Supreme SilK – VS – Covapaste

Hey everyone HAPPY FRIYAY!!!!!! I’ve been trying to get this blog post done now for over two weeks, between having the ozzie flu and my laptop not co-operating (come to think of it, maybe I gave the laptop the flu?!?!?! lol) but anyway, I’ve managed to get it done this morning whilst sitting in bed and taking a much needed break to get myself finally on the mend.

It’s no secret of my deep affection for Supreme Silk Sugarpaste made by the Irish company Select Ireland Foods. I have mentioned it a lot on my Snapchat (user name jenscouturecakes) and Instagram (which you can come and follow me on here) lately because I truly believe in this product. So I am writing this blog as a review of the product and also to review it up against another fondant which I don’t like and you’ll see the reasons why below.

SELECT V COVAPASTE

But first lets talk about it……………..

I first came across Select Ireland, a family run business based in Cork, Ireland, when Marisa got in touch asking me how much fondant I would use per week and would I be interested in trying their product. I asked her for a cheeky sample to try and it is now my firm favourite to use for cakes. When Marisa so kindly sent me some to try, I knew straight away it was going to be good. The presentation alone is superb. Supreme Silk comes in its very own re-sealable tub which is a fantastic idea for storing the fondant. Any other fondant I have purchased before comes in vacuum sealed plastic packaging which I find very annoying because once its opened, if its not stored correctly in a zip-lock food bag, it will dry out and harden. So this is a major plus for me. It comes in its very own plastic bag, inside the re-sealable tub, so no need to worry about having cling film on hand (seran wrap in the states), or food zip lock bags to store it in. Just wrap it up in the bag and close the lid and boom- its stored and ready to be used again. I am very happy with this because I’m constantly running out of cling film and zip-lock bags because of this very thing, so I’m very impressed with this.

Upon opening the fondant, after it was delivered to me on a very cold wintery day, I did a live opening and tasting of the fondant on my snapchat. It tasted amazing, a lovely vanilla flavour but it wasn’t too sweet or over bearing, nor was it to dull or faint, it was just right. Because of the weather conditions, and other experiences with fondant/sugarpaste, I had already presumed the fondant was going to be rock hard and very difficult to knead. So I decided what better time to try it then now when it would be at its most difficult, right? It was cold to touch obviously due to the weather outside, but, when I took it to my green board and began to knead it, it literally took me less than a minute to have it ready to cover a cake- NO LIE!!!!! There was no need to throw it into the microwave to heat it up. Believe me, I was as shocked as you most likely are reading that, but it is TRUE. Of course it was cold and hard to touch initially, but within seconds, it began heating up, becoming very elastic and pliable, and it rolled out like a dream. And best of all, NO AIR BUBBLES!!!!!!

When covering my cake, placing the fondant over the cake there was no rips or tears in the fondant and more importantly for me, no elephant skin!!!!! This is such a pet hate of mine with fondant, I cannot stand the elephant skin look off fondant and when I had the cake finished, it was as smooth as a newborn baby’s bum!! The perfect finish for any cake- that smooth, clean, professional look, JUST PERFECT!!!!

The most important thing about this fondant for me is being able to achieve super sharp edges that stay super sharp. This is extremely important to me, as you can see below, I like to finish my cakes off with super sharp edges so I love this with the Supreme Silk. Here is my most recent wedding cake using the sugarpaste and I am so happy with the finished result.

michelle wedding cake 9

I have used other fondant brands before this, including Icewise and Satin Ice which weren’t bad and I’ve tried others and been really let down with the finish. For example, before I found my fav, I stupidly bought a big quantity of Covapaste fondant from one of my suppliers without trying it beforehand, because fondant is fondant right?!?!?! What could possibly go wrong?!? Well, let me start by advising you against EVER buying this fondant. I had a three tier wedding cake to cover and I literally cried every minute of decorating it. I even posted in the Irish Cake Decorating and Sugarcraft Chat Facebook page asking about the fondant- was it just me? or were other people having similar problems? and to my relief lots of people agreed with me, and there were others who swore by it. But for me- its a NO! So here were my issues with it:

  • too hard to knead (you’d want Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles to go at it and then hello tennis elbow and writers wrist – ouch!!!!!)
  • air bubbles- need I say aymore?
  • elephant skin- aaaaaaaarrrrrghhhh
  • rips and tears (causing me to recover the cake twice- once again with the covpaste and then with a cheaper local supermarket fondant to try get the cake finished and on time, thankfully Tesco fondant actually came to my rescue)
  • the sharp edge wouldn’t hold
  • and finally when I went to smooth over the cake, the fondant dragged and tore. So it went from being too hard to knead to being super soft and sensitive.

