of the cake, apply edible glue thinly to the surface of the top tier, especially around the diameter. Step 2: Roll out a hand full of the purple icing until millimeter in thickness. Using the craft knife or plastic spatula, cut a pointed oval shape out of the icing. Ensure the width of the oval is roughly wider than the height of your cake tier. Picture folds or creases in a piece of material and gently lift and tuck under the edge of the icing with your finger and thumb to achieve the same effect. Do the same the opposite side and finally, gently lift the icing and use your middle finger to grip the icing and create a centre crease horizontally along the middle. Tip: Never turn colored icing over on the powdered sugar surface when rolling out as it may cause streaks or discoloration. Step 3: Lift the piece of wrap by sliding your hands underneath either side with your fingertips pointing toward you. As you lift the icing, place the center straight on the glued tier and the wrap around the tier. Use you fingers to gently fold the ends of the wrap for a casual pleated appearance. Step 4: Repeat to cover the back of the top tier so the two pieces of wrap meet. Step 5: Continue this process down each cake tier using a slightly larger piece of icing each time for the wrap, as the cake tiers get wider, so will the wrap. When you get to the bottom tier, leave a gap where the two wraps meet at the front of the cake. The gap should be roughly 20 centimeters along the base of the bottom tier with the wrap meeting at the top. Step 6: Take the edible, purple tint and a clean, dry sponge and gently apply the powder to the creases of the wrap to create a velvet effect. While you have the purple tint on your sponge, gently dust the plaque you made earlier. Step 7: Ice the cake board with the remaining blue icing and then roll out some of the white fondant thinly. Cut out several cloud shapes with the craft knife and randomly place around the edge of the cake board leaving a space at the front for an inscription. Affix the clouds with a small amount of edible glue before placing the cake on top.


Making The Ruffles Step 1: Make the ruffles by rolling some strong icing to 1/2 millimeter in thickness and cutting into 2-inch horizontal strips. Cut a waved semi-circle edge on the side closest to you. Press the shell tool along the rounded edges to create a frill pattern. Using the round tool, stretch the icing-frilled edge from underneath to create the ruffle. Step 2: Glue the surface of the bottom tier cleared by the wrap. Press and pleat the ruffled strip along the bottom of the base tier and repeat, layering the ruffles until you reach the top of the tier— typically this is an average of three or four layers. Step 3: To make the floppy lace bow for the top of the ruffles, roll out the strong icing again to the same thickness and cut out the shape of an open bow tie. Using a cocktail stick, make rows of dots and dashes to create a lace appearance. Fold by bringing the ends underneath to the center and glue to the center of the cake above the ruffles. Tip: You can paint the ruffles with edible white luster to achieve a shiny effect. 41

Edible Painting Edible paint is great for adding detail to icing decorations and for writing inscriptions on celebration cakes.

Step 1: Add alcohol or dipping solution to the gold edible tint on a palette until you reach a thick paint consistency with your No. 3 brush. Paint the previously made symbol gold on the front, back and sides until covered. Do the same on the clock with the “1999.” Place a small amount of glue on the bottom of the symbol and immediately press into a ball of fondant at the top of the cake. Be sure to check that it is straight before leaving to dry Step 2: Mix the black tint into a thin consistency with the No. 1 brush and paint the “Sign of the Times” detail on the blue heart, detail on the clock and the silhouette of Prince on the plaque. Finally, with the black paint and brush, write the inscription on the board of the song title “Nothing Compares to You.” Step 3: Clean your brush and mix some of the purple tint into a thin consistency. With the tip of the brush, paint the purple rain around the silhouette by applying small dashes. Feel free to decorate the edge of your plaque with a pattern of your choice. Spray a small amount of the edible glaze on your painted decorations to prevent the paint from smudging. Step 4: The wrap will hold your decorations to the cake without any extra support by applying a small amount of edible glue on the back of the decorations and pressing gently into the creases of the wrap in the position you want.


Fondant Roses You can use all leftover fondant icing to create roses for the cake using only an A4 plastic sheet protector.

