Most of us will probably never make it to culinary school or learn how to be a professional chef or baker, but this does not mean we cannot learn some of the tricks of the trade.
In all honesty, not everyone loves to eat cake, but everyone loves to see a beautifully decorated cake.
This article is designed to give you a few tricks to make your cake look a little more like it was made in a bakery and a little less like it was made by a 5-year-old. Don’t get me wrong, 5-year-olds can make some yummy cake, but they fall short of beauty sometimes.
The first thing you are going to want to remember is that when you are making cake, and pouring the batter in the pan, you will always want to make sure it is level before you stick it in the oven. You should always understand that all ovens tend to vary with cooking times as well, so checking the cake every 20 minutes will help you ensure that the cake is baking evenly and if you discover that one side might be higher than the other you could lightly shake the pan and then turn it around so that it will raise properly on the entire surface.
Most people tend to wait until a few hours after the cake has cooled to start cake decorating kit, but one of the best pieces of advice before baking the cake is to let it sit for about 12 hours before you decide to decorate. This will ensure that the entire cake is completely cooled all the way through. Decorating a cake that is cool to the touch but might still be warm on the inside could actually ruin the entire decorating process.
The next thing you will want to do is when the cake is completely cooled, turn the cake over on a piece of wax paper or a large cutting board. Flipping the cake upside down will prevent crumbing of the cake while you are trying to decorate it. Another trick is to put a very thin layer of frosting on the cake at first and let it sit for awhile before putting a normal layer of frosting and if you are using a metal spatula to frost the cake, which is highly advised, you can also dip the spatula in cold water and smooth out the frosting this way.
The icing on the cake is the most important part of the decorating process. You will want to make sure you are working with stiff icing, but not too stiff. If you are making your own icing, and it becomes too stiff, you can always thin it out a bit to the desired consistency for decorating. Make sure that you make plenty of frosting because most projects will require quite a bit of it, plus you also want to make sure that you have plenty of different colors of food coloring on hand.
Some of the things you will need to decorate your cake might include, several pastry bags, different icing tips and some different sized spatulas both plastic and metal. You can find most of the items at a hobby store or a cake supply place.
You will want to load the icing bag with about a cup of icing at a time and you will want to test its consistency in a bowl, by squeezing some out in the bowl first, if it needs to be thinned, just add a slight amount of milk until you get your desired consistency, but remember, you want it to be fairly stiff. If you are trying to do specific designs, try the designs out on a piece of wax paper before trying to apply them to the cake itself. This will give you the practice you need for making the perfect rose, or leaf.
When you are ready, go ahead and start icing the cake by holding the back firmly with both hands and apply a steady amount of pressure to the bag. This will ensure that the icing will come out in even strips instead of broken pieces. You should typically always hold the bag very close to the surface of the cake unless you are making a long tube like stripe to go around the cake or whatever the case may be. This will also assure that the decoration is actually adhering to the surface of the cake.
When you have the design you want and the cake is starting to take the idea you had in your head and becoming reality, you have done a great job.
Even though cake decorating might be frustrating at times, it is also well worth it when you are staring at it on the platter and realizing that this beautiful creation came from your hands.
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