Its safe to say I do not like Covapaste. The whole cake needed to be stripped and re-covered with a huge amount of fondant in the bin and not to mention the money it cost to buy it. I may aswel have gone into the bathroom and flushed the money down the toilet. I had such a bad experience with it and the tears and tantrums will never be forgotten, by me or by my husband ha ha.

So to round up all the pro’s of the Supreme Silk Sugarpaste (because I have not found one fault yet), see below:

  • super easy to knead
  • extremely pliable and elastic
  • zero air bubbles
  • smooth finish – no elephant skin
  • no rips or tears – extremely durable
  • sharp edges – all day everyday
  • vanilla flavour (not too sweet just right)
  • great for making models/figurines with with too
  • blends perfectly when using the wrap around method for covering double barrel cakes
So if you’ve been having trouble with your current sugarpaste, or you’d like to try something new, DEFINITELY give it a try its so worth it!!!!!
If you do try the Supreme Silk, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Til next time
Jen ♥ XX
Please note: this blog is my own personal opinion. I have not been asked to do this blog nor have I been paid to do it.
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5 Things I Cant Cake Without

Hey Guys, I’ve been asked by lots of you, my lovely followers to write a post about the top 5 things I need as a cake decorator-  what I can’t live without and the reasons why…………………..so here it goes 🙂

  1. Progel food Colouring

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This is my number one product for the following reasons :

  • I literally cannot live without these food colours. They come in an array of colours, any colour you can think of they are amazing. I use them for colouring my fondant, buttercream, flower paste, macaroons……you name-it you can use it. I cant be without this I have a drawer full of these in my kitchen. I use them all, well most of them and here’s some pictures of my cakes where I’ve used the progel to colour my fondant and buttercream. The best thing with colouring the buttercream is it doesn’t spilt and you get a nice even colour throughout. You can buy these at your local Supervalu store or on their direct website here.

2. Squires Kitchen Flower Paste

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I absolutely love this stuff!! I use it mainly for flowers, but it can also be used for a number of things that need quick hard drying like brooch moulds, cupcake decorations and also mixed with fondant it can give you gum paste (50:50 ratio) for creating model figurines. These are the uses I’ve found but I’m sure there are many more that I don’t know of. It is fantastic, one of the best products out there for cake decorators. Here are some of the flowers I’ve created with it….

ellen sugar roses

I buy mine in my local Supervalu store, but it can be purchased online too. Try here to get yours from Squires Kitchen directly.

3. Select Ireland Supreme Silk Sugarpaste

 

This is by far the most amazing sugarpaste I have EVER used. Its super pliable, easy to roll, no elephant skin or tearing and most importantly its great for achieving those super sharp edges!!! The guys in Select Ireland are based in Co. Cork, Ireland and they know what’s up when it comes to sugarpaste. The vanilla flavour from it is so nice- not too strong, not too faint- just perfect. It is my absolute favourite to work with and I find myself having a sneaky bit of it now and then when working. Its the perfect combination and works like a dream for us cakers. If you haven’t tried it yet, get on it! You don’t know what you’re missing out on and life is only gonna get better from here on out.

selectwhite

As of yet, I’ve only tried the white fondant because I use so much of the progel but I am eager to try the coloured fondant now too. If the white fondant is anything to go by, then the coloured fondant will be just as perfect. You can buy Select Ireland from this company called Bakeworld which you can click on here. Here’s a picture of one of my recent cakes using the fondant for you all to see.

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4. My Green Board

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Ok, so if you haven’t got one of these already, whip out the purse and BUY one! These beauties are literally a MUST-HAVE for all cake decorators a definite INVESTMENT. I literally cannot believe I used to waste so much time cleaning my counter, dusting it with icing sugar, rolling out my fondant and then for it to get stuck to the counter anyway. It was such a painful process lol, scrapping it off and starting all over again. There were nights I would sit with my head in my hands asking WHY??? OH WHY?? Ha ha, literally tormented and upset with cakes due out in little or no time and not even covered, if you feel my pain please share below in the comments 🙂 I bought mine from the lovely owner of A Cake For You right here in Ireland and I would be lost without it. Click HERE for Grainne’s website to contact her.

And that brings me to the last of my top 5 which is…….

