With the recent two year anniversary of our Sharp Edge Smoother we wanted to look back on what inspired me to develop the Smoother. Over the past two years the smoother has definitely become my favourite piece of equipment in my cake tool kit and in this post I’ll explain why the Sharp Edge Smoother could be your best cake tool, too.
Inspiration – What inspired me to make the Smoother?
For years like many cake makers I had always envied those that managed to get those perfect sharp edges on their cakes. Over the years I’d tried so many tools and techniques but never managed to get the results I wanted.
Every time I needed to finish a cake with sharp edges it would always take me ages and loads of effort. There didn’t appear to be anything else out there which could do what I needed. That is getting those super sharp edges and a flawless finish quickly.
There must be a better way, I thought.
Not knowing what I was getting myself in for, and with a little nudge from my son, I jumped into the challenge that was designing and developing my own tool to solve this problem, the Sharp Edge Smoother which was going to make my life a lot easier and save myself loads of time.
Here’s a couple images of my cakes before before I had the Smoother. The round cake isn’t perfect and on the square cake the corners/edges are rounded.
With my ideas and enthusiasm in hand I started to think about what I wanted my new tool to be. I wanted it to be very tough (I’m known for dropping my tools so this was a must!) and transparent so I could see the edges I was working on. I also wanted the Smoother to be tall so it would work on the current trend of deeper cakes. Lastly, and most importantly, I wanted it to be a tool that everyone found easy to use not just myself.
How did we come up with the name?
We spent ages thinking of names for the Smoother and calling it a ‘Cake Smoother’ was a no no, as there were already so many already on the market. So after thinking of what it actually does. It helps create those ‘Sharp Edges’ and ‘Smooths’ the sides of the cake at the same time.
So, the ‘Sharp Edge Smoother’ it was!
Not knowing much about manufacturing I took my ideas to a local injection moulding specialist to talk through my design. After a little back and forth they presented us with our prototype which we loved. We immediately had some samples made and sent them out to our friends in the industry for some real world testing. To get an idea of how the Smoother worked for our customers we sent them to cake makers with varying levels of experience, from beginners to professionals, carved cake specialists to cupcake makers we wanted everyone to try out the Smoother.
Picture of the prototype below – you can imagine my excitement when we received this!
How did I find the manufacturing experience?
Like any other worthwhile challenge we met a few issues along the way which needed to be ironed out. The front part had to be perfectly flat as well as the bottom bit with that 90° perfect angle, this is where the most pressure is applied. We had cracking issues in that area with pressure we applied so they changed to a stronger acrylic. It took a few tweaks and adjustments before the final product was perfect.
With all the twists and turns from finding the correct manufacturer and getting the Sharp Edge Smoother from a small idea to a fully realised product that we were ready to ship to the world. Yes it took time to get the smoother out onto the market and at times I really thought it wasn’t going to happen. Having an understanding company who worked with me and knew I wanted it to be 100% perfect, made it possible (thats the perfectionist in me).
With over 400 pre orders, you can imagine my excitement (and those who had preordered) when they finally arrived mid-May 2018. In all it took two and a half years to take my small idea to the fully realised Sharp Edge Smoother that we were ready to ship to the world.
So how does the Sharp Edge Smoother work?
You use the upside down method. You simply roll out your sugarpaste, cover the cake, and trim. No need to use the smoother at this stage.
You place a larger acrylic plate on the top and flip your cake upside down. The Smoother is placed next to the cake, keeping it in contact with the plate and cake at all times. You glide the smoother round the cake until that gap between the plate and cake is now filled with sugarpaste.
So from rolling out the sugarpaste, covering and getting those sharp edges, it will take you minutes, instead of the 40/50 minutes or even an hour you did before (saving yourself a good work out too!)
If you would like to see a quick video on how it works click here.
This isn’t the tutorial that you get with your purchase of the Sharp Edge Smoother
But I must need another smoother?
You really don’t need any other smoothing tool. This is because whilst you are concentrating on getting those super sharp edges the smoother is smoothing out the sides of your cake at the same time. So when you flip the cake back over your work is done. No need to go round the sides to get rid of any finger prints or bumps, the Sharp Edge Smoother has done this for you.
So why is the Smoother my favourite bit of equipment in my cake box?
We all have that favourite cake tool that we use everyday or does a certain job better than what you were doing before. Well easily (and not just because I developed it!) the Sharp Edge Smoother is my favourite cake tool. Like many other cake makers, my cake tool box….. Well it’s not a box really as the majority of my tools are in cupboards and stacked drawers (giggling away to myself).
We’ve all bought tools, tried them, spent ages on perfecting those sharp edges and given ourselves a good workout in the meantime. For me time is money, so using the Smoother not only saves me time, it makes my job so much easier.
Questions I get asked
I’m only a beginner can I use it? Yes of course it was developed with beginners and professionals in mind.
Does it have to be ganache under the sugarpaste? No it works well with ganache and buttercream
Why do you recommend using the acrylic plates with the smoother? Because the plates and the smoother are made from acrylic they work well with each other. We did tests with greaseproof paper, cake boards as well as acetate and we found that using the acrylic plates achieved the quickest and far better results.
What people have said about the Sharp Edge Smoother
‘The best cake tool ever’ – Vanessa Ross Cakes
‘The Sharp Edge Smoother, total game changer!’– Emma Matthews of Happiness Factor Cakes
‘Best bit of equipment I purchased at cake International’ – Lesley Walster of Mad Cake Maker
‘I have just used your sharp edge smoother and oh my word, it’s amazing I’m super chuffed. Thank you for such an amazing product’ – Gemma
‘I used to hate doing sharp edges before, since having the smoother I love doing them now’ – Karen Davies of Karen Davies Sugarcraft Ltd
‘It’s such a brilliant tool, it has made my like so much easier. I can’t believe how quickly I can get a straight edge’ – Suzie Bunner of The cake Pavillion