Cake Decorating Clubs There is a magic about a beautifully decorated cake at a gathering. Whether it is a birthday cake or a 4 tier wedding cake. A work of art in confection is the centerpiece of any special occasion. While it is a long haul from spreading canned frosting on a sheet cake, to creating a work of art that will stop the show, it is a fun and rewarding experience to travel the road. There are mentors that can help you to discover the beauty of buttercream, since the new resurgence of interest in cake decorating. There are several cake decorating clubs. One of the oldest cake decorating clubs, The Fremont Frosters, to one of the newest , The Contra Costa Cake and Sugar Society. The 40 year-old Frosters, have members from Santa Clara to San Leandro, California, share years of experience, tips, and tricks with other members of the club. They gather once a month, they have a website, and a quarterly newsletter called Sweet Graffiti, that is filled with seasonal cake decorating ideas and pictures. Each month a member gives a presentation on cake decorating at the meeting. They find that all levels of cake decorators will learn something from each demonstration. Once most of the members see how a design or decoration is made, by breaking down the process, they see how simple it is to learn the different artistic techniques. It is easy to see it wasn't a big mystery after all and can be learned with practice. Cake decorating classes are more popular than ever. Craft stores are filled with information about classes, and tools for cake decorating. If you are not careful you can spend a great deal of money on tools to help with cake decorating. Starting out, you don't need to have everything you can get your hands on when it comes to Cake decorating. All the beginning cake decorator needs are tips to make leaves, borders, and swags, disposable icing bags, and couplings to attach the tips. An icing rule for smoothing the top of a cake is helpful, a paint edger from the local hardware store will work for this. There were many more cake decorating clubs in the 1960's when women spent more time in the home, and were able to take up the art of cake baking and decorating. As time went by and most of the women began taking jobs, most of them were disbanded. Many women are watching new cable TV food shows that are enticing home bakers back into cake decorating and learning European techniques such as using rolled fondant. The interest in cake decorating is huge and growing bigger every day. Enrollment in Wilton cake decorating classes have grown over the past few years. Many people think cake decorating is easy, because the TV pros, who have been cake decorating for 30 years, make it look that way. They don't understand that it will take a good deal of practice to be able to get the same result as the pros do.
Cake Decorating - How To Master Sugarcraft In cake decorating circles, sugarcraft is probably the most misunderstood term. What exactly is sugarcraft? To clear things up a bit, sugarcraft is a type of cake decorating that is three - dimensional. Sugarcraft is decorating that stands out from all other forms of cake decorating. Sugarcraft is to cake decorating what clay is to sculpting. It is the art of modeling 3-D figures on a cake. The type of icing used in sugarcraft, rolled fondant, is a dough, that can be used to cover the cake and making cake decorations. Sugarcraft is rolled into sheets and draped over cakes, or cut to make ribbons, bows, and flowers. Fondant is made in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container until needed. When a rolled fondant is prepared for cake decorating, liquid food coloring should not be used, it can make the fondant runny and unusable. It is better to use coloring paste. It takes a bit of time to learn sugarcraft decorating, and the process can be frustrating. There is no set formula for sugarcraft, you will need to use your artistic eye, and practice until you feel you have it right. If you are serious about mastering sugarcraft, it is to your advantage to purchase a DVD or video that will show you the art step-by-step. An even better option would be to take a class in sugarcraft, as the teacher can give you tips and feedback as you learn. When you look for sugarcraft supplies, Surbiton Sugarcraft is an online store with everything you will need. Based in the UK, this company has so many items this article does not afford the space to list them all. A sampling of their sugarcraft art and tools: - Stainless Steel Cutters to Make: Blossoms, flowers, Leaves, Calyx, Micro and Midi cutters. - A large array of tools that are food grade plastic and stainless steel such as: Ribbon cut from flower paste, ribbon insertion, garrett frill cutters, and plaque cutters. - Icecraft Sugarpaste: A superior professional sugarpaste that is ready to use. This sugarpaste allows for a smooth finish every time it is used and covers cakes without cracking and forming craze lines. This paste is less gritty and oily than other sugarpastes and easy to handle. It is bright white and unflavored. - Edible Lustre Air Brush Colours: A Lustre air brush spray for food in a can. Works wonderfully for coloring sugarpaste, modeling paste, marzipan, buttercream etc. Available in 6 colors. - Sugarcraft rosebuds and roses: The rosebuds come in lemon, peach, violet, pink, red, ivory, white, cerise, claret. They are sold in various quantities and are incredibly beautiful. - Piped roses - These wonderful roses are a bit smaller and a bit different. They are great for cupcake decoration. Available in dark pink, pink, or white. - There are many more sugarcraft decorations including orchids, cake pans, cake dummies, cake boxes, leaves, and flower sprays all made with sugarcraft. For pricing and more information visit the website and see the wonderful sugarcraft designs and tools to assure your cake decorating will be spectacular.
