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asked May 24th 2012

Sticky sugarpaste

Hiya. I am pretty new to decorating cakes so I hope it is OK to ask this on here as I think most people are way more advanced than myself, I purchased renshaw ready to roll icing in white/pink and black. I used the pink and black to cut out some hearts and left it to set/harden on baking paper overnight but they didn’t set at all in fact if anything seemed to go more sticky and the same for the sugarpaste I iced the cake with. I know its been one of the hottest days today so probably doesn’t help but also someone has advised me to use tylo, I have read the Q&A on this page and seen that that shouldn’t be needed so I am wondering if someone would be able to advise me as to where I am going wrong. I love the beginners tutorials on here and was hoping to join the membership to view other tutorials once i master some of the basics, I was totally gutted with my attempt today 🙁

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Hiya. I am pretty new to decorating cakes so I hope it is OK to ask this on here as I think most people are way more advanced than myself, I purchased renshaw ready to roll icing in white/pink and black. I used the pink and black to cut out some hearts and left it to set/harden on baking paper overnight but they didn’t set at all in fact if anything seemed to go more sticky and the same for the sugarpaste I iced the cake with. I know its been one of the hottest days today so probably doesn’t help but also someone has advised me to use tylo, I have read the Q&A on this page and seen that that shouldn’t be needed so I am wondering if someone would be able to advise me as to where I am going wrong. I love the beginners tutorials on here and was hoping to join the membership to view other tutorials once i master some of the basics, I was totally gutted with my attempt today 🙁

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Hi

You really do need either CMC or Tylo powder if you want your sugar paste to harden up, just adding half a tsp to 250g would make a difference, or you could use gum tragacanth, but this is more expensive, and best used for making flower paste. Also, try and leave the shapes to dry on a foam pad, as this will allow the air to circulate more, and the next day, turn them over for a few hours to dry on the other side.

Hope this helps 🙂

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thank you for this I will try this next time

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Hi bluedream, please don’t be disheartened by your experience, this happens to even the most experienced of decorators (which btw I’m not). I experienced this last year while decorating a three tier wedding cake, what a nightmare!! I was advised to keep adding icing sugar to stiffen up the icing, but in fact it didn’t help, it reduced the intensity of the coloured icing and also caused cracking once the icing dried. I scrapped about a kilo and half of fondant!! What did help however, was keeping the area I rolling in ventilated with an electric fan. It stabalised the icing and I kept the room cool overnight before delivering the cakes the next day. This was my experience, I don’t know how other people cope with the problem,I just hope this helps you a little. Please smile now x

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Bluedream, sorry didn’t answer the other part of your question regarding tylose powder. Smaller pieces of decoration need a little gum tragacanth or tylose to enable hardening. I have never heard of any one using it in fondant to ice a cake with.

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thanks for that, I did try putting a fan near where I was working and also in the room where I left the shapes to harden as it was so hot yesterday but still it had no impact on how it went. I will try again though and see how I get on, Thanks so much for replying

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Hi bluedream, the heat most probably has a lot to do with it.  They can take a couple of days to dry out, but will take even longer to harden.  As sharon says the air needs to circulate around the paste.  As for using tylo it really depends on what you are actually doing with the decorations you have made – are they to be used to put on cupcakes?  If so then you shouldn’t need to add it.   

I live in Scotland, so I don’t have much problems with it being too hot!!  But this week I do.  I have a couple of cakes that I need to keep cool and it’s proving difficult.  Luckily I have a spare room at the back of my house where the sun doesn’t shine in, but it is still warm.  So what I’ve had to do is put a type of blackout cloth over my window and that has really helped keep the room cool.

 

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If you want them to harden I would add Tylo. Also I put cornflour/icing sugar underneath them so they dry underneath and don’t stick to the board its on as that keeps them soft I find.

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thanks for all your help x