How To Use Polystyrene Cake Dummies
Polystyrene cake dummies are brilliant for all those times when you need to practice before decorating the real thing.
In addition to the more usual round and square, we also stock heart, hexagon, birdcage, column, sphere and cake pop dummies. Standard shapes are available in a straight or a chamfered top edge, depending on whether you are royal icing or sugarpasting your cake.
When would you want to use a dummy?
Mainly for practice. We all need to practice various skills from time to time, before the finished product is applied to your cake.
If you are a more experienced cake decorator and wish to show your creations at a wedding fayre, at a show, or perhaps in a shop window, the dummy is so quick, convenient and less wasteful than having to make a cake.
You may be a student at college and producing cakes to present your cake decorating skills to an examiner! What better way than to use a dummy?
A customer for a wedding cake may wish to have several tiers, but doesn’t need a huge amount of cake – just add a dummy as one of the tiers.
So, back to the new shapes
There are cake pop dummies which have loads of uses in general craft as well. You have a perfect base on which to show your decorative skills!
Other larger sphere dummies also have their uses, such as for sports balls e.g. football, golf and cricket.
How about cone shapes? The larger of the two could be used as a base for building a Croquembouche, sometimes used as a dessert at a wedding. This would need to be covered first with baking parchment to prevent sticking, but would be a cheaper option than having to buy a croquembouche 'cone'.
More recently added to the range are Hexagon and Heart shaped cake dummies, Column and Birdcage shapes.
If icing with sugarpaste you will need a chamfered dummy (this has a rounded top edge more suited to sugarpaste). Start by brushing a glue over the surface of the dummy before use. There are several ways of doing this – the most inexpensive way is to make a ‘gunge’ glue (mash down some leftover sugarpaste with cooled, boiled water until a fairly runny consistency). Other easy products to use are edible glue or piping gel. Easiest of all is water if you haven't anything else!
Use a straight edge dummy for royal icing. You will have to secure the dummy, or weight it down, to cover it, as they are so light in weight!
To Re Use
Dummies may be re-used if you carefully strip them down and run under a hot water tap to remove the icing.
Polystyrene Dummies are also useful for craft projects, especially at Christmas. Use the cone shape for a Christmas Tree and decorate with fabric, buttons, sequins etc. Use the small spheres for tree baubles with a variety of crafts.