Step 1: Cut an A4 size plastic sheet protector open to create an A3 size sheet. Place a minimum of five 1 inch icing balls, molded into tear drop shapes on the side of the plastic furthest away from you. Step 2: Ensure all teardrops are spaced out and the points are all facing towards you. Fold the plastic over to create a non-stick surface between you and the icing. Step 3: Press your index fingers down on each teardrop and roll side to side to create a petal shape. Ensure the pointed end is thick and the wide end is petal thin. Peel back the plastic. Step 4: Take the smallest petal and roll side to side to create the centre of the rose, making sure you always hold the rose at the base, not the middle or top. Step 5: Pick up one petal at a time, working from the smallest to largest, each time wrapping the petals around the center, pulling and slightly overlapping as each are applied. Step 6: To make the roses look more realistic, carefully fold back the sides of each petal with your index finger and thumb working from the outside towards the center. Step 7: Apply the roses randomly on the tiers by applying a little glue on the back of each one.

RBI Cakes is well known for its beautiful sugar flowers. Working from fresh flowers and botanical illustrations care is taken from molding to coloring so the plastic boxes you can see organize a single flower each with all the tools and instruction.




of a Highly Effective (and Successful) Baker by Maria Nerius

Maria Nerius is a staff writer at Edible Artists Network. She retired from a 35+ career in the art and craft industry and fell in love with baking.

Above: Ron Ben-Israel showed us just how thin the fondant was on a cake in the freezer. With the proper temperature and humidity fondant can be refrigerated. Below: Everything is carefully labeled, scheduled, check-listed, and more. The cake’s folder is in a central location near the refrigeration system.

On a recent tour of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes it was clear very quickly that the business is a well-oiled machine that is highly effective, efficient and successful. One immediately feels welcome. Everyone is treated like a special guest. To be fair, I need to include the disclaimer that I’ve admired Ron Ben-Israel from afar for ages, but I’ve tried my best not to let that influence the seven habits I’m presenting to you. Yet, when you admire another’s business savvy it’s hard not to let that shine through. These observations aren’t listed in any particular order, but the first two I think are critical to a long life and full body of work in any career. So to keep it humble please know that it was a team effort from EAN to tour the business and interview everyone. We wanted to bring you the most well rounded and insightful information we could gather. These are our observations and we hope each one will bring you the success we saw at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes.

Keep It Humble When my publisher called Ron Ben-Israel an artist during the interview process, he was quick to say, “Others can call you an artist, it’s not what one would call oneself. It is for others to judge you as such. I am a baker.” That is humble. I was the first to notice Ben-Israel enter the room and while the rest of the EAN team was busy asking questions, I observed him make tea for himself and then clean the area around him. That is humble. Humble tends to keep you more aware of what is going on around you and that is an effective habit. Humble can win over even the most critical client. And humble tends to keep everyone honest.

Love What You Do You can see and feel that everyone at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes loves what they do, especially their leader. A true passion can be felt for all activity going on, from cleaning to creating to talking about the business. The energy makes you want to be a part of whatever is happening because the passion makes you feel like part of the team. This type of energy gets you through the ups and the downs of being in business. Work never seems like a job or work, which is an important strength. Most of all, passion leads to happy clients who will invest in your passion. 45

Organization! Organization! Wow, I’ve studied organizing for as long as I can remember and this joint is so well organized that any staff member at any time can quickly glance down at the scheduling sheet and know the who, what, when, where, why and how of any cake at any time. Mistakes are caught before the mistake is made. Everything has a place and everything.

Avoid the Yes Trap Too many businesses, especially new businesses feel like every question must be answered with, “Yes!” when saying no is the best financial answer. Ron Ben-Israel Cakes spends its time really getting to know potential clients. The atmosphere is relaxed, not rushed. You feel like they have all the time in the world to work with you. You feel like they are actually listening because they are listening. The goal is to be a good fit with the client, to be able to meet the needs of the client while staying true to your style and brand quality. Ron Ben-Israel Cakes stays authentic. Just saying yes because it seems like the right way to keep income flowing can waste

time, energy and money. Stay true to your business and business goals, even when sometimes that means having to say you aren’t the right fit for a potential client.

A Happy Team is a Winning Team. As a client or customer, it’s very comforting when you enter a business and it feels calm, friendly and welcoming. That vibe comes from a happy workplace with happy team players. Nothing makes a person feel more at ease than being in a positive environment. All of us can learn a lesson from the team effort that is visible within the walls of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes. Everyone is busy working, smiling and getting the job done, all while answering a wide variety of questions coming at them from all directions (from us!). Most clients have enough drama in their own lives; working with your business should always be upbeat and ease your stress, not add to it.

Every potential client gets a tasting presented personally to them so even if they don’t end up client, they will get to feel like a special guest.

A winning team is well trained, feels comfortable (organization really helps bring this on), and knows they can count on each other.


