“ Brand: Squires Kitchen / Rolling board for sugarcraft modelling. „
==What is it?==
The product I'm reviewing is a rolling board which is specifically designed for sugarcraft. It is used for rolling out flowerpaste and fondant, to create sugar flowers and models to decorate cakes with. If you are new to sugarcraft, this is one of the essential items I would recommend you buy to get started with your new hobby. The one I have is the small one, measuring 6 x 4 inches and half an inch in height. The boards are green so they can be easily distinguished from other boards.
You might be wondering why you couldn't just use a normal kitchen chopping board to roll out your modelling paste? The answer is simply that the board is perfectly smooth, so when you are rolling out paste you won't get any grooves or marks which will spoil the final result, and the paste doesn't stick to it in the way it would to other materials. It is also a lot more hygienic than using a chopping board which has previously been used for other foodstuffs such as meat.
==Price and Availability==
When I first began cake decorating several years ago, I remember leaving the first college class with a list of specific equipment which I'd never heard of. Sourcing the equipment is actually very easy, since cake decorating has become more popular in recent years. Any local provider of cake decorating equipment will stock these, as will places like Hobbycraft and possibly Lakeland, who have extended their cake decorating range lately. The online shop Squires Kitchen stocks all sorts of equipment, and if you have a long list it's probably easier to buy it all online.
The boards vary in price depending on the size you are buying. I own the smallest board which is 6 x 4 inches, and this is perfectly adequate for my needs. The larger boards are for rolling out sugarpaste for covering cakes etc, but personally I don't see the need for these as I just roll out on my kitchen work surface and use a smoother to get a smooth finish.
Prices are as follows:
6x4 - £9.40
10 x 7 - £13.85
12 x 9 - £15.90
23 x 19 - £53.20
24 x 18 - £53.25
Although there are many boards on the market, some of which are larger or have patterns such as veins for leaves for embossing, I would recommend buying this basic type if you are a beginner, until you get to know what's involved, and then you can extend your range at a later date. I wouldn't recommend forking out £53 for the largest board, only to find after a few months you get bored of the hobby and have wasted your money!
This board has been one of the most used items in my collection of cake decorating equipment in recent years. It is one of the first things I get out of my case when I'm making a cake which is to be decorated. The size is perfect for carrying around, and it's sturdy so there's no chance of it bending, but it's also not too heavy to carry. The board comes with a rubber non-slip mat which you place underneath the board (I didn't really get the point of this until my tutor told me!). This ensures the board doesn't slide around the table when you're trying to make intricate flowers.
Some people in my college class had larger boards, and at first I wondered if I might regret choosing the smaller one. As it turns out, the smaller one is actually better because it's easier to transport to college, and you don't really benefit from the larger one as the kind of work you will be doing on the board is quite intricate, so unless you're making massive flowers, you should have plenty of room on this board.
I've had this board a few years now, and it's still in decent condition, although it has a few marks on it now but nothing bad enough to affect the designs I am making. Although it is described as non-stick, I still use cornflour or icing sugar (depending on what paste I'm rolling) to aid the lifting of the paste without destroying intricate designs. I would recommend this board to anyone starting cake decorating, as it will be one of the most useful items you'll buy.
(Review may also be posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty)