We've seen the Chef Duff (of Ace of Cakes) new line of cake decorating supplies in several retailers near us lately, but we hadn't had a chance to stop and take a look at them up close until this past weekend. We had assumed they were going to be products that weren't worth your time, but actually — they're kind of cool!
Cake decorating is something that has gained a new respect over the last decade with creative artists and pastry chefs popping up all over the country. No longer are cakes covered in traditional gumpaste flowers and script writing — the sky is the limit! Chef Duff Goldman really brought the limelight with Ace of Cakes, showcasing his team's work at Charm City Cakes on Food Network.
As a result, the home kitchen has evolved as we've seen more common retail stores carrying supplies to allow everyone access to this craft, giving everyone the chance to create something just as amazing at far less cost. (This isn't to say you shouldn't support local artisan cake bakers, but sometimes budget just doesn't allow.)
When we first spotted Chef Duff's line of products, we really wanted to hate it. We wanted to proudly report that they were items you didn't need and would yield poor results and would be a waste of your money. We have the utmost respect for Chef Duff and his adventures in the culinary world, but the phrase "Cake Tattoo" made our eyes roll.
His line (which we've seen at Michael's and at Wal-Mart) consists of several different items. There are box mixes, pans, pastry tips, cutters, fondant, aerosol color sprays, cake tattoos and much more. Although the average home cook should be fine without purchasing the entire line, there are several bits and pieces that will help someone a little less confident in their cake decorating skills.
The aerosol color sprays and cake tattoos (no matter how much we hate the name) would be an easy way to dress up any cake without spending hours fretting about it. The sprays would work well on icings other than fondants (we're still not a fan of the taste) and the cake tattoos are intended for use on a double layer cake or 20 cupcakes/cookies. If you'd looking to try your hand at fondant, the pre-made stuff could be an easy place to start, or you can head over to check out the additional Wilton cake decorating supplies at both these retailers if you're looking for something a little less punk-rock.
Have you seen the line of supplies yet or even used them? What was your take on things?
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)