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A Tutorial by Michelle “ Chef Mitchie” Curran

Sea Isle is a stunning handcrafted original design. Learn how Chef Mitchie creates edible sand that really looks like beach sand and painted weathered “wooden” planks too realistic to eat. Summer memories often carry the sound of the ocean, warm comfortable breezes, and the smell of tanning lotions. One of my favorite things to enjoy was a visit to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. I’m from Atlantic City, but this gorgeous little town offered less crowded beaches and white sand ... white sand! Weathered boardwalks lead you to the beach, the wood is so eroded from sand and surf you should only fear green heads harming your bare feet. I just made myself laugh as I recall shoobies. As a kid, I always thought people were called that because they wore shoes all the way to the ocean line. But I digress, after a little beach combing I’d pop a squat, dig my toes into the warm, white sand and wait for the sun to set as the wind rustled blades of dune grass.


Creating the Wafer Matzo Sand

There are so many ways to make edible sand for your cakes and treats. This is my No. 1 method for a truly white beach sand mix. The wafer works a few ways in our favor for this recipe: it is lightweight, plays nice and taste great.

Step 1: Assemble grinder and prepare wafer and matzo crackers. Depending on how much sand is needed, the ratio is one wafer sheet per one half of a Matzo cracker. Step 2: Break Matzo cracker into small pieces and place in a bowl and set aside. Take wafer paper sheet and fold it in half, fold in half again, fold again, and if possible, fold once more. This will make it easier and less time consuming to rip into smaller pieces. Add those pieces to your Matzo cracker bowl. What you need: • Electric coffee or spice grinder (thoroughly cleaned or new) • White wafer paper • Matzo crackers, unflavored • Edible food powder flavoring • Sterling flakes, pearl • Baker’s sugar (not shown)

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Step 3: Pour contents of bowl, one ripped up wafer paper sheet and half of one Matzo cracker crumble, into grinder. Step 4: Grind the wafer paper and Matzo cracker finely





3 Step 5: Grab a bowl, fine sieve and a silicone pastry brush. Use the brush to gently sweep out the lid and inside grinder near blades after the contents have been released to ensure all sand is out. 49

6 Step 6: Sift sand through fine sieve. If there are larger pieces remaining, place them back into grinder for a few more pulses or add to sand for a coarser texture. Repeat steps 1-6 until amount of sand needed for project is achieved. For this project I used seven sheets of wafer and three and a half crackers, which yielded about 2 cups of sand.

Creating the Embossed Weathered Planks

7 Step 7: Add some flavor and sparkle! For this project I stirred in ¼ teaspoon toasted coconut edible powder flavor and 1 teaspoon of baker’s sugar. I also added 2 grams of pearl sterling flakes. Chef’s Note: Wafer and water are best friends in moderation. Wafer will wilt/melt if oversaturated with any liquid.

A timeless trend is and has been rustic wood and realistic wooden panels for cakes and cake boards. I’ve seen and used techniques from hand modelling to using tools to create indents, splits and handpainting knots for a wood grain look. In 2010, I turned a horrible mistake into my most beloved and beneficial way to achieve a spot-on weathered plank. What happened? Well, after placing an edible photo atop some modelling chocolate I noticed an air bubble, rather than using a pin to release it I tried using a fondant smoother. It made a dent in the chocolate so I decided to roll it smooth, completely shredding the photo. The next day I got another look at my mistake and a lightbulb turned on. What you need: • Sweet Accents machine • Sweet Accents embossing folder “bark and bricks” • Premium icing sheets, white (or your color choice) • Modelling chocolate (tinted to your preference) • Rolling pin • Water pen or paintbrush and small cup of water • Pizza wheel or rotary cutter (not shown) The result of this technique will give the appearance the modelling chocolate is the natural wood color and the icing sheet is the worn paint color.

Step 1: Prepare Sweet Accents “sandwich.” First, cut icing sheet into quarters and remove the plastic backing. To emboss an icing sheet, boards B and D or colors white and gray (or light blue) are required. Place board B on bottom, open embossing folder to reveal the design preferred. Place icing sheet inside and close embossing folder. Place folder atop board B and the letter D board tops sandwich.




Step 2: Run the sandwich through Sweet Accents. Once complete, disassemble sandwich and open embossing folder to reveal newly designed icing sheet. Step 3: Cut embossed icing sheets to preferred heights, lengths and widths. Roll out modeling chocolate to desired thickness.



