Sunday, 20 October 2013



Much of the appeal of cakes is due to their appearance. Cakes are perfect
medium which a baker can express artistry and imagination. A cake need not
be elaborate or complex to be pleasing. Certainly, a simple but neatly finished
cake is better than a gaudy, over decorated cake that is done carelessly or
without any plan for a harmonious overall design.

There are, of course, many styles of cake decorating, and within each style,
hundreds or thousands of different designs are possible. This chapter is, in part,
an introduction to some of the basic techniques for finishing cakes. The most
important requirements for making effective desserts is hours and hours of
practice with the pastry bag and paper cone. Even the simplest designs require
a lot of practice and should be mastered. Only then should you proceed to the
more advanced techniques presented in style manuals and cake decorating

A cake must be assembled and iced before it can be decorated.

Also called frosting- a sweet coating for cakes and other bakes product.


Improves the keeping qualities by forming a protective coating around cakes.
Contributes flavor and richness.
Improves appearance

Types of icing:

Butter creams
Royal icing
Foam butter cream
Flat type icing
Butter, especially unsalted butter is the preferred fat for buttercreams because 
of its flavor and melt-in-the mouth quality. Icing made only with shortening can 
be unpleasant because the fat congeals and coats the inside of the mouth, 
where it does not melt. However, butter makes a less stable icing because it 
melts so easily. 
There are two ways overcome this problem: 
  •  Use buttercreams only in cool weather. 
  •  Blend a small quantity of emulsifier shortening with the butter to stabilize it. 
i. Simple buttercream – made by creaming together fat and confectioners’ 
sugar. A small quantity of egg may be whipped in. 
ii. Meringue type buttercream – are a mixture of butter and meringue. These 
are very light icings. 
iii. French buttercream – beaten boiling syrup into beaten egg yolks and 
whipping to a light foam. Soft butter is then whip in. 
iv. Pastry cream type buttercream – made by mixing together equal part 
thick pastry cream and softened butter. To give it the necessary body, a 
little gelatin is added. 
v. Fondant type buttercream – make with only a few ingredients on hand. 
Simply cream together equal parts fondant and butter. Flavor as desired. 

Is sugar syrup that is crystallized to a smooth, creamy white mass.
It is familiar for the icing of napoleons, ├ęclairs, petit fours and some cakes. When applied, it sets up into a shiny, non-sticky coating.

This icing also called decorating or decorator’s icing, is similar to flat icings except that it is much thicker and made with egg whites; which make it hard and brittle when dry. It is used almost exclusively for decorative work.

  •  Rich and heavy icings. 
  •  Fudge icings are stable and hold up well on cakes and in storage.
  •  To use stored fudge icing, warm it in a double boiler until it is soft enough to spread. 
  •  Sometimes called boiled icings, are simply meringue made with boiling syrup. 
  • Should be applied thickly to cakes and left in peaks and swirls. 
  •  There icings are not stable, should be used the day prepared. 
  •  thin, glossy, transparent coating that give a shine to baked products and helps prevent drying. 
  •  Example of simple glaze is sugar syrup that brushed onto cakes or Danish. 
  •  There are TWO types of glazes: 
  1.  Chocolate glaze – melted chocolate containing additional fats or liquids or both. 
  2.  Gelatin based glazes – which include many fruit glazes, usually applied only on tops cake. 
 Also called water icings, simply mixtures of confectioner sugar and water, 
sometimes with coffee cakes, Danish pastry and sweet rolls. 

  • Palette knife or steel spatula
  •  offset palette knife
  •  serrated knife
  •  icing screen or grates
  •  turntable 
  • icing comb
  • plastic or steel scraper
  •  brushes
  •  sugar dredger
  • cake rings or charlotte rings
  •  cake card and doilies
  •  parchment paper and 
  • pastry bag and tip. 

Paper cone 
Two factors are important if you are to be successful with both the paper cone 
and the pastry bag: 
  • a. Consistency of the icing – icing must be neither too thick nor too thin. With the paper cone or the writing tube, the icing must be thin enough to flow freely from the opening but not too thin to form a solid thread. 
  • b. Pressure on the cone or bag – pressure control is necessary for neat, exact decoration. Pressure must be kept steady and even.  
Two methods are used to make decorations: the contact method and the 
falling method. 
  1.  Falling method – cone is held above the surface, and the icing is allowed to fall or drop from the tip of the cone onto the surface being decorated. This method is used to make lines of even thickness on horizontal surfaces. The thread of icing is suspended in air between the tip of the cone and the surface being decorated. Keep the pressure light and constant. To finish a line, lower the tip of the cone and touch the surface at the point where you want the line to end. At the same time, stop squeezing the cone. 
  2.  Contact method – is used in two cases. 1. When you want to vary the thickness of the line, and 2. When you want to decorate a vertical surface, such as the side of a cake. Hold the cone as you would hold a pen, with the tip in contact with the surface and at an angle of about 30-45 degrees. Draw a line as though you were drawing on paper with a pen. Control the thickness of the line by adjusting the pressure of your thumb. 

  1.  Masking the sides 
  2.  Stenciling 
  3.  Marbling 
  4.  Palette knife pattern 
  5.  Pipping jelly 
  6.  Adding fruits, nuts, and other items. 
  1.  Coat the side of the cake with nuts, crumbs or other coatings, either before or after decorating. If the top decorations are delicate and might be damaged if the cake is handled, mask the side first. However, if you are marbling the top of the cake or using some other techniques that disturbs the icing on the sides of the cakes, then mask the sides afterwards. 
  2. If the cake is to have an inscription or message, such as a person’s name or a holiday or birthday greeting, put this on first. 
  3.  Add borders and paper cone design. 
  4.  Add flowers, leaves, and similar decorations made with a pastry bag.
  5. . Add additional items such as fruits, nuts, or candies. 

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