Cake Decorating: How About Birthday Cakes For Adults Cake decorating for adults are a bit different than those you would do for a kids party. It doesn't mean they need to be boring or ugly. Below are some great ideas for adult cakes that are fun to make and fun to eat. Crunchie Rice Cake In 2 square cake pans, make 2 batches of rice cereal treats according to the recipe found on the back of the box of cereal. When they have cooled, do not cut the treats, take them from the pans like they are. Cover the top of the first layer with icing, and then a layer of chocolate chips, and a second layer of icing, and then a layer of multicolored sprinkles, and a third layer of icing. Place the second layer of the crunchie cake on top and frost the whole thing as you would a normal cake. Place a layer of colored chocolate candy on the top. You can even put the name of the recipient in candy. This is a whimsical cake that can be used for adults or children. Over the Hill Graveyard Cake Bake two cake mixes in a roasting pan. Make a gray icing with 2 drops of green and red food coloring and mixing it with white icing. Turn the cake out on a cake board ice the entire cake with this icing. Line a sidewalk with thin black licorice, and dot candy corn along the outside edges. Rectangular cookies can be iced with a darker gray icing. These can be used as gravestones. You can find gummy skeletons at Halloween, or make your own out of toothpicks and use jelly beans for heads. Ghosts can be made from cotton balls, but you need to make sure no cotton gets in the icing you may want to make some out of construction paper and stick them on a popsicle stick. That might be a good idea for the skeletons too. Ball and Chain Birthday cake This is a great idea if commissioned by a husband or wife. Bake two round cakes and let them cool completely. Remove the cakes from the pans. Cover the top of one cake with the recipient's favorite fruit pie filling. Place the second layer on top and ice the entire cake. Buy a bag of small cake donuts and frost them the same as you did the cake. On the cake board place one of the doughnuts up against the bottom of the cake. Follow this with several other doughnuts to make a chain. You can add different decorations on the cake, or leave it plain, it's up to you. No matter what theme you choose, the cake decorating will be appreciated by the person having the birthday. Make sure you add candles and bring a cake server when you attend the party. Every time you make a cake and decorate it, you are honing your cake decorating skills and the more practice you get, the better you will be at cake decorating.
What Frosting To Use In Your Cake Decorating Those of us who are into cake decorating, think of the beautiful icing designs when we think of cake. Icing is the finishing touch on cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. There are several different types of icing used in cake decorating. The choice of icing while cake decorating, will have a great deal to do with how the decorated cake will look. 1. Buttercream Icing: Buttercream is the icing that is used the most in cake decorating. This is the same type of frosting that we can buy readymade in the grocery store. This icing is easy to use and easy to make. The ingredients are confectioners sugar, and butter or shortening. What you use to thin the frosting will differ with the icing texture you need to work with, to determine whether to use eggs or milk. Take care when thinning the frosting, remember, a little milk goes a long way. If you find the frosting is too thin, you can add a bit of confectioners sugar to thicken it. To assure an even finish on your frosting, dip the icing spatula in cold water to make the surface smooth. This will give a smoother finish for writing. Buttercream is used to create flowers and other decorations made with a pastry bag. The icing needs to be the right consistency to make flower petals or writing. When you make roses out of icing, you can freeze them and add them to the cake later. This will make them easier to handle. Buttercream can be stored in the refrigerator without getting hard. Make sure it is back to room temperature before you attempt to use it. 2. Foam Icing: This is a meringue and is used on lemon pie or Baked Alaska. This frosting is made of egg whites beaten into stiff peaks. It is possible to add flavoring and color to the meringue. You will not be able to use this icing for intricate cake decorating, and you won't be able to use an icing bag with this icing. This icing is used when you want the cake to look fluffy, with little ornate decoration. 3. Fondant: This icing is very popular with those who decorate wedding cakes, and cakes for very special occasions. The ingredients are simply powdered sugar, water, cream of tartar, or glucose. Fondant is thick and doughy, with a silky, smooth, texture. Fondant will give the cake a flawless surface, and soft, rounded edges. Working with fondant is an art and will take practice to get it right. Fondant has a translucent quality, and will work best when placed on the cake over a thin layer of buttercream frosting. 4. Fudge Icing: Fudge icing is made from chocolate, peanut butter, almond, or mint. This icing is quite thick and contains both shortening and butter. 5. Glazes: This frosting is thin and watery, and will harden into a shell after it is placed on the cake. This frosting is mostly used on pastries. Glazes help to keep the pastry moist. 6. Flat Icing: This icing is similar to a glaze, but it is a bit thicker. Flat icing is a combination of confectioner's sugar and water and is used to drizzle onto pastries. 7. Royal Icing: This is also a flat icing, and hardens after it is set. Royal icing is a wonderful choice to make flowers, sculptures, and garnishes for cake decorating. You can use any combination of the basic seven icings listed, to create a personal masterpiece. You will need to practice before you become good at cake decorating. You will get the hang of it sooner than you think, and even the mistakes will taste great.
