Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ready To Roll  as a Decorative Medium

What is RTR?
RTR(Ready to roll) is an icing which is pliable and can be used to cover cakes or can be  molded into decorative shapes to make a showpiece or cake toppers.Gum paste, Fondant, Marzipan, all come under Ready to roll icing.

Other rolled icings:
       Candy Clay - Can be made with a mixture of heated Candy Melts and corn syrup. Dough-like consistency that is rolled out before applied to cake. Edible and sweet. Also makes a delicious chocolate candy.
       Rolled Butter cream - Made from stiff American butter cream and confectioners sugar which are kneaded together. Dough-like consistency that is rolled out before applied to cake. Sweet and similar to fondant.

Gum paste
Gum paste or pastillage or sometimes called candy clay is used for making fancy and delicate decorations. It has been used by confectioners since the late medieval period and is quite popular with cake designers today. Although it is made up of edible items it is not consumed as it is brittle, hard and tasteless, so used only as centerpieces.

Recipe :
Icing sugar-500g
Lemon juice-10ml
       Bloom the gelatin in water and melt it.
       Sift the icing sugar.
       Make a pliable dough by kneading the icing sugar with the melted gelatin . Add the lemon juice at the end to give brighter color.
       Keep the dough covered at all times . Add lemon juice to dough if it becomes too dry/add cornstarch if its too moist.
Rolled Fondant
Fondant can be made at home or bought from supermarkets. It remains soft for quite a while, but will harden over time. It never gets bone hard. It can be used to make decorations and is great as cake coverings.

     icing sugar-675g
     egg whites-3nos
     liquid glucose-30ml
     Note: Fondant must me wrapped in an airtight polythene bag, in a cool dry place. Should not be frozen or else it becomes limp and sticky.

Precautions to be taken while working with rolled fondant
       Fondant dries out quickly. Keep it covered or wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a plastic bag when not being used.
       If fondant becomes too soft or sticky to roll, knead in a little confectioner’s sugar.
       To prevent sticking when rolling, prepare your surface with solid vegetable shortening or a dusting pouch filled with equal parts cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar.
       Fondant picks up dirt and lint easily. Be sure your hands are clean when handling and avoid wearing fuzzy sweaters during fondant decorating.

Marzipan is a paste made of almonds and sugar that is worked to a plastic consistency. Its texture allows it to be rolled like a dough or be modeled in shapes. Marzipan is readily available in the market but was initially made by confectioners. Whenever one is working with marzipan the work surface must be dusted with icing sugar. There are two types of marzipan –French and German. French marzipan is considered as cooked marzipan.

Types of Marzipan

French Marzipan
Blanched almonds-1kg
Liquid glocose-75g
       Sliver the almonds.
       Boil water sugar and liquid glucose to 118C .
       Mix with almonds and cool. Grind the mixture to a fine paste.
       Wrap the paste well and store

German marzipan
Almond powder-1kg
Icing sugar-1kg
Egg white-1no
       Mix the almond powder and sugar.
       Make a well and add egg white .
       Mix it well and knead to form a dough.

Precautions to be taken while working with marzipan
       Marzipan dries off quickly and forms crust on the surface, so, it is better to cover it with a damp cloth when not used.
       To store it, keep it wrapped or covered in airtight container, else it becomes as hard as a rock.
       When it is kneaded or worked, the oil content comes on the surface and makes it sticky, so dust the surface with confectioner’s sugar as and when needed.

Techniques that are used while working with RTR

       Crimping: This process is done by using metal tools or stainless steel tools which will make an impression or pinch a design onto a soft freshly applied sugar paste. There are many types of crimper tools like-v shaped, scallop, heart, etc.

       Embossing: It is similar to crimping as it must be done when the gum paste is fresh, many different tools can be used to impress a pattern into the paste. Embossing can be used on the cake borders as well as on the cake.

