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This article was taken from our February 2021 Issue Buy this issue now

Ask The Expert: Jen Rojas

Jen Rojas

Cupcakes and Counting is a luxury cake atelier specialising in elegant wedding cakes and eye-catching custom bakes that will surely add that extra ‘oomph’ to your special occasion. 

To find more out about Jen and her work, follow this link to her website: www.cupcakesandcounting.com

Q: Which type of supports are best when stacking a tall wedding cake? 

A: We use wooden dowels when stacking tall wedding cakes as they’re firm and solid, thus making a strong and stable substructure. With the exception of the top tier, we insert an even number of dowels on all tiers. Lastly, we then insert a long central dowel from the top right down to the bottom tier for added security. 

Q: My wired twigs always look too bulky. What am I doing wrong? 

A: Wrap the floral wire with 6mm floral tape on a diagonal slant, with one hand pulling the wire to activate the adhesive and the other pressing down on the tape to secure it to the wire. Make sure that the tape only goes over the wire once. 

Jen Rojas

Q: How can I achieve a cleanly stencilled design? 

A: Make sure to use superior quality stencils – pliability, thickness, and openwork of the design matter to achieve a neat and flawless finish. The quality of the royal icing is also important. It should be able to hold a peak so it’s soft enough to run over the stencil. Lastly, practise, practise, practise. 

Q: My cupcake cases always peel away after baking. How can I avoid this? 

A: Leave the cupcakes baking in the oven for an extra 2-3 minutes. Once finished, let the cupcakes cool on the baking tin for about 5 minutes, then place the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely. Place the cupcakes in a box with the lid slightly open. Cupcakes can sweat and cases will subsequently peel off if placed in a sealed container. 

Jen Rojas

Q: How do I use and store gold leaf? 

A very finicky decoration, yet it can add so much glamour and elegance to any cake or dessert. If available, use transfer sheets as they’re easier to use. Using a gilding brush or a soft fan brush, apply the gold leaf on a slightly moist surface. Avoid directly touching the gold leaf. Once applied, lightly brush with a mop brush if the area needs smoothing.  Keep gold leaf in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. 

Q: What are the most important questions to ask a couple at a wedding consultation?  

A: The most important factor to establish before booking a couple for a wedding cake consultation is whether you and your couple are fit for each other or not. Ensure that the cake style that they’re looking for matches with the type of wedding cake designs that you specialise in. 

Jen Rojas

Q: What are your top three tools? 

A: Being a wedding cake specialist and sugar florist, I’ve designed our very own workboard, dust brushes, and petal and leaf cutters. These would be my top three tools. 

Q: How do I price dessert table treats such as cookies and cakesicles? 

A: Establish a starting price and a minimum order for each dessert treat. Final cost should also be based on other factors such as intricacy of the design and flavours. 

 

Jen Rojas