Cake Decorating - How To Make Your Icing Smooth And Even If you want to become a master at cake decorating, you will need training and practice. Once you have mastered cake decorating you could become famous in the cake making industry. If you are a creative person you could go far when it comes to cake decorating. Even a person who is new to cake decorating you want your cake to look beautiful. My mother just made a cake and frosted it, she may have added sprinkles, and she wrote a happy birthday message with icing. Those were our cakes, they may not have been well decorated, but they were tasty. This article will give you ideas and tips to make your cake look much better than Mom used to make. When you make the cake, be sure that the batter is level in the pan before you place it in the oven. Check the cake at 20 minute intervals to make sure the cake is baking evenly, if you find one side of the cake is higher than the other, you should turn the pan around so it will rise evenly. If you find that your cake baked with one side higher, use a knife to even it. You should do this while the cake is warm. The cake should be cooled for at least a day before you even think about starting any cake decorating. The outside of the cake could feel cool, but the middle of the cake may stay warm for hours. Frosting the cake before it is completely cool can ruin your decorating. After the cake has cooled, turn it upside down on a cake board, you will have less crumbs this way. To avoid crumbs all together put a thin layer of icing on the cake. Once you have covered the cake with a thin layer of frosting, you can cover that layer with a normal layer of icing. Make sure the icing is smooth and even. You can dip your metal icing spatula in cold water and go over the icing, this will smooth the icing beautifully. Icing is the most important ingredient in cake decorating. The icing should be quite stiff, if it is too stiff to work with you can always thin it out. When you are making the frosting, make a good amount. You will need it for other decorations on the cake. Make sure you have plenty of food coloring, as you will need it to color the icing for different cake decorations. When you are ready to start decorating your cake you will need a few pieces of equipment. You will need more than one pastry bag, and the icing tips you will be using for the decorating you want to do. These items can be bought at craft stores and cake decorating supply store. To start with, choose the tip you will be using first. Hold the pastry bag with the hole down and place the tip inside, as far as possible. You should use about a cup of icing in the bag at a time, and start it out in a bowl, that way you can thin the icing with a little milk if you need to, before you put it in the icing bag. The icing should be thin enough to go through the tip, but thick enough to make the designs you choose. If you are still a novice at cake decorating, you should practice making the decorations on waxed paper before you attempt to put them on the cake. When you are ready to ice the cake, you will need to hold the bag with both hands and apply steady pressure. Applying a steady pressure assures that the icing the icing will come out in an even strip. Unless you are making a long strip of piping, you should place the bag closely over the cake start squeezing and count to three, then stop squeezing and lift the tip up and away from the cake. If this decoration looks the way you want it to, move on to the next one, if it isn't quite right, keep practicing until you get it. If the cake decoration stays in the shape you intended, then you have the frosting at the right consistency. If it does not hold together, the icing is too thin, and if it was hard to push it through the tip or the cake decoration cracks, the frosting is too thick. You can get a list of the equipment needed for cake decorating before you start. The list can be found in craft store or pastry supply. The basics are Several pastry bags, icing tips, a coupler to hold the tips in the bag. You will find a cake stand would be a big help, as it swivels so you can frost all sides of the cake, and bring the cake up and closer to you. You should also have several sizes of cake pans, a rubber spatula, a short and a long metal cake icing spatula, a sharp knife, and a baking tray. These are the essentials. Although cake decorating can be frustrating at times, it can also be very rewarding when you realize the beautiful cake on that stand is something that you created. With a bit of patience and a can do attitude, you will become and accomplished cake decorator.