       Ribbon insertion: this technique is created by using the ribbons that have been threaded through sugar paste. This technique gives an elegant effect.
       Broderie anglaise: It is a delicate technique in which different shapes are made fresh sugar paste plaque by insertion or making holes and there by using royal icing to make borders so that it is highlighted .

       Modeling: It is a process in which the paste is used to make different shapes by free hand or by using moulds or by using armature.

       Applique: Technique consists of assembling different shapes to give a proper shape or picture. It involves stencil work.

       Smocking: this technique applied to clothing and used for holding the full material. Smocking is commonly done to decorate the cake from top side and borders.(Drape and Frill work)

Tools used while working with RTR

       Bone Modeling Tool – with large and small tip:-
One of the most essential items in your kit this is used to create (cup) flower centers for a more open look and is used to shape and soften flower petals (like filler flowers). It can also be used for molding, shaping and thinning leaves.

       Veining Tool - with large tip and small tip
Also known as the Flower Leaf Tool - This tool adds detail to gum paste leaves and flowers. It acts like a pen to carve and add texture into the surface of the decorations. It can also be used to make thin or wide veins on leaves and flowers. The larger end has a wide curved edge to add a curl to the edge or round a petal  

       Ball tool with small tip and large tip
This tool is great for cupping and smoothing any size gum paste or fondant petal without tearing. It is used to thin the edges of gum paste leaves and petals.

       Scallop and Comb Tool
This tool can be used to make serrated edges or mark small shapes. The shell end creates simple embossed shell patterns on cakes particularly for around edges and borders

       Blade Tool
This tool can be used to trim petals, leaves and any other decorations that require a fine cut.

       Thick and Thin Modeling Sticks
These are sticks with thin and thick points, used for frilling and ruffling petals and leaves. They can also be used as small rolling pins for small amounts of gum paste. You can also wrap pieces of gum paste around the sticks to form tubes or curved flowers.

       Wheel Tool with Quilting, Wavy and Cutting Wheel Tips
The quilting tip makes quilt stitches on fondant and can be used to make a pretty pattern on the gum paste petals. The cutting wheel is great for cutting stripes of gum paste or fondant and the wavy tip can be used for embossing patterns in your fondant.

Fondant cutters
These tools are used to cut the fondant into different shapes like flowers, fancy shapes and many other designs.
Other Tools
       Grooved spatula
       Double ended gouge
       Plain double ended spatula
       Double ended paddle
       Double ended serrated paddle
       Cocktail sticks
       Pastry crimpers
       Paint brushes
       Nylon board
       Rolling pins
       Impression mats
       Pairing knife
       Silicon mats
       Silicon moulds

Uses of RTR
       It is used for covering cakes
    for various occasions.
       It can be used as petit fours.
       It is used to make 3dimentional
   animals, birds, flowers, etc.
       It is used to make showpieces/
   centerpieces for buffets.

Covering a cake with Fondant or Marzipan
       Dust the work surface and rolling pin with icing sugar. Knead the icing until pliable, roll out into a round or square larger than the cake all around. Lift the icing on top of the cake and allow it to drape over the edges.
       Dust your hands with icing sugar and press the icing onto the sides of the cake, easing it down to the board.
       Using a sharp knife, trim off the excess icing at the base to neaten. Reserve the trimmings to make decorations.
       Dust your fingers with icing sugar and gently rub the surface in a circular movement to buff the icing and make it smooth.

Points to be noted while working with RTR
       Use a smooth work surface like marble, granite, stainless steel, etc.
       Always dust work surface, rolling pin and your hands with cornstarch/icing sugar when handling gum paste/marzipan.
       Use only that much dough which is required at a given time and store the rest accordingly.
       Knead the piece of dough with your fingers.
       Glue decorating pieces can be attached together with egg whites or royal icing for larger decorations.

    RTR is a versatile medium to work with. It is used extensively by confectioners for creating showpieces       for buffets, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
    It is also used for decorating cakes to explain a theme or purpose. It attracts a lot of people.
    Shows the skill of the Chef. The demand for it is increasing day by day.

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