“ Brand: Lakeland / Type: Baking Aids „
In the last year or so I have gotten into baking cakes in a big way. I've been experimenting with sugar-paste icing and having read up on the best way to use and colour I discovered gel icing colours so I set off to my favourite kitchen shop - Lakeland.
This set comes in a small rectangular box, fairly basic in packaging, with plenty of instructions/ingredients on the box and stripes in different colours to show what colours there are.
In the box you get 8 X 28g pots of colouring gels in red, blue, green, black, yellow, cream, pink and purple. All the pots are clearly labelled as to what colour is contained.
The pots have easy to open caps, just a short twist. Once the cap is off there is a soft foil/plastic layer to penetrate, this is to keep the gels fresh, whilst on the shelf.
These gels can be used with sugar-paste, butter and royal icing. These are not recommended to colour cake mixture.
Whilst the pots are very small looking for the price - £14.99 - you will quickly discover just how long they will last. To add to your icing, use a toothpick to get a small - and I mean small - amount and mix in to your icing. If it's butter/royal icing you can whisk, if it's on sugar-paste you need to knead it in.
How much of the colour you use will depend on the strength of colour you get in your icing, but less is definitely more with these.
With regards to the sugar-paste. The kneading will take a while and I advise you wear protective gloves. These gels stain your hands VERY easily and brightly too! Use the tooth pick to 'prick' the sugar-paste with the colour and then knead it in. You may need a bit more gel colour with the sugar-paste to get an even colour.
The opposite is true for butter/royal icing. Use as little as possible as too much will make your icing runny and will not stick when piped out. If you do use too much, add in extra icing sugar to combat it.
I will say it will be trial and error.
The colours can be mixed to generate a colour of your choice, but with such a good range of colours in the box, so far I have not had to do this.
I would seriously advise that if you are baking with children, you do not let them add the colouring, mixing and kneading are OK, but the colouring needs an adult touch. The caps are NOT childproof, so store away from their reach. If a pot is knocked over, it is still runny enough in consistency to come out and it is a nightmare to clean up off surfaces/clothes, so don't wear your best clothes whilst using!
In my opinion, these gels are genius! They give great coverage, excellent bright, funky colours, they are simple to use and they go a long way. you might balk at £14.99 for them, but they are definitely worth that as you will use them for years, unless you bake continuously!
I should also add that there is no smell or taste associated with these gels. They don't make the icing taste different nor smell bad. They just brighten it up. My favourite is the yellow, it's so sunny and bright. I used these gels to make a Mickey mouse cake for my son's second birthday and he loved it. One other point though is that with the black icing from the cake, we all ended up with black tongues and teeth but it only lasted as long as it took to have a drink afterwards.