Hello, nice to see you again.
So, a few days ago I asked you in my Instagram Stories, what you struggled most with when making miniature cakes? I answered many of them regarding different things, but a lot of you answered that you found texturing in general, tricky.
It was impossible for me to answer to everybody individually, also because I don't know how each of you work and what you'd like to improve in particular, but I tried to put together some general tips to help you identify what you might need to change to get those little crumbs looking yummier.
In case you missed them, my tips were (plus some new ones):
1. Practice, of course!
2. Try different tools. I used only a safety pin for a long time (and still do!)
3. Hold the cake slice down with one finger to texture
4. Do you need to scale up/down the crumbs?
5. Use pictures of real cakes as a reference
6. Watch tutorials of how a certain cake is baked or bake them yourself to understand what makes them a certain way.
7. Can you see what you're doing? Do you need a magnifying glass?
8. Is your clay too soft/hard?
9. Is your tool going in too deep into the clay?
10. Are you rushing it?
Which takes me to the other big question I asked you:
How long does it take you to texture a slice of cake? (both sides)
Now, before I get into it I'd like to remind you that there isn't a right or wrong way of doing it, and I'm in no way saying that my way is the best way or the only way. Not at all. And it doesn't mean that you can't come up with your own way of doing something, even if no one's done that before. OK? So no judgement here, ever.
Now let's go back to texturing...
The answers varied greatly! Time frames varied from 5 minutes to 45 minutes!
Which is great, I love to see your personalities shine through.
Now, there is nothing wrong with any of these time frames, we are all different but...as you wanted some help with texturing, I'll give you my honest advice as if you'd come to my house and sat at my desk with me, okay?
5 minutes: I'd say you're not giving yourself enough time. Maybe texturing is not your favourite thing to do and you just want to get it done so naturally you're not paying a lot of attention to the detail in the crumb. I'd say spend at least 10 minutes next time and see what happens. If you're using one of those tools with several needles, switch to one needle as you may be creating a pattern instead of something more organic-looking.
15 minutes: It's a good time frame. I spend at least 15 minutes texturing 1 whole slice of cake, so I know it's enough time. I also spend a few more minutes to check each one individually and tweak where necessary, so let's say 20 minutes? I do take longer sometimes, especially when texturing bitten cakes with frosting and crumbs falling in different areas of the cake so it does take more time to create something like that and make it look natural.
30-45 minutes: A little long if it stretches into 45 minutes every time, but I don't think it's wrong, especially if you don't have a deadline and if you enjoy it. If you're struggling with deadlines though, maybe review the time you spend on each one. I love to texture cakes so I could spend more time doing it, but I also realize that I just can't do that all the time. There isn't a visible difference in texture quality between a cake slice that's been textured for 20 minutes and one that's been textured for 45. But one can tell when the texture has been rushed.
The time that you spend on your pieces is not that important, unless you're rushing it (because it'll show), it's more about how you're using that time to carry out the task at hand.
Go through the list at the top and see if there's anything you need to look at, maybe it's as simple as spending a few more minutes on texturing the cake or using a smaller tool.
Also, remember to give your hands, fingers and neck a break every half an hour or so. Repetitive movements and a hunched posture can lead to tension, headaches and back pain. So look after yourselves. I like to stretch my back and roll my shoulders to ease the tension in between every slice, and stretch my legs at least once an hour, perfect excuse for some bunny love.
I really hope you found this helpful. If you have any other questions regarding texturing or making cakes, let me know or you can refer to my book "Miniature Cake Creations" , which covers a lot of techniques as well as 30 miniature cake projects, and which is available in bookshops as well as Amazon and the Book Depository.
Remember, there's no one else like you and what you make should look like you made it, not somebody else.
I love you and I only want your happiness,
Love and doves and till next time,