Beginners Cake Decorating Instructions
Getting Set Up...
Choosing the correct pastry bag:
For most of your cake decorating, pastry bags #10 and #12 will be most comfortable. Larger bags can me more awkward to handle. Use smaller pastry bags when you are using one color to add dots or writing. Otherwise, you'll just find yourself constantly refilling the bag.
Cutting the pastry bag to fit the coupler:
When you unscrew the coupler, the larger piece goes in with the threads towards the tip of the pastry bag. A new pastry bag must be cut to fit the coupler.Place the coupler in and cut the end of the pastry bag with scissors to allow the coupler to come out just before the first thread. Exposing the threads of the coupler will result in icing leaking out of the bag and falling on to the cake. No matter the difficulty level of any particular cake decorating instructions, when you are deterred by dripping icing or a messy bag, the process takes longer and you risk messing the surface of your cake. If you are unsure about the precise place to cut the bag, just cut a small amount first. You can always cut more, but once the bag is cut too high up,it will always be a problem.I find that over time the bag tends to stretch, so allowing the bag to come down further on the coupler is okay. When it stretches, more of the coupler is exposed,so cutting higher up the bag will eventually lead to icing seeping out.
Cake decorating instructions for adding a decorating tip:
Select the tip you'd like to work with. Insert it into the ring of the coupler. The ring now screws on to the bag. Make sure it's on tight or firm pressure will cause it to pop off while decorating.
Cake Decorating Instructions for Proper Icing Consistency:
When you first start decorating, it can be difficult to assess the correct icing consistency to use. It's worth paying attention to the consistency, because working with the wrong one can turn your cake into a disaster. Cake decorating instructions will call for thin, medium or stiff consistency icing. As a beginner, you will most likely be using buttercream icing. If your icing needs to be thinned, add milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time. If you want to thicken the buttercream icing, add confectioner's sugar. Always adjust by adding small portions or the next thing you know, you'll be trying to thin icing that you've made too thick.
How do you know if you've got the consistency right? Keep these cake decorating instructions in mind for each cake you plan to make:
Thin consistency icing is used for writing, vines,leaves and dots. Any time you use a tip with a very small opening, thinner icing is needed. So, if your icing is too thick, you will know it, because you will be squeezing very hard to make it come out the tip. Icing that is too thick will break. Thin consistency does not mean runny. If you're icing is separating, it's much too thin. It shouldn't drip from the tip.
Medium consistency is used for most icing piping. Thinner icing won't hold it's shape. The icing should flow easily from the tip, but not droop. For instance, if you pipe a shell border, the lines should hold their shape.
Stiff consistency icing is used for making flowers and figure piping. When the icing is thick enough, it will create a peak that stands straight up.It should be the consistency of vegetable shortening.
Cake Decorating Instruction for Filling the Pastry Bag:
Fold the pastry bag over your hand, as shown. Fill the bag up with icing, only up to the fold level. Unfold the bag and push the icing down towards the tip.
Twist the bag above the icing.Position the bag so the twisted part rests in between your thumb and forefinger. The fingers on this hand will squeeze the bag to control the pressure of the icing.
The other hand supports the bag at the coupler, and guides the direction of the tip. Before decorating, squeeze out any excess air through the tip.
How hard you need to squeeze will depend upon the consistency of the icing. Firm icing will require more pressure. Pressure is released and then the tip is lifted. If you do not release pressure first, the icing will follow in an upward direction - an undesirable effect, in most cases.
Cake Decorating Instructions for Basic Piping Techniques:
Even the most intricately designed cakes begin with simple piping techniques. Layering one simple technique on top of the other creates these amazing designs. This is called overpiping. Once you get comfortable creating simple designs, you can experiment layering the piping techniques to create a new effect.
1a - Rope created with star tip #16. Pipe this design by moving the tip in a spiral motion. The tip will move upward and towards the right, then swoop around and down.
1b - Use the very same technique for rope, with a round tip such as #9.
2 - Reverse shell - This design can be created with any star tip opening. Begin the shell by holding the tip at a 45 degree angle to the cake's surface.As you squeeze the icing with medium pressure, move tip in a curve-like motion. Release pressure before lifting tip away from cake. At the end point of this design, begin your next shell, this time creating a "C" motion with the tip going in the opposite direction.Now go back to each "C" arc of icing and add a small shell in the middle of each "C" arc.
3 - Shell - Create this basic icing piping design with any star tip. Begin by holding the tip at a 45 degree angle to the cake's surface. Squeeze with medium pressure while pulling back. Release pressure to taper the end of the shell. Lift tip away only after releasing pressure. The end of each shell is the starting point for the next shell.
4 - Rosette - create this design with any star cake decorating tip. Hold the tip at a 90 degree angle to the cake's surface. Squeeze icing while moving tip in a circular motion. Release pressure before lifting tip straight up. Start the next rosette right next to the first one.
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