Jean-Michel 1

Here comes part 2 of the questions for Jean Michel Raynaud. He has even added two recipes! Enjoy the reading 🙂

CJR= CakeJournals Readers
JMR= Jean Michel Raynaud

CJR: First of all the Sweet Art site is beautiful, thank you for introducing it to us. I was looking at the cupcake and wondering what they were decorated with. Is it rolled fondant? So perfectly one by one or some cream that gets hard? It is hard to tell by the pictures….

JMR: We are in the process of redoing the web site as we speak, better quality pictures, links, Q&As, in any case, thank you very much for your comment. For our cup cake we mostly use plastic icing, or rolled icing, but I actually like the Fresh look of pipped ganache, it is great for fresh flowers and summer designs.

CJR: What an honor to have such talent share with us! I would like to know how to create “initials” on the side of buttercream cakes. Are there any tricks to getting them to stay put if created in fondant? If piped, how do you get the steady, smooth look as if stenciled on?

JMR:Those initial were pipped straight on the side of the cake with a soft Royal icing, smoothed with a brush and water, however the base of this cake was icing, not butter cream. I would be confident you could achieved the same effect on butter cream, although it sounds like your cream might be a bit soft, I will talk about butter cream recipes a bit later on but unlike cutting initial out of icing, when pipping, you actually have to push into the cream, that should help it stay in place. Ideally, try using ganache or change your recipe to make it hold better

CJR: I would also like to know what fondant recipe Jean Michel uses, whether it is made from scratch or purchased as I do not like the taste of many of the fondants pre-packaged on the market today. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to speak to someone who knows cakes!

JMR:Making your own icing is time consuming and generally, the finished product is never as good as a good brand of icing, We use Bakel icing, it is the closest thing to making it yourself but has much better stretching abilities. There are several brands, as you mentioned, that have a strange smell and taste, Frankly, and I did look at the content on the box and wondered what this had anything to do with icing. I do think every one should try to make their own icing; it is easy and certainly very useful to practise.
1kg pure icing sugar
100g corn flour
12 gr Tragacanth gum
Tepid water

Mix the icing sugar, corn flour and gum together in a mixer and slowly. Pour the warm water. Lay to rest with a plastic film on.

CJR: What is the best recipe of butter cream if I want to use it on cakes?

JMR: I stoped using butter cream years ago, it is unstable has very real limitations when experimenting with new finishes. The only butter cream I use is made with cook sugar, this help is the pasteurisation process and it enables you to have a much stronger and smooth cream, with much less sugar, but it is not that simple to do. This link will take you through he steps:
8 eggs
250 grams cooked sugar (120 degrees)
250 grams soft, but not melted butter
When you need a stronger butter cream, just cook your sugar 5 degree more, but beware, anymore and you will have lumps of crystallised sugar.

CJR: What do you prefer to work with when it comes to covering cakes butter cream or chocolate ganache?

JMR:Without a doubt, ganache. It is the perfect medium to cover your cake, you can play with the content of chocolate to change its consistency, and because you have to boil the cream to melt the chocolate, it is pasteurised and will last weeks in the fridge and over a week outside. Understandably, due to its colour, you will have to cover it with icing, but it is the only product I use to set up my cakes and is the secrets to those sharp edges!

CJR: Do you teach classes?

JMR: I do teach classes, at Sweet Art, community colleges, culinary school and private classes. Ideally, I would love to concentrate on teaching, not only it gives me an opportunity to share something I am passionate about with like minded people, but it pushes me to continually learn and develop new designs and skills.

Happy Caking


Cake made by Jean Michel Raynaud.