Have you seen the new Decorative Press Set? It’s one of Wilton’s new tools for the Fondant/Gum Paste Assortment. It will come in handy for various trims to accent your cakes and various projects, especially those thin ropes which are hard to roll smooth for some of us. (OK me! When I try to roll thin ropes and then get a weak spots and it breaks and I start over again. It can be frustrating.)
BIG HINT – Before you start using the press, you need to soften your fondant or gum paste with solid vegetable shortening.
Start by kneading in one teaspoon to 4 ounces of fondant or gum paste. Additional might be needed depending on how firm your fondant is to start.
You want the fondant to be soft and easy to stretch, almost like taffy. This will make pushing it through the press a lot easier.
When you’re ready to start, insert one of the shape inserts into the chamber. The backside will rest against the top opening of the chamber.
Fill the chamber with the softened fondant/gum paste and then just squeeze the two handles together – just like using a garlic press.
Depending on the insert you use, the length of the design will vary from about 9 to 12” long. If it’s a small opening, it will press out a longer piece. If it’s a larger opening, such as the basketweave/ribbon insert – it will be shorter. I also overfill the chamber to give it a little extra length.
The excess paste will squeeze out the sides, but that’s OK. It has to go somewhere! When your design is being pressed out the top, make sure it’s clear of the purple pin tab and doesn’t lean against it and get distorted a little.
The more you use the set, the more familiar you’ll be and learn what works best for you, such as what angle is easier for you to press. Work over a table so that as the trim is released, it can rest on the table and not just hang from the tool.
We used the decorative press to accent a few projects in the 2012 Yearbook. On page 69, “Spot-On Mom” was accented with the 3 hole insert for the stitching lines and the “to be” message. With the thin ropes, you are able to shape letters and messages very easy.
We used the 3 hole insert again for the thin ropes that are wound together to form the bottom border on the “Wreaths of Romance” (on page 82 of the 2012 yearbook). The press made it a breeze to create this border in a very short time. The diameter of each opening is 3/32” – very thin rope!
Also from the 2012 Yearbook, the “Lofty Lilies” cake (shown on page 88) uses the scrolls and bottom rope borders used the circle insert to form the rope trims. The press made it a lot easier than rolling out 1/4” thin ropes by hand. This insert was also used on the “Once Upon a Vine Cake” in the 2012 Yearbook. The circle diameter is 7/32”, you can almost say 1/4” rope.
The four additional design inserts are used for various trims.
- The star insert is easily twisted into a rope garland or trim. It really looks like licorice! I can see it being used on a fun birthday cake from a candy trim cake to a western lasso and more! This one is difficult to give an exact measurement, but I would say it’s just a little larger than 1/4”. It really depends on how you line up the star points to measure it.
- The teardrop shape insert can be used to edge the basketweave/ribbon strip to give it a rounded edge if you like. The tapered side will tuck right under the ribbon edge. You could also use it to trim a bottom border on a cake, setting the tapered edge into the gap (if there is any) by the cake board bottom. The size of teardrop is 6/16” if you measure the widest portion from the full rounded end to the tapered end and 3/16” on the width or height depending on how it’s used.
- The basketweave insert can be used for ribbons around a cake or making bow loops and streamers too! You can use the plain side or the ribbed side of the ribbon. If you want, you can weave several lengths into a basket weave design. The basketweave ribbon width is 9/16”, just over a 1/2” and the height of the ribbon is 1/8”.
- The semicircle insert gives you a half rope shape. It will fit snug against your cake, laying flat, rather than raised up like the circle shape. The diameter is a fraction larger than the circle – about 9/32”.
How do you clean those tiny crevices? It’s easy! All you have to do is release the purple tab off the holding pin and pull out the pin. This releases the two press sections and makes it so much easier to clean. I use the large tip brush to get in the small areas and around the hinges.
When you’re ready to put it back together, close the two press sections and slide the pin in place and recap the end with the purple tab. Then it’s ready when you want to be creative again with the Decorative Press.
I’m sure you’ll come up with many uses for the different inserts, creating your own designs. Have fun with it and always remember to add shortening to your paste to soften it before putting it in the press. Make it easier on yourself!