Step 4: Use water brush to make surface of rolled out modeling chocolate tacky. Place embossed icing sheet on top ensuring there are no creases or folds. Too much water will prolong drying and cause the icing sheet to slide out of place in the next step.

5 Step 5: Using a rolling pin, start from center, with light pressure (a heavy pressure can flatten embossed design) roll outward to edge of embossed icing sheet. Go back to center and repeat rolling toward opposite side. For more a more dramatic splits in wood look, focus edge of rolling pin on one section and roll in direction preferred. Continue these steps until satisfied. 51

Step 6: Trim wood planks and attach to project. For this project I used longer planks for my mid-tier and attached with melted white chocolate. For the bottom tier I used a circle cookie cutter and a precision knife to join the pieces together and secured them in place with melted DECOgel.


I hope you all have a beautiful and memorable summer. Thanks for spending some of it with me!

Chef’s Note: The Sweet Accents Machine is an amazing portable cutting system for cake decorating. Don’t have one on hand for this tutorial? Not to worry. Icing Sheets can be embossed by hand. Use a plastic impression mat and lay atop icing sheet (still affixed to acetate backing) and with a rolling pin gently roll from one end to the next. The impression will not be quite as prominent but will work for this project.

Additional Tip and Suggestions: • Keep your sand in place by spritzing with Paper Potion (an edible paper conditioner); once the edible solution sets, it makes a temporary light seal of the sand’s top layer. • Want a darker sand? Replace Matzo crackers with pretzel sticks.

• Create a water effect with DECOgel! It’s easy, fun, sets up like a gummy bear, and tastes great! • Try gum paste for planks, dries faster and panels are sharper. • Add a stain to your planks with a solution of powdered food coloring mixed with vegetable oil. Apply with large soft bristle brush and wipe off excess with a lint free towel.


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“The New York Cake Show is my favorite day of the year. All the cake artists from around the world no matter what race or religion, we all get together and share our passion and talent, it’s all about cake.” — Lisa Mansour of N.Y. Cake

The New York Cake Show at the Marriott Marquis on May 15, 2016 had a schedule loaded with demonstrations and classes. The classes and demos sold out early online for this one-day show. Yet the team behind the New York Cake Show was able to add additional demonstrations to keep the attendees happy the day of the event. Sugar art professionals and enthusiasts came out in force to take part in competitions, demonstrations, classes and shopping.


by Maria Nerius

We Had A Blast!

Sugar art professionals and enthusiasts came out in force to take part in competitions, demonstrations, classes and shopping. The New York Cake Show at the Marriott Marquis on May 15, 2016 had a schedule loaded with demonstrations and classes. The classes and demos sold out early online for this one-day show. Yet the team behind the New York Cake Show was able to add additional demonstrations to keep the attendees happy the day of the event.

Cocktail Party Starts the Fun The evening before the show a delightful cocktail party launched the event with a bang. Held at the International Culinary Center’s NYC campus, the menu was designed by Jansen Chan, Director of Pastry Operations. ICC students Livy Choi and Bao Tu Cen could be seen throughout the event creating beautiful treats in the kitchen. It was inspiring to see and taste the sweet creations prepared by ICC students. Demonstrations were also part of the evening with a fire

Cocktail Party Sweet Treats Menu • Rooibos tea bonbon • Banana-milk chocolate bonbon • Coconut marshmallow in dark chocolate • Almond spiced biscotti in white chocolate • Chocolate-sour cherry financier • Peanut butter and jelly carré • Chocolate chip cookie macaroon • Lemon cornmeal cookie • Diamonts shortbread • Pistachio strawberry cake • Raspberry custard cream puff 55

breathing dragon designed by Maria Castro and Gabriel Castro; intricate face sculpting by Aurora Bonafide, Christina Bonafede, and Massimiliano D’Orso; and beautiful tiles made using the biscuit imprime technique created by Laura Saporiti.

Show Time On the day of the show demonstrations included “Bridal Cookie Designs for Beginners” with Loren Ebert, “Russian Piping Skills” with Lisa Mansour, “Get Introduced to Flexique” with Marilyn Bowol, “Pavoni’s Magic Décor” with Joshua John Russell, “Wafer Paper Flowers” with Colette Peters, and others. I sat in on the wedding cookie demo and got real insight on how to successfully decorate like a pro by piping thick and thin icing. The demonstration lead by Lisa Mansour was packed, but with the video screen everyone in the room could see precisely how the Russian piping tips created beautiful flowers with just the squeeze of the piping bag. No matter where you stood or sat in the demonstration rooms you could see the action and hear the experts explaining each detail.


