Posts tagged cake decorating techniques
This article presents some basic cake decorating tips and techniques that you can use almost immediately. Normally after baking a cake, you wait for it cool down then you decorate it. This calls for patience and some cake decorating skills. These skills will enable you to enjoy and have more fun in cake decorating.
I will start with some basics. You will need enough space to be able to do your cake decorating properly. Avoid cramped workplaces. You will also need to avoid using a place where you may be disturbed or interrupted frequently by other people.
I mentioned earlier that you need to wait for the cake to cool before starting decorating it. If you try to decorate it earlier, you will encounter many problems. When planning always allow time for this. This can be critical especially when you are supplying orders to your friends and customers.
You should then ensure that you have all the necessary tools and ingredients readily available. You should think about this in advance. You will need a syringe or piping bag, the type and size tips you will be using, and the coupler to attach the tips to the piping bag.
There are many ways to decorate a cake. You may need to frost the cake with royal icing, cream icing or fondant icing for example. In that case you would need to ensure that you put a thin frosting layer on top of the cake to hold the crumbs together. Thereafter you will need to frost over that layer ensuring that the icing used is of the right consistency. Avoid it being too thin or too thick or else you will get a bad result. If you find your frosting to be too thin, add some more confectioners sugar. This should be added little by little so that it does not become too stiff. If it becomes too stiff, you can add some little liquid.
Different cake decorating techniques use different icing consistencies. For example, using stiff icing if you are going to make roses or similar flowers with upright petals and will be piping figures on the cake. If you do not using stiff icing, the petals will start drooping. In case you want to make flat petals or stars, you can use medium consistency.
Thinner icing can be sued for writing on the cake or more delicate work, for example vines and leaves. A little light corn syrup added to your icing makes it flow more easily and also makes it more flexible.
After you have iced the cake, you can now decorate it. You should hold the icing bag properly to achieve the patterns you want. The direction and angle you hold the piping bag will determine the way the patterns and shapes that will be created. Fortunately, there are only two positions for hold the piping bag when making designs. You can hold it at 90 degrees i.e. straight up from the surface of the cake. You can use this for simple decorations without lots of movement such as center of rosebuds, adding eyes to a character or making starts and dots.
The other position is to hold the piping bag at 45 degrees or hold the bag half-way between straight up and the surface of the cake. You can use this technique for greater flexibility in creating sweeping styles and shapes with your piping hand. This can also be used for flower petals. You should be aware that some piping tips e.g. tips for basket weave, petal and ruffle, have irregular ends. There is a right and wrong way of holding the bag when working with them.
Armed with these basics here are some tips to start you off in cake decorating:
This technique gives your cake the appearance of a wrapped gift. A flat tip and medium icing is used. You make half of the bow by holding the bag at a 45 degree angle and weeping it to the left. You then make a similar movement to the right to make a figure 8. Then make two streamers by holding the bag and sweeping downward and out from the center of the bow once on each side.
This technique allows you to make the sides of your cake to look like a basket. It is advisable to practice using a piece of waxed paper until you gain sufficient confidence on doing it on the cake. After gaining the confidence, use a medium consistency icing with the basket weave tip to apply vertical stripes and horizontal stripes across the vertical. Ensure that the horizontal stripes are a bit longer so that the vertical stripes fit across them. This will create a basket pattern when you are through.
This technique is popular with wedding and baby shower cakes. It requires some practice before mastery. You need to hold the bag almost at 90 degrees and very close to the surface. Use thin white icing. You will be making an icing border and therefore you need to decide how far in the border should be from the edge of the cake. Then move the tip up and down and around to make many similar shapes but avoid touching or crossing the other designs on the cake. Carry on until you cover the desired area fully. Thereafter you can go over both sides of the border with thicker icing. This will create an eye-catching lacework for you.