Thursday, 22 December 2011

Glitters and disclaimers

How many of you use gorgeous glitters on your cakes?

We asked our fans on

79% of you said no; 15% said that you did and 6% only used glitter if the customer asked for it.

Glitters labeled up as non toxic are not edible and should not be eaten.

On a range on glitter dusts available the following disclaimer is in place- pay particular attention to the last sentence:

Non toxic glitters can be used on decorations that are easily removed. If consumed, then the product will cause no harm and will simply pass through diring digestion. This product can not be classed as edible as this would mean it is digestible and is classed as a food, therefore we simply have to label it as “Non-Toxic”

I don't use glitters on my cakes, although I was given some fabulous red glitter in my Jane Asher goodie bag from the Cake Crawl that I organised earlier this year, and I always ensure that I use pasta as support and not cocktail sticks.

For those of you who have businesses, it would be a good idea to have disclaimers in place that customers sign so that they know there are non-edible products on their cake. You could even use some of the wording above to ensure that that recipients of your cakes are fully informed.

Things you might like to consider in your disclaimer are:

- plastic toy decorations
- non edible toppers
- jewels and beads
- glittered toppers
- wired decorations
- fresh flowers
- ribbons

Here is an example of a disclaimer used by the owner of Cake-y-licious- Louise
******DISCLAIMER: ******
The Food Standards Agency has issued a notice of an enquiry regarding the use of glitters used on cakes and cupcakes

These Non-Toxic glitters, which have been used in baking for many years, have now been put under testing to meet with EU laws. The Glitter is safe to be ingested as it is Non Toxic, however because the body cannot digest the glitter (i.e. it passes through your digestive system unchanged) it cannot be classified as a ‘food’ and has therefore been classified as ‘For Decoration Purpose Only’

For Decoration Purpose Only: - The Non Toxic Glitters can be used on decorations that can be removed from the cake/cupcakes prior to eating. NOT sprinkled directly onto the cake/cupcake.

This has caused a lot of debate and discussions on Cake Decorating forums the last few days, with people trying to find an ‘Edible’ alternative that offers the same quality of sparkle, to sprinkle directly on the cake/cupcake – unfortunately there are none!

Therefore should you order a cake that requires that extra bit of sparkle, I will be able to offer you the following alternatives, until such a time as the Food Standards Agency re-classifies the non-toxic glitter or a suitable substitute comes on the market.

1. Non Toxic Glitter can still be used as long as the decorations are removed prior to eating – this may mean a slight adjustment to your cake design
2. Edible Magic sparkles
3. Pearl Lustre Spray – which gives a subtle shimmer
4. Coloured Lustre Dusts & Paints – Which give a shimmer
5. Coloured Sugar

I apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to stress again that these glitters will not cause harm if ingested. However we all have to follow Environmental Health and FSA Guidelines

Customers: - I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this

Always be wary of items that you put on your cake being food safe.  I have seen people put fresh flowers directly onto cakes, when you must put a protective layer between the cake the the non-edible decoration- like a piece of acetate (clear plastic sheet).

Here is the link to the FSA document about non edible items on cakes

What are your thoughts on glitters?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Madagascan Vanilla Pods

Madagascan Vanilla Pods

Some studies show that in the last 4 years the price rises have resulted in a 30% drop in the use of natural vanilla worldwide. However, the market for gourmet-grade whole vanilla beans is on the increase, especially in Europe where high-quality food ingredients have been popularised by numerous celebrity chefs. Americans are the biggest consumers of real vanilla followed by France, although the appreciation of French vanilla’s qualities are now being felt in the United Kingdom as the imports increase considerably. The trend away from additives and preservatives has led to an appreciation of the pure elements of food and healthy eating and has seen a rise in consumption over here.

As mentioned earlier, 97% of all vanilla used in products are synthetic and those that use real vanilla are therefore few and far between. Imitation vanilla is manufactured either from clove oil (eugenol) or as a breakdown product of lignin from a conifer (e.g., spruce, Picea). 

Pure vanilla chemically has over 200 elemental chemicals that give it its taste and smell, and it is impossible to mimic this 100% today. The main compound that gives real vanilla its taste is called vanillin. Madagascan vanilla has 3 times as much vanillin concentration and therefore taste) compared to its nearest competition the Mexican Bourbon variety, and this is why it has such a reputation.

The cakedecorating company have a lovely range of this product: 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Streetwise Mat


It has been such a journey for me this year, and I have been overwhelmed with the response on my Cake Masters facebook page.
I want to thank each and everyone one of you who have posted pictures, entered competitions, helped others with fab top tips, and for giving me such wonderful feedback about my page.

I absolutely love my page, and just love looking through all the pictures uploaded and reading each and every comment posted.

To say a big thank you to you all, I have been in touch with the lovely people at the Cake Decorating Company to bring all my fans a very special and exclusive offer.

All fans of my page have an exclusive offer on the fabulous Streetwise MAT- have you tried it? I have been using my mat and it is just brilliant- no icing sugar, no cornflour, no trex on your work surface, no ripping of paste when picking it up and so easy to pick up once rolled out.

This video shows how the mat is used:

The mat is available from the Cake Decorating Company 

The HOME MAT £27.99

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

In the Amersham People

A small article about our classes! YAY!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tiny Shoe Cutters

Frances McNaughton is just brilliant and I just love her tiny shoe cutters! She demonstrates in these videos how she makes her fab range of shoes.

I am selling these shoes in my facebook shop for £8 :)