Piping Techniques To Create Gorgeous Cakes

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Baking a cake to perfection is just half the journey, because when you’ve got a perfect cake baked out, it’s only going to look gorgeous once decorated with attractive icings on it or rather in baker’s terms, using exquisite piping techniques.

For most beginners, piping can be very daunting because it takes planning, practice and patience. Here, we’ll give you some piping technique tips to enable you to decorate your cake beautifully and with ease.

1. Planning

Before you start piping on a cake, you will never go wrong if you have prepared a plan. It will make all the difference if you have an idea or sketch of what you want it to look like. Measure your cake first and prepare to practice a few times before you get piping on the cake.

2. Practicing

Practice makes perfect, well, almost, so if you want to achieve the basics of piping beautiful lines, pearls, shells, swoops, filigree, leaves or any other designs, you’re going to have to practice a lot to get everything even and consistent.

3. Consistency

It’s very important to make sure that your icing is consistent so check your icing bag carefully for air bubbles. If you see them, it’s bad news because they are a nightmare for piping. To remove the air bubbles, take a few minutes to gently squeeze your bag before tying off the end.

To know whether your icing consistency is correct, pipe a string between your fingers and give it a little shake. If it doesn’t break immediately, your icing is perfect. If it does, your icing is too wet and you’ll need to add a little powdered sugar. If it’s hard to get it out of the bag, your icing is too dry and you’ll need to add a little water.

4. Holding the piping bag

Now that your icing bag is ready, it’s time to find out which way is the best to hold your piping bag to give you the best results. However, it also comes down to what is comfortable for you but for starters, it would be good to hold a nearly full bag, twisting the bag about ¾ up and holding it in your palm so that you can control the pressure and movement of the bag. Let the end of the bag rest on your wrist.

For left-handers, it would be easier to hold the piping bag in your right hand and guide the bag with your left hand. If this is not comfortable for you, try piping vice versa and see which one suits you best.

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5. Ready to pipe

Always practice beginning with straight lines, guiding the string of icing in the direction you want it to go rather than forcing it to go where you want it to go. Let gravity do its job and at the same time, try to keep the tip off the cake or the practice mat while piping.

When you pipe by lifting the tip off the cake or practice mat, and guiding the lines, you’ll see that it will result in cleaner, tidier, smoother lines compared to dragging the tip across the surface. Always make sure that you anchor yourself with your elbows on the table to keep a steady piping process.

6. Practicing techniques

A good way to practice your piping techniques would be on glass wares like a goblet or a flat bottle because although it’s great to practice on a mat, most cake decorating is done on the side of a cake that’s usually round and upright. Practicing using these items can help you improve your piping skills a lot because it can give you a sense of decorating a cake without having to invest time and commitment to bake a real cake.

Keep the tip away from the glass and gently guide your string according to the direction you want. Once you have created your string where you want it, attach it by touching the string to the glass.

Mistakes are bound to happen when practicing, so if you end up with peaks of icing instead of nice dots, try using a damp paintbrush to gently touch up the icing to help it form into a small ball.

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7. Applying techniques

After practicing various techniques to create designs on glassware, try applying the techniques following your prepared sketch on glassware until it looks nearly flawless. Practice until you feel confident enough to try your newfound skills on a real cake.

Getting professional support

If this is an area that you would like to explore further in future career path, why not seek help by enrolling for pastry programme in Cilantro Culinary Academy focusing on classes for baking and decorating cakes offered in their establishment.

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After succeeding in baking a delightful cake adorned with your magnificent piping techniques, why not move onto perfecting your pie by reading this article:The ABCs Of Creating A Perfect Pie Crust.


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