Storage Boxes

When I had the kitchen designed I wanted shelves that I could use either for storing equipment or for cakes in various stages of decoration.  I decided that the storage for these shelves should be neat and efficient so had been looking for the perfect storage boxes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, the boxes were either the wrong size, wrong colour etc.  These boxes were the nearest I could find:-

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They are called Wham boxes and have pull out drawers.  They can also be stacked or clipped together. I do wish to purchase another two to fill the other shelves.  While the boxes don’t fill the shelves completely I like how they look and they give a neater finish than the clear plastic containers of different sizes that I had been using. I plan on printing labels for the fronts so I can see at a glance what is in each box.

I’ll just show you the inside of the one I use for food colour storage. I’ve tried several different boxes and while this is not perfect I find it easier to find what I want quickly.

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I sorted the bottles into colours and cut cardboard strips to separate them.  When I get a delivery of colours I always write the colour and best before date on a sticker and put it on top.  That way I can quickly grab the colour I need and check which ones need discarding when out of date.

RKT – Rice Krispie Treats

Taking a break from the storage posts to talk about using Rice Krispie Treats for modelling when making cakes.  I had watched Duff on Ace of Cakes use these frequently and a couple of years ago decided to try them for myself and now use them all the time.

The recipe I use is:-

50g margarine or butter
200g marshmallows
150g crisped rice cereal

Prepare a greased dish, I use a glass Pyrex roasting dish.

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Melt the margarine in a saucepan over a low heat

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Once it is melted add the marshmallows

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Stir until melted and mixed thoroughly with the melted margarine.

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Remove from the heat and stir in the crisped rice

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Spoon into the greased bowl, flatten down, cover loosely with food wrap and leave overnight to firm up.

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Now for the fun part!

My brother was 50 last week and had a party at the weekend. I wanted to make him a special cake, the theme being all the things he enjoys most.  I decided to make a model of their sofa out of RKT and have a model of my brother lying on it.

First I made the basic shape from the RKT, cutting and sticking bits together as needed.

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At this stage the model can be covered in a layer of buttercream which helps to smooth the shape and fill in the gaps.  I didn’t do that this time as I wanted a bit of texture to the finished sofa.  Instead I covered it in a layer of fondant and smoothed that out as much as possible. Once that had hardened slightly I added the top layer of icing and marked the cushions and leather detail using a dresden tool.

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And the sofa on the finished cake

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Organisation

With all the space in the new kitchen I have been able to organise my business area more efficiently.  It saves so much time when everything has a place. I’ve tried to keep all the items I need for a particular job in one cupboard.

This is my baking cupboard, in here I keep all my cake tins, mixing bowls and cooling racks.  I’ve been trying to build up my collection of different size tins as I often need more than one of each.  The multi-size tins are invaluable for those odd size cakes I sometimes get asked to make and for making number cakes (its more cost effective to bake a rectangle and cut out the number shape I need, rather than buying tins in each shape and I don’t have to find space to store them).

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Onto my decorating cupboard.  In this cupboard I keep most of the things I need for covering cakes, along with a few extra bits and pieces.  In here I store my fondant, icing sugars, smoothers, my mini-mat (I’ll talk about this another time), rolling pins, spirit level, spacers and a box containing dowels, wooden skewers and wires for supporting tiers and modelled figures. I also use this cupboard for cupcake cases, piping bags and bowls that I use for mixing small amounts of coloured royal icing.

 

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I’ll take a moment here to talk about fondant.  When I started out I usually stuck with supermarket own brand fondant, mainly because it was cheap, easily available and seemed to work well.  However, supermarkets frequently decide to change the recipe of their fondant without warning and despite their reassuring words ‘new improved’ ‘easier to roll’, quite often the new recipe isn’t as good. Last year I had an order for a wedding cake and wanted to try a better quality product.  I read reviews online and decided to order Sattina.  The first difference I noticed when opening the packet was the smell, it smelled delicious and the taste didn’t disappoint.  I find most supermarket brands have a slight synthetic taste but Sattina doesn’t.  It isn’t overly sweet and customers comment on how good it tastes. It is only a little more expensive than I am used to paying but not as much as some of the other well-known high quality fondants.

If you have any questions please leave a comment. Next week is cake drum and box storage.