5. My Nikon Camera

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Okay, so it doesn’t help me make better cakes but it does help me get better snaps. I cannot believe I used to rely solely on my smart phone to take good snaps of my cakes. Don’t get me wrong, I would be totally lost without my iPhone but….. then there’s my Nikon!!! It is amazing the difference in my photo’s, especially my wedding cakes, and let’s be honest, with the hard work we put in to create the dream cakes for our clients, including the late nights, early mornings (basically no sleep at all), the harsh criticism we apply to ourselves, and the intense concentration which can be extremely draining especially with intricate designs. So why not make sure that all of that hard work and design is completely clear and visible for your viewers to see? It is a reward in itself completing a masterpiece, so make sure to reward yourself also with portfolio worthy photos to show off your work!!! Have a look here at some to get an idea of prices, etc.

amanda wedding cake 2

So that’s my top 5 peeps. I hope you all enjoyed the read and maybe can relate to my favs. If you have any of these as your top 5 or have been swayed after reading this please feel free to comment below,

Jen ♥ XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Dipped Elfmallows

elfmallows

So the next of my quick and easy Christmas treats for you all to enjoy making and eating are these cute Elfmallows dipped in chocolate and of course decorated with Christmas sprinkles. For the Elf sticks I bought these in Dealz Ireland . They’re a pack of Elf straws for the amazing price of €1.49 for 20 straws they’re worth every cent. How cute and festive are they?!?!?!?

Again for these treats we’re going to use a lot of the same supplies from my last blog post on making the Chocolate Candy Cane Hearts which you can read here. And all of the ingredients/equipment can be purchased in Dealz too.

So lets get dipping our mallows shall we?

Ingredients:

1 pack of Elf Straws

1 pack of Marshmallows

100g Plain chocolate

1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil (Optional)

Christmas Sprinkles

Baking Tray

Baking Paper

Instructions:

  1. Using the Elf straws, gently push them through the marshmallows until theyre stuck on.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a cup at 15 second intervals in the microwave ensuring to stir it between each interval to stop it from burning.
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the marshmallows into the chocolate about a third of the marshmallow and take out and gently tap it against the cup to allow any excess chocolate to drip off.
  4. Then holding them over a plate, sprinkle the decorations over the chocolate covered part and place them onto the non-stick baking paper and allow to set.
  5. Placing them in the fridge will speed up the setting time, approx. 10 mins for the chocolate to harden.
  6. Finally, enjoy with your little elves!

Happy mallowing guys!!!!!

Jen ♥ xx

Chocolate Candy Cane Hearts

peppermint hearts

Looking for some fun treats to give to your guests this Christmas? Or maybe, like myself, you have a little elf about the house over the holidays that you need to entertain and do some fun things with? Well these chocolate candy cane hearts are perfect!!!

They’re quick and easy and best of all the kids can get involved and have some fun with them too. I bought the mini candy canes and the disposable piping bags from Dealz Ireland at a great price of just €1.49 each (like everything else in the shop……I tend to spend a fortune every time I go in. I don’t even know how that is possible but I just keep grabbing…lol). There is 34 mini canes in the box so at that price theyre a steal. You can also pick up baking trays, greaseproof paper, actually everything I have listed below in Dealz so the one trip to this shop will get you everthing you need. And if you add it all up, it will cost you less than €10 if you needed to buy everything which is pretty cheap considering the cost of things to do nowadays with the kids. I also got a box of regular sized candy canes for another treat idea that I have for you guys in a few days. They’re fun, quick and easy. Exactly what we need to either make quickly for our friends/family/guests or like I said to make with the kiddies.

So lets get to it.

Servings: 8 candy cane hearts

Ingredients:

16 miniature candy canes

100g plain chocolate

Christmas sprinkles

1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil (optional)

Disposable Piping Bags

Baking tray

Non stick baking paper

Instructions:

  1. Line your tray with the baking paper
  2. Open and place the candy canes onto the baking paper in the shape of hearts gently pushing them together so they “stick” to each other. Be gentle so as to not break them.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 15 second intervals. This way ensures you wont burn it and its quick (for those impatient little helpers).
  4. When the chocolate is melted, if its too thick you can add in the vegetable oil to thin it out it. Then pour the chocolate into the piping bag and when its all in, grab the top opening part and twist it to make sure the chocolate doesn’t spill back out of the bag. Then snip the top off the bag (only a small bit from the top will do) and fill the heart shaped canes with chocolate making sure you’ve used enough at the connecting parts of the canes. This will stop them from breaking and form the heart.
  5. Then get creative with your decoration using your Christmas sprinkles.
  6. Finally, tap the baking sheet gently off the counter to set the chocolate and place into the fridge to set for about 15–20 minutes or until hard.
  7. Gently peel away from the baking paper and enjoy!!!