Best In Show Winning Cake created by Bryson Perkins

New York Cake Show Competition Winners Wedding Cake Student: Cassandra Alfred Wedding Cake Beginner: Christa LiTrenta Wedding Cake Intermediate: Deanna La Wedding Cake Professional: Bryson Perkins All Occasion Student: Rachel Metz All Occasion Beginner: Sachiko Eindbiel All Occasion Intermediate: Carolina McAdoo All Occasion Professional: Kim Simons Sculpted Beginner: Poornima Solairajan Sculpted Intermediate: Alexis Moore Sculpted Professional: Benny Rivera Shoe Beginner: Talia Rosenberg Shoe Intermediate: Juliet Galea Shoe Professional: Ashley Holt Fan Favorite: Alexis Moore Best in Show: Bryson Perkins 57

It was fun watching all the Seaside Mini Wedding Cakes pass by the EAN table, boxed and proudly held by attendees of Bryson Perken’s class. My favorite class was the one for children taught by Mary Carmen who showed a room full of junior chefs how to decorate cupcakes. Children of all ages were so excited. Jesse Gunn, a MasterChef Junior contestant, was also there sharing her enthusiasm. Interestingly enough, we never did see any of those cupcakes passing by the EAN booth, we assumed the kids just had to devour them all at the end of class.

Pretty Cakes Everywhere The competition cakes were on display for attendees to view and photograph. It was great to see the variety of skill from beginner to professional with a theme of New York. There were quite a few yellow taxis, rats with slices of pizza, and more than one Statue of Liberty, but each cake was as unique as its creator. It could not have been an easy job to be a judge. Executive Pastry Chef Steve Evetts was chairman of the judges. Wedding cake judges included Nicholas Lodge (Lead Judge), Betty Van Norstrand, Kathleen Lange, Margeret Braun, Madison Lee Sheehy, and Laura Saporiti. Party/All Occasions Cake judges included: Susan Trianos (Lead Judge), Peggy Tucker, Maria Castro, Gabriel Castillo, Cynthia Peithman, and Biaggio Settepani. Sculptured Cake judges included: Colette Peters (Lead Judge), Kim Simons, Marilyn Bawol, Beth Parvu, and Jorge Amsler. Shoe Display judges included Iris Rezoagli (Lead Judge), Joan Mansour, Toni Dickinson, and Sidney Galpern.

58 59

“The New York Cake Show is my favorite day of the year. All the cake artists from around the world no matter what race or religion, we all get together and share our passion and talent, it’s all about cake,” said Lisa Mansour of N.Y. Cake. The New York Cake Show is one to put on your ‘must attend’ list. The event was thoughtfully planned and well run. You’ll learn new techniques, network with industry leaders, spot new trends and discover great supplies and tools. Make it a long weekend in the city and don’t forget to schedule some time to taste test your way through some of the best pastry, candy, and cake shops the city has to offer.

Fire Breathing Dragon created by Maria Castro and Gabriel Castro


Fan Favorite Cake created by Alexis Moore 61


Shabby Chic Sea Life Cookie

A Tutorial by Dolce Sentire (Aixa Zunino) Location: Spain

Bring a little of Spain into your home with this great sea-inspired cookie design. 63

Supplies Needed:

Aixa Zunino is the soul of Dolce Sentire, a virtual corner of sweetness and creativity dedicated to cookie decorating. On her site, this garden engineer, selftaught decorator and lover of flowers and animals lets her imagination fly, sharing everything she has learned since discovering the world of cookies in early 2012. Zunino combines this activity with cookie decorating courses around Spain (her current home) where she teaches all the secrets to getting awesome cookies. In addition, she is the author of Cookie Connection’s monthly blog “Get Inspired with Dolce Sentire,” where, with in-depth tutorials, she proves that, “If you can dream it, you can cookie it!” Meet Zunino on Facebook ( or her website (, and email her your cookie decorating questions or concerns at

• One cookie • Cornstarch • Medium flat brush • Rounded cookie cutter • Non-toxic pencil • Piping bags, couplers and bag ties • White royal icing of flooding consistency • Tip No. 2 • Brown royal icing of stiff consistency • Small round brush and a palette • Assorted gel colors and dusting powder (see recommendations to right) • Vodka, alcohol rejuvenator spirit or alcohol-based extract • Pale, pink royal icing • Tip #101, for the roses • Acetate sheet(s) • Shells, coral and starfish templates • White royal icing of medium consistency • Tip No. 1 • Rounded brush for dusting

