Right. I did not even plan to end up doing cakes since i am a bread enthusiast. Cake is just something pretty to eat for me back then but nowadays, caking or baking a cake and decorating it has spread like a virus and you can't help yourself enough. It's just too pretty to not do it.
In fact, when done during lull days meaning when you have lots of extra time, decorating a cake can be therapeutic. Just make sure you plan it ahead and everything you need will be there at your table. Piping Royal Icing and Buttercream is cheaper than Gumpaste and Fondant. All you need are the basic piping tips, a parchment paper or piping bag and a tip nail. Prop your tablet in front, or plug your music app and listen to your favorite hit list and pipe away.
Royal Icing flowers can harden and keep for at least a year if stored properly. No kid can resist eating these after the candle is blown. I remember throwing a tantrum when i did not get a rose when i was 5 years old. This pink Rose is looks exactly like that rose.
It isn't just the sweetness of it that drives one to do this, it's the vibrant colors that surrounds you, the relaxing feel of being around something that looks like a puddle at first then becoming a flower after a few minutes. Happy.
But then again, if you stretch it too far, this can be a pain in the neck too. Well, no pain no gain right?
Adding desired colors is tricky at times. There's powdered and paste, gel and liquid so what to choose and sometimes, the color you see on the label does not end up the same in real life. For Royal icings, it is easy to fix the consistency, but with Buttercream it is different. I prefer thick get paste from Wilton, liquid is the worst to work with when you do Buttercream because it bleeds and separates.
Learn how to properly bag the icing. Believe it or not, there is a technique in doing this so you make less mess.
You don't have to buy a lot of stuff, but it is exciting to check out some new colors and they are worth every cent. Just make sure you lock them up safely so the creepy crawlies don't get to them.
Took this royal icing PME class in Canada way back 2010 and i am hooked. Our teacher is a Polish Uruguayan lady who migrated to Canada and she is strict. The girl sitting next to me came late one day, without parchment paper for piping etc., for 2 straight days and she let out a short homily which made me cringe. It was a big class of 14 students but still she made sure everyone is working and borrowing constantly from your neighbor is not getting pass her.
So which is easier? Royal Icing or Buttercream? Buttercream of course. Which one do i prefer?Hmmm.
Both have their pros and cons. Royal Icing is ideal because it hardens like gumpaste and cheap. But you cannot use this to practice and perfect your piping. You need buttercream to do that. Buttercream is fast and can be piped over and over if the roses do not turn out well, but they melt when the temperature gets too high.
Royal icing is easy to clean, just plain tap and brush, a little suds to remove the sugar. Done. Buttercream? Oh boy, sometimes i have to soap the tips 3 to 4 times and soak them in hot water. Too much work, and this is where piping parchment paper comes in handy. You do not have to wash them. The fat sticks to the piping bags like glue and again, hot water and numerous soaping are the only solution.
Patience and a calm right hand with soothing music. You cannot rush this job. No way.
The good thing about it is that this icing is cheap. Confectioner's sugar and eggwhite with a bit of lemon juice. All you need.
Using a very fine tip #00 or 0, my teacher wants them fine so you can use 000 too if you can, these can be attached to the side or border of a fondant cake. You cannot use these on buttercream iced cake.
Pins and pricking the design.
To do the design below, the icing should flow perfectly soft and smooth on a very fine tip. Sometimes i have to bag it twice if i didn't get the consistency right.
Learned how to curse doing this. One line wrong and you have to repeat it over and over until it attaches itself to the previous layer of string work.
Check the icing if it stays unbroken hanging like this. If it breaks, then it is too soft. If it does not come out of the tip, it is too stiff so you have to add a bit of water to the icing, mix it and re bag the icing.
String works is advance so not too many people do this.
Royal Icing can be piped directly onto the fondant cake and it stays hard and sturdy once it dries. The contrast of the white is perfect. Buttercream will slide down on the fondant so do not attempt to do it.
Our teacher made us pipe designs on sugar cubes. I thought we were having coffee in class that's why she made us bring sugar cubes. It gave me the idea to do this on my class tomorrow, but on mini cupcakes.
For cake decorating lessons, email me or visit www.breadmakinglessons.com for details, text me at 9495705091 for the next schedule. My class tomorrow 10 11 12 are requested by my former students so it is basically a special hands on class, my first for this year.
So if you have extra time on your hands, not doing anything and thinking of something to do. Give cake decorating a try. You might like it.