Step by step photo guide to decorating novelty cakes

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Baking Xmas gift guide

Uh oh.... there's only a few days to go until Christmas. I felt it festive to build a small bakers gift guide.... for whether you're trying to figure out what to buy for your baking enthusiast friend, or come up with ideas for your own wish list (which you can then post to your friends/dearest ones/people that buy you stuff). For those of you who don't bake or are new to baking...I even added pictures!!! :)

1. Anyone that's ever had to stand in their kitchen and cut out 20 separate letters by hand will understand the importance of alphabet cutters..... in all shapes and sizes! You can pick these up in all sorts of craft shops, they don't even have to be for fondant, Play-doh cutters work just as well!

2. When I first started baking I was constantly frustrated that I was having to douse my kitchen benches with icing sugar just to make sure the fondant didn't stick. Nobody ever told me about fondant mats... I learnt the hard way and discovered them for myself, months down the line.

3. Pretty storage tins can be expensive and, as a result, we bakers tend not to splash our cash on these and buy more practical things instead. They're a delight to receive (well, in my opinion anyways!)

4. Grocery store food colourings just don't work as well when it comes to hardcore baking and decorating. These gel pots are super cheap and you can pick them up in cake supply stores or on Amazon and Ebay! They last ages as well!

5. 'Hello Cupcake' book is a brilliant book for starters wanting to get creative with cupcakes. They have 2 follow up books for those that love it! However, I did find that a lot of the decorating involved using US?Canadian candies that I found tricky to source in the UK (and had to substitute).

6. Maybe it's just me, but anything sent out into the world by king of cakes, Duff Goldman has GOT to be awesome!! The 'Ace of Cakes' TV show cake  mastermind launched his own range recently.... I love his cupcake tattoos... a we bitty pricey for what they are, but a cupcake fan's delight!

7. Got a bit of moolah to be splashing out on you cake loving loved one... you can't go wrong with the funky designs of the Kenwood stand mixers. I'd die if someone gave me one of these bad boys! (hint hint)

8. Cake turn tables are not essential for me (I can spin a board around by myself), but it would make a great little gift because, as with the cake tins, its perhaps not something that new bakers would buy themselves at first! It's a treat.

9. Wooden rolling pins are cheap as chips... so I tend to find new bakers buying these to cut costs. HOWEVER, these wooden pins tend to leave a grainy imprint on fondants. A marble/plastic pin will resolve that and make us feel really happy that you just paid so much money on a big lump of stone for us! :)


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