• For the crackle mixture: AmeriColor White gel • For coating the cookie borders: Sugarflair Extra White powder color (or similar white coloring) • To color the brown royal icing: AmeriColor Warm Brown and a pinch of Sugarflair Nutkin Brown (for the rope), AmeriColor Warm Brown and Sugarflair Eucalyptus (for the roses) • Sea life scene: Rainbow Dust Pink Candy, Rainbow Dust Baby Blue, Rainbow Dust Mint, Rainbow Dust Citric Green and Rainbow Dust Navy Blue edible marker. • To age the cookie: Rainbow Dust Milk Chocolate dusting powder and Sugarflair Nutkin Brown dusting powder

Step 1: Bake a cookie as usual. Chocolate or gingerbread cookies are preferred. Step 2: Apply a thick coat of crackle paint on the baked cookie using this magic recipe: One part cornstarch plus two parts AmeriColor white gel color. The goal is a toothpaste consistency; thick but runny enough to paint. Cover the entire cookie surface and paint the cookie edges with white gel coloring and a few drops of vodka. Let the newly painted cookie dry for about half an hour at room temperature or 10 minutes in a food dehydrator. You will see how magical this technique is.







Step 3: When the crackle coat is completely dry, trace a circular form with a rounded cookie cutter and the non toxic pencil (an edible marker can be used as well). This will help to flood a perfect circle. Step 4: Once your circle has been traced on the crackle cookie, pipe all of the outlined area with white royal icing of flooding consistency.


Step 5: Let the royal icing circle dry completely (about eight hours at room temperature or 60 minutes in a dehydrator) and then start piping a stiff consistency brown royal icing border by making “S� movements with your hand that looks like a marine rope. Let the icing dry.


Step 6: Draw a freehand underwater scene and paint it with the colors mentioned above and mixed with a few drops of vodka with the small, round paintbrush. If you think you can’t make a freehand drawing, trace an illustration using the paper transfer technique: First print the reverse image using a photo editor program, then trace it with pencil on a piece of parchment paper. Trace over the illustration again by placing the pencil-side down on the cookie and transfer the pencil marks to the royal icing. 65


8 Step 7: Once you have finished with the drawing, prepare the shells, coral and starfish transfers by printing off your templates on paper. Tape them to a flat surface and cover with an acetate sheet. Then, with the white royal icing of medium consistency, trace the shells, coral and starfish. I normally use a small round piping tip, such as a PME No. 1, for detailed shapes, as in this case. Let them dry completely and set them aside for later use


Step 8: While the transfers are drying, make some cute pink and pale-blue roses. Place them on a cookie sheet to let them dry for about an hour at room temperature. Once dry, store the roses in a container at room temperature and set aside.


Step 9: Stick the royal icing shells, coral, starfish transfers and roses wherever you consider they look best on your cookie. You can also use golden sugar beads to get a more delicate look to your transfers. Step 10: Finally, age the cookie edges using the dusting powders and a rounded brush.


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Request For Submissions Edible Artists Network Magazine is looking for tutorials for its fall issue, which just happens to be when we launch our new design. We are focusing on tools this issue and would like the tutorials to not only be how to make something, but how to use a specific tool in the production. Do you have a special airbrush technique that really makes a cake pop? What about stencils?! We are looking for beginner to advanced tutorials in cake decorating and the sugar arts. We will choose up to nine tutorials to run in the upcoming issue. Please remember this is the fall issue so anything with an autumn theme, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc., would be first choice to run.

For more information contact Nichole L. Ballard, Editor

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Paper Potion by Icing Images Condition your wafer paper to hold creative shapes easily! Spray, shape & hold! Also great for reviving dried out icing sheets! All with a great vanilla scent! 69

Advertiser Index Amoretti.................................... 11

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AUGUST 4 – 7, 2016





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Come Celebrate Cake in the Spirit of Southern Charm at the 41st Annual ICES Convention and Show



Choose from 70 Hands-On Classes and Demonstrations from Leading International Sugar Artists

M O B I L E C O N V E N T I O N C E N T E R • 1 S O U T H W AT E R S T R E E T • M O B I L E , A L A B A M A 3 6 6 0 2 • I C E S C O N V E N T I O N . O R G

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