Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tips and Techniques for Cake Decorating

Cake decorating is both a hobby and a profession in the United States. There are many different resources available to the aspiring baker. You no longer need to go to culinary school to be able to make beautiful cakes. Whether you are planning to make wedding cakes, birthday cakes, or other specialty cakes, you can learn the art by practicing, watching how to videos, and following some of the tips and techniques outlined below. Continue reading to learn how to troubleshoot and improve your buttercream cake decorating techniques. 

Covering Your Cake

Most people prefer the taste of buttercream frosting to that of fondant. However, when you are just beginning to learn the art of cake decorating, fondant is the most versatile and easiest to use. Fortunately, there are several companies that sell buttercream flavored icing. Additionally, before you cover your cake in fondant, you’ll need to prepare the cake with a crumb coat of icing. You can use buttercream or another soft icing to cover the cake and hold in any crumbs so they won’t getting into your outer layer of frosting. 

Modeling With Fondant

One of the advantages of using fondant is that it is a highly versatile product. It can be rolled out to create smooth layers or it can be used like modeling clay to create a variety of decorations. However, before you can begin modeling, you will need to thicken the fondant. For best results, add fumpaste or tylose powder to your fondant. Regardless of which you choose, be sure to kneed the fondant well before beginning. 

Troubleshooting Consistency Problems

Buttercream cake decorating can be difficult if your fondant is too soft or too hard. Unfortunately, the weather can play a part in the consistency of your fondant. If it is hot and humid, your fondant make become soft and buttery. If this happens, leave it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and then let it sit at room temperature until firm. Fondant can also become hard if your weather is dry and cold. If this happens, microwave your fondant for ten seconds per pound. However, be sure to take it out every 20 seconds and kneed it to prevent any spots from getting too hot. Finally, if your fondant is too dry, add about ½ teaspoon of glycerin per pound to make it more pliable.

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