Let me know how you guys get on with making these little treats.

Jen ♥ xx

My top 3 Caker Gifts this Christmas

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I cant’ believe its over a year since I wrote my last blog post!! That time has literally ran away from me in a blink of an eye and its all down to you, my clients who have kept me so busy this year with cake orders. I couldn’t be happier with how 2017 has gone for me and JensCoutureCakes and I’m so excited to see what 2018 brings. I also can’t believe its only 8 more sleeps until CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! It’s my favourite time of year and also usually my busiest time of year with chocolate biscuit puddings, fruit cakes, etc., but as I said on my Snapchat the other day (if you don’t already follow me my snapchat user name is jenscouturecake, come say hi) this year I’ve decided to take a break from all the madness and spend more time with my little family. With that in mind, its Christmas time which also means buying gifts for your nearest and dearest and I’ve been asked a lot lately what would I recommend as gifts for women who love to bake and love all things cake. So, it got me thinking, which led me to googling and I’ve found some last minute gifts for the caker in your life that will be here just in time for Xmas.

  1. The Kenwood Multitone Mixer and Food Processor

I actually cant believe the price of this! Holy Sh*t its such a bargain with the 2in1 mixer and food processor everyone could use one of these in their kitchen. At the amazing price of only €195 (was €325) its a steal! The Kenwood is a favourite among all cakers for being one of the best and most durable mixers on the market. A friend of mine has had one on her family for over 20 years with there never being any problems with it. So its safe to say its a cakers Designer piece as an Investment. You can get yours online from Debenhams here.

 

 

kenwood multitone

2) Cath Kidston Christmas Apron

Cath Kidston is a firm favourite among cakers for her beautiful designs festive and floral you’ll be sure to find something for everyone. Of course with it being the time of year a Christmas apron would seem appropriate for the Christmas seasonal baker but for the all year round cakers like myself maybe a more neutral design would be better suited. However, tis the season and all that so here is a beautiful Christmas apron I’ve found designed by the one and only Cath herself. They can be found in Kildare Village, Littlewoods and of course Cath’s website itself which you can click on here. Lots of them are up to half price in the Sale at the moment so even if its not a gift for someone else, whats the harm in buying one for yourself?!?!?!!?

cath-kidston-christmas-apron

3) Mary Berry Baking Bible Recipe Book

Every baker needs a good recipe book starting off and who better to start with than Mary Berry herself! Being the star baker that she is, Mary is part of The Great British Bake off, a highly respected British baker with over 75 cookery books in her career so far and her book The Baking Bible released in 2009 is perfect for bakers anew and also us more experienced cakers. A perfect gift for the star baker in your life for sure!! You can find them in any Eason’s store for just €36.40 or buy online here.

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I hope this gave you some ideas worth looking at and helps you in your search for a gift for the baker/caker in your life!

For now, I’m off to bed to watch some Netflix and chill before a hectic week ahead of Christmas shopping and catching up on housework- the joys!!!

Chat soon xx

Jen ♥

Nima Brush Birthday Bash

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I was absolutely thrilled when the lovely Niamh, director and owner of Nima Brush asked me to make the novelty cupcakes for their 4th birthday bash this year. I have made cupcakes for Niamh before and didn’t get to meet her so I was super excited to finally get to meet her in person. She is such a lovely girl and what a #GIRLBOSS she is!!!

 

J

The event was taking place in The Bond Nightclub on Harcourt St., under Dicey’s. Jennie (one of Niamh’s team) got in touch and told me they were having an exclusive birthday party,  which was going to be a Masquerade theme, (as it was very close to Halloween what better theme to go with) and she asked me to come up with some designs to suit their theme. I decided what better to do than to incorporate the signature Nima Colour for the masks and add some glitz and glam to them to decorate.

nima-brushes

On arrival, there was unlimited glasses of Prosecco for everyone, along with lots of yummy treats in sweet jars, and of course the cupcakes. Niamh also had cool party neon glasses and bracelets for the guests. We set up the cupcakes on her beautiful Nima stand and also placed them on tables around the venue for all the guests.

