Imagine you were a cake artist who had to create a 5 tier wedding cake with the same design print all around the sides of every tier. The time involved in doing hand painting could be several days and make the cake price prohibitive for the bride. But the bride doesn't have to sacrifice the design of her dreams because she can't afford it. If, instead, the design in printed on edible icing sheets, the bride gets exactly what she wants at a fraction of the cost.
Wedding cake orders have been bigger, more elaborate cakes since the cake competitions started airing on television. Brides used to accept the plain white buttercream cakes that came at no additional cost from the wedding caterer. But, now the cake is a big part of the wedding theme and the biggest focal point after the bride and her gown.
Taking any design, the icing sheets are adhered to the sides of the cake using a bit of piping gel. Nut, more intricate designs are possible by using the electronic cutter machine with those printed designs. A machine equipped cake a special needle design for cutting cake decorating mediums is the Silhouette Cameo cutter.
You can cut an infinite number of patterns using this machine by either buying cartridges or downloading software. The machine connects to your personal computer where you can even enter custom designs to cut out.
Icing sheets aren't the only medium cake decorators cut with the Silhouette; everything from gum paste, modeling chocolate, marzipan and fondant can be thinly rolled on the accompanying mat, slid into the cutter's slot and trimmed into custom decorations.
On a smaller scale, imagine filling an ordering for a matching Louis Vuitton handbag and shoe cake. You could scan the design and cut out all the LV logos and other symbols that make up the design, saving hours required to either pain the or cut them by hand.
For those who don't like their handwriting or just want to cut out monograms, the Silhouette is ideal. The machine costs about $350 and comes with a software program for your desktop and instructions for use.
Before this machine was ever used for cake decorating, it had been used with a different type of needle for paper crafts. Wedding cake designer, Linda McClure, adapted the machine for use with cake decorating materials.
It does take a bit of practice to get used to using the machine. Both fondant and gum paste can be sticky and freezing them a bit will allow them to cut cleaner instead of sticking to the cutting needle. Once the design is cut, you can use a pointed object such as a scriber to lift the design then apply it to the cake with a dab of water.
There are infinite design possibilities when working with the software from pre-programmed designs to ones you scan or download. Technology has found its way into the cake decorator's kitchen.
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