Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are You Ready For Some LOVE?

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Cake Love that is!

Get ready Canada! The FIRST Cake Love conference will be taking place this September 23rd-25th 2011 in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia!

I will be there teaching some awesome classes, but you can also learn from other talented artists. Learn from:
Amy Eilert
Anne Heap
Becky Rink
Colette Peters
Diane Gruenburg
Jacqueline Butler
Lauren Kitchens
Lucinda Larson
Norm Davis & Zane Beg
Pat Jacoby
Ruth Rickey
Silvina Barbosa
Susan Carberry
Toba Garrett

You won't want to miss on such an amazing line up in such an amazing city! For more information about the show, classes and how to register, visit the Cake Love website

I'm looking forward to it!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why is Purple Making Me So Blue?

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,
My purple fondant is fading,
Is this happening to you?

I hear these questions on a daily basis - why is my purple fondant fading? What is the best way to make purple fondant? Which pre-made purple fondant is deep purple?

To start, let's begin with a little colour lesson. What is purple? To make the colour purple, you need to mix the primary colours red & blue. Without the colour red, most of your foods would have a greenish or blue tone - grape soda would be blue, deep chocolate cake would have a green undertone, etc.

In order to figure out the purple problem, a little bit of research and history is in needed. Up until the mid 1970's, the red dye used in the food industry was Red Dye #2. In 1976, this dye was pulled from the market as studies had deemed it unsafe for human consumption and could possibly cause cancer. Thankfully there was an FDA approved substitute in place - Red Dye #40. Now manufacturers could continue to colour their products - problem solved - or was it? Well it turns out that Red 40 is not as stable as its predecessor Red 2. And not only that, it was also more expensive and manufacturers require anywhere from 30%-50% MORE colour in order to achieve proper saturation. What does this mean to you? Well it means that the colour tends to fade. You see, the red is a UV intolerant colour, thus UV light (including bright lights) will cause the colour to fade. But how does that affect purple you ask? Remember what I said above? Purple = Red + Blue. If the red fades out, what will remain? BLUE.

So how does all of this information help you? Well now that you know what the causation is, you can look for ways to help prevent it. First, store your purple fondant and gumpaste out of the light - keep it in a dark bag or container and in a cupboard. Also keep your finished cakes, flowers, decorations, etc stored in a dark place in order to help prevent the fading from occurring.

OK so what do you do if you want to display your finished cake or flowers or decorations? Well now you need to look into ways of preserving the purple colour or look for a lasting purple colour. First there is airbrushing. I have found that an airbrushed cake remains true, I have had a purple cake on display for over 4 years and it remains the same.

Another way to have a lasting purple is to use a more stable colourant when colouring your fondant or gumpaste. I have found that the SugarFlair colours are more concentrated and more true, and specifically for purple, the Grape/Violet colour works especially well for a lasting purple. The red they use E122 is much more stable and thus it lasts longer.

Then there is the pH balance. When the pH of your fondant or gumpaste is not balanced, the red can fade out. In order to help counteract that reaction, you can add an alkali such as baking soda. A good ratio is 1 tsp of baking soda per 1 lb of fondant or gumpaste.

Now I'm not a chemist or a colour expert by any means. The above information is simply based upon my own research and experience and is meant to be helpful.

So hopefully the next time you are working with purple, you won't be singing the Blues!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Calling All Canadian Cake Decorators!!!

Flour Confections is happy to announce we are now the home of the Durham Region Chapter of the Canadian Cake Decorators Guild!

Haven't heard of the Guild aka CCDG? Well it is an awesome online resource for Canadian cake enthusiasts to learn, share & socialize. To find out more and learn how you can become a member, visit their website HERE.

The Durham Region Chapter meetings will be held on the LAST THURSDAY of each month, beginning this month on Thursday May 26th from 6:30-8:30. The meetings are open to current members of the CCDG and for those looking to join. Our first meeting topic is insurance in the cake industry.

We hope to see you all at the meeting!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sugar Flowers with Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet - 2012!

Another class announcement! We have been working hard at lining up some really amazing classes for 2012, and we are happy to announce that Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet will be joining us April 27th-29th 2012!

Petalsweet, located in San Diego California, is known for creating contemporary, stylish & modern wedding cake and custom sugar flower cake toppers & decorations. Jackie has created her own style which is recognizable around the world! I am happy to call Jackie a friend and I'm thrilled that she will be joining Flour Confections next year!

Jackie will be teaching her 3 day Sugar Flower Vase Topper filled with her signature peonies, ranunculus, hydrangeas, buds & leaves in a fresh Spring green, white & pink colour palette. For more information about the class or to register your seat, visit our website HERE

To learn more about Jackie & Petalsweet, view her You Tube video HERE

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lorraine McKay Crossing the Pond in 2012!

Flour Confections is excited to welcome back Lorraine McKay! We had an amazing time with Lorraine back in 2010 and we are so thrilled she has agreed to join us again in the summer of 2012!

Last year Lorraine's Bride & Groom class sold out quickly, so we are happy to be able to offer 2 classes this year, her amazingly popular Asian Bride & Groom as well as her Classic Bride & Groom. Both classes are 2 day classes in which you will learn how Lorraine creates her wonderful caricatures!
Lorraine will also be offering her new Head & Hands workshop
- for those short on time or funds - students will simply concentrate on the trickier aspects of figure modeling - the head & hands!

You don't want to miss out on your chance to learn from Lorraine. Her classes are fun, full of information and she is a riot! We hope to see you all
next summer!

Head & Hands Friday July 6th 2012 9am-1pm

Asian Bride & Groom Saturday July 7th & Sunday July 8th 2012 9am-4:30pm

Classic Bride & Groom Tuesday July 10th & Wednesday July 11th 2012 9am-4:30pm

Become a Master!

As much as I hate to say it, piping is one of those dying arts in the world of cake decorating. With the emergence of new tools, gadgets, cutters, machines.....people joining the industry sometimes never even get a chance to hold a piping bag! Yet the art of fine piping is truly one of my passions and I'm hoping with the current trends of vintage and classic designs and with the recent Royal Wedding, the art of piping is going to make a come back!

So why not learn that fine art from one of it's masters? Toba Garrett is known around the globe for her fine piping & for being a master instructor. We at Flour Confections are honoured to be hosting such an amazingly talented and graceful lady. Toba will be teaching 2 days of master techniques - Australian Stringwork & Lambeth. If you haven't signed up, you don't want to miss this chance to learn from a master!

Limited seats remain - register online today!

Lambeth Ring Design May 30th & 31st AM ONLY 9am-1pm

Australian Stringwork May 30th & 31st PM ONLY 2-6pm

Master Techniques May 30th & 31st ALL DAY 9am-6pm - lunch included