I'm really pleased how much you all enjoyed last week's post-my mum certainly enjoyed them.
This week's post was actually requested by one of my viewers. And I remember saying in one of my blog posts last year that I would pick up from icing techniques and post another post on it icing sweet treats.
Baking has many assets- you bake a cake with all the correct measurements and ingredients and then you ice a cake, decorating the cake presentably. Being an amateur baker, you begin to learn all the assets around baking as well as gain a technique.
Before I even begun decorating cakes and piping decorations, I had to learn all types of icing and how to make them. This actually took quite a while to master so don't give up if you don't get all of them first try. It takes a lot of resilience and perseverance.
In order to decorate cakes, the icing you need is Royal Icing in a certain consistency. There are four consistencies that royal icing can be made- Cake-covering consistency, run-out consistency and of course piping consistency. To make royal icing at a piping consistency, you'll need:
2 medium egg whites
450g of icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of glycerine (you can buy glycerine in many supermarkets).
Method to making Royal Icing:
Firstly, place the egg whites and lemon juice into a large,clean bowl. Then, stir in order to break up the egg whites. Add enough icing sugar to form the consistency of un-whipped cream, mixing constantly.
Continue mixing and adding small amounts of icing sugar every few minutes until when you lift the spoon out of the icing mix, the icing on the spoon should be a fine,sharp point(also known as a sharp peak).
Before you begin piping, for those who don't know any piping techniques, the next paragraph will explain what nozzles should be used for certain designs and so on.
In order to pipe correctly, it is important to have your icing at the consistency written above. If the icing is too stiff, it will be quite difficult to pipe. On the other hand, if it is too soft, the icing will run to freely, be difficult to control and you'll lose definition. The larger the nozzle on the piping bag is, the stiffer the icing needs to be. However, if using a very fine writing nozzle, the consistency needs to be slightly looser. Remember:
- When piping cream, use only a small amount at a time
- Always keep your work area clean when you pipe to avoid crumbs, dirt or blemishes appearing on your finished cake.
- Plan your pattern before piping.
- Intricate designs are best piped on to the silicone paper and left to dry then fix onto a cake with a dab of royal icing.
- Always practice first- a board, cake tin or an upturned plate all make good surfaces.
The size of beads depends on the nozzle used and the pressure
applied to the piping bag. Start with icing of a slightly softer consistency so that there are no sharp points on the ends of the beads. In order to prevents sharp points, hold the nozzle upright just above the surface then squeeze out some icing onto the surface to make a bead. Pull up sharply to break the icing.
To pipe rosettes/roses:
Place a star nozzle onto the the piping bag. Hold the piping bag
straight above the surface. Press out some icing to the size of the rosette you want, meanwhile lifting the bag slightly to give the rosette space. Stop pressing ,then pull sharply to break the icing.
To pipe a basic flower:
Fill the piping bag with a petal nozzle (fourth nozzle in picture). Half-fill the bag with "sharp beak" consistency royal icing. Begin by piping a petal- keep an even pressure and pipe an closed horseshoe shape. Slowly rotate the icing nail/spinner or rotate the paper if you do not own a icing nail and pipe the second petal. By the time you pipe the third petal, two-thirds of the flower should be piped. If not, the petals are either too fat or too thin. Keep rotating to pipe the remaining two petals.Pipe a contrasting bead of icing in the centre and leave to dry.
And that's a couple of ways you could decorate cakes,cupcakes,biscuits,tray bakes and so on. I hope this is useful to you. I plan to make another blog post based on decorating sweet treats sometime this year.
Please do send me pictures of how you got on in today's post to : firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and let
me know what you think. If there is anything you'd like me to feature on BakingBoutique,just let me know via email, comments or through Google+.
Hope you have an awesome day!
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