As a lot of you know, I use a variety of glitters, sprays and colourings to come up with many different effects on most of the cakes I make, and I have been asked by a few people about where you can buy them. So here’s a rough guide-hope it help. Most of the products I mention can be bought online: there are links in my blogroll to some stockists, but I am sure if you use the internet you might find someone local to you who can supply you.
Most online or high street cake decorating or cookware stores sell non toxic glitter for cake decorating. It’s called Non toxic as it is not digestible by your body and just goes right through you with out any ill effects- in a nutshell, its not Poisonous and wont do you any harm. It’s not dissimilar to eating food with gold leaf on, which people have done for decades if not centuries: those romans wouldn’t touch a bunch of grapes if it wasn’t covered in 14 carat bling.
NOTE: in 2011 the FSA announced it was investigating the sale of non toxic glitter, as they have a problem with the wording of “edible glitter” that some retailers sell it as.
New guidelines say that it can only be used as a decoration on cakes on items that are not to be consumed & removed prior to eating, and only digestible decorative products can be labelled “edible” Non toxic still means it isn’t harmful, but as it isn’t digested by the body, it is not to be used and sold as an edible product or labeled as a food item. The FSA are in the process of re-testing cake decorating glitter to bring it line with current EU legislation and will be advising on their usage in more detail in due course.
My advice and that of most online cake decorating suppliers is that it can be used as part of a decoration, ie sugar-paste cut outs or figures that can be removed prior to eating, but cannot be used direct on icing to be consumed and you must advise customers of this.
Non toxic glitters are not harmful if digested, but FSA rules & guidelines have to be adhered to
Make sure you wash your hands after use, as whilst at a routine doctors visit I was questioned about why I had glitter on my arm. I said it was because of my job, so the nurse asked if I was a drag queen & didn’t seem too convinced by my explanation of that it was due to the fact I am a cake decorator….oh the shame of it !
SPRAY AWAY !!
Edible food sprays are the way to go if you want a really stand out effect: pearl spray gives a bit of a shimmy and really glams up your cakes to rival the most outrages of drag queens.
These are easy to use and you can experiment by blending colours to get startling visual displays.
Please try and avoid using any glitters or sprays to compliment your make up regime- it can make you look a little tarty and looks much better on a fondant fancy
One of the most Common questions I am asked with regards to decorating is how to colour sugar paste with out it going all sticky on you. Well, the best answer is to invest in some colour pastes: these are not so easy to get in the high street, but if you have a cake decorating store or local bakers/cake decorators near by, they might be able to sell you some. They cost around £2.50 but do last a while as you only need a little bit of the colouring. They are readily available on many online stores though, and a collection will last you a long time. I wouldn’t bother with the liquid food colourings in most supermarkets as they are very weak and watery and very rarely actually give the colour it says on the bottle (the black, for instance, gives you a more of a ‘corpse blue’)
SHINY SHINY BALLS !!
Remember those shiny silver balls your nan would stick on your trifle when you were a kid- the one’s that would end up breaking your tooth if you weren’t careful ? Well, they have come back big time and they are known as Dragee’s (no its not a collection of ladyboys from France) and are available in most supermarkets in many different colours and varieties along with a huge selection of sprinkles in all shapes and sizes. Don’t just sprinkle them on: you can achieve all sorts of different effects by sticking them down in various patterns with a blob of icing.
I have found the best supply in Sainsburys would you believe. They stock a huge range by silver spoon, but you can get more excotic ones online.
Note: since writing of this post Dr Oetker has now come up with a new exciting range of sprinkles & its own gold & silver shimmer sprays, including silver balls that are soft. Silver spoon have also started a line of sprinkles, both are available in most supermarkets, I have spotted them mostly in Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s & the co operative food stores.
© The cake-shaker 2010