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There was also an opportunity for all the guests to purchase the fabulous Nima brushes on the night which were displayed on the Nima table. Here is a close up of them…Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!?!?

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Needless to say, I was thrilled to get to meet Niamh and her wonderful team. They’re all such lovely girls and can tell they love Niamh and of course Nima. The night was a huge success with many a sore head the next day I’m sure. I was so overwhelmed when Niamh gifted me with a range her amazing brushes which I cannot wait to try!!! Have a look at these beauties……..

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Best of all I cannot wait to make Niamh’s wedding cake next year. She is so sweet and her wedding is going to be fabulous. Niamh thankyou for choosing JensCoutureCakes and I cannot wait to work with you on your wedding and future events ♥♥♥

Hope you guys enjoyed the read and if you were at the event I hope you had a ball as did I.

Jen ♥ xx

 

Reese Chocolate Cupcakes

reeses-cupcakes

Good evening everyone, I hope you all had a fabulous weekend doing what ever it is you do to relax and have fun. I took the weekend off and had some much needed R&R after what has been a crazy couple of weeks. It finally caught up with me so I literally just vegged out on the sofa, you know as Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman – “lay like broccoli” and that’s what I did.

Last week, while on my baking roll, my husband (I get such excitement calling him that, we just got married in the summer and its the best feeling ever!!), well, he requested his favourite treat of all to be picked up at the local shop – Reese’s, and because I was in a baking mood, I decided to give these cupcakes a go. Bless him, he’s been asking for these for ages so I finally gave in.

If you are a lover of all things peanut butter like he is, then you are going to peanut heaven when you taste these. The peanut buttercream is soft and fluffy, the chocolate cupcake is what dreams are made of, and not forgetting the Reese cup inside?!?!?!?! OMG these are the ultimate dessert!!

When making these, I prefer to use Panda Smooth Peanut Butter, which I picked up in my local Tescos. The smooth one is best because when piping on the buttercream, theres no peanut bits that will get stuck in your piping bag causing a blockage. I’m sure if you used a large enough nozzle or even better none at all, then you could use whatever one you wanted. But for me, I prefer the smooth one either way.

My recipe makes 12 Reese Cupcakes, so if you want less just halve the recipe but believe me, if like me you have a full house with guests all the time (its because I’m a baker, everyone knows theres always something nice going to be here for them, lol) then you will need the 12. So what are we waiting for, right? Let’s get to it.

Recipe: Yields 12

For the Cupcakes:

150g Caster Sugar

150g Flora Buttery or Margarine

3 Medium Eggs (at room temperature)

120g Self Raising Flour

30g Cocoa Powder

1tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Buttercream:

115g Butter (at room temperature)

180g Peanut Butter

85g Icing Sugar

Method:

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/ Gas Mark 5
  2. Line your cupcake tins with 12 cupcake liners.
  3. Using your stand mixer, or hand whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy,
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time until all three are combined. (You may need to add some flour if the mix begins to separate)
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and cocoa powder with a wooden spoon until combined.
  6. Sieve your flour mix into the butter mix slowly, leaving the mixer on low speed until fully combined.
  7. Pour in the vanilla essence and mix for one more minute.
  8. Using a tablespoon, fill the cupcake liners half way and then place a full Reese into each cupcake. Do not push them in, just gently allow them to sit on top of the cupcake mix, as it will sink slightly itself. Then using equal amounts, pour the remaining mix into each cupcake covering the Reese completely.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until risen well and springy to the touch.
  10. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool.

For the buttercream:

  1. Cream the butter and peanut butter on a slow speed together until completely combined.
  2. Then slowly sieve in the icing sugar, allowing it to mix thoroughly each time.
  3. When the icing sugar is fully added into the mix, turn the mixer to a high speed and allow to mix for approx. 3-5 minutes. The mixing time will depend on the temperature of the butter. If at room temp, then it will be ready in approx. 3 minutes, if the butter is cold it will take longer. You will know when the buttercream is ready as the colour fades slightly and it will be light and fluffy.
  4. When the cupcakes have completely cooled, then using a piping bag and piping tip, swirl the buttercream on top of each one in a circular motion.

Finally, enjoy these babies with a cuppa and spread the love to family and friends. These are sure to be a huge hit and be prepared to be asked to bake them again, and again, and AGAIN!!!

Enjoy baking my lovelies and let me know how you got on if you gave them a go. Who am I kidding, let me know WHEN you give these a go.

Jen ♥ xx