The Finishing Touch Of Cake Decorating There are many ways to put a finishing touch on your cake decorating project. Sugar-frosted fruit and fresh flowers are very popular cake decoration garnishes. They will add a contrasting texture, and add color to your beautiful creation. Using these items will allow you to spruce up a plain cake. Fruit Using fresh berries for a garnish on your decorated cake are a colorful, and flavorful addition. You can roll them in sugar, glaze them, or use them plain. Placing fresh strawberries and mint leaves around the top of a chocolate cake will ad a splash of color. Orange sections, grapes, and strawberries glazed with shiny syrup, can be placed on the top of a cake for a beautiful, yet edible effect. Dollops of whipped cream and fresh figs arranged tastefully on a cake can be quite appealing to the eye. Frosted whole fruit, such as grapes, seckel pears, small apples and figs are great cake decorations for late summer and fall weddings. Berries will last longer than sliced fruit, serve the cake soon after adding the fruit as it tends to bleed onto the frosting. Flowers The use of fresh, edible flowers in cake decorating, are a beautiful and easy way to make a cake more appealing. Starting with a cake dusted with confectioner's sugar, or a frosted cake, and add flowers. There are many flowers that are edible, rose petals, sweet violets, honeysuckle, bachelor's buttons, and callendulas etc... You might want to add a generous dollop of whipped cream to the center, or just off center, of the cake. Arrange the flowers around the whipped cream. When you dust the flowers with super-fine sugar, the look is one of elegance and sparkle. Candied rose petals and candied violets are a wonderful cake decoration. Make sure the flowers you are using are edible, clean, and free of pesticide. Nuts Candied or toasted nuts are great on carrot cakes and spice cakes. Coarse or finely chopped nuts can be pressed into the icing on the sides of the cake, or along the bottom edge, for texture and flavor. The use of fresh fruits and flowers will add an unusual and unique look to any cake. Cake decoration has become a more bold hobby or choice of career. You can open your own cake decorating business and cater to your friends, family. And community. Although it is time consuming, cake decorating can also be a fun and lucrative business. Artistic cake decorators can just about name their price for one of a kind cake decorating creations. Of course this will all depend on where you are located. Cake decorators in New York City will be able to charge more than those in Jamestown. Of course there is also a cost of living difference, and a more sophisticated group of clients. No matter where you are located, offering unusual, unique cake decoration will put you on top and you will be in popular demand for the cake decorating needs of the majority.
What About Candied Flowers For Cake Decorating Edible flowers are often used as a garnish or as an ingredient in salads. While not all flowers are edible, there are many out there that are. Very few supermarkets carry edible flowers, but they are available at specialty markets that carry gourmet produce. These flowers can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator as long as they are wrapped well. This is fine if they are to be used in a salad, but when they are used in cake decorating they need to be fresh. You should never eat flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides. Some of the most popular edible flowers are: Nasturtiums have a Peppery flavor, Chive blossoms taste like a mild sweet onion, Roses, Violas and Pansies taste a bit like grapes. Other edible flowers are apple blossoms, almond, lavender, borage, chamomile, lovage, lemon, orange blossoms, plum blossoms, peach blossoms, and squash blossoms. We also have daisies, chrysanthemums, geraniums, marigolds, jasmine, lilacs, and violets. Candied Flowers Candied flowers are great for desserts and in cake decorating. Here is a recipe to make your own. Time to prepare: 8 hrs. and 15 minutes Yield: 2 dozen flowers. 1/4 cup beaten egg whites 1/2 cup superfine sugar 2 cups edible flowers of your choice Clean and blot flowers dry with a paper towel. With a paint brush, brush on a thin layer of egg white on each side of the flower petals or blossoms. Place flowers into a shallow bowl of superfine sugar and sprinkle more sugar over the flowers so that they are coated. Make sure all of the flower has been sprinkled with sugar. Remove flowers and place them on a sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle each flower with another layer of sugar, again, make sure the entire flower gets a layer of sugar. Allow flowers to dry on the waxed paper for 8 hours. Store these tasty treats in an airtight container at room temperature until they are needed. We are seeing more real flowers and fruit in cake decorating than ever before. The addition of these wonderful edible gifts of nature, gives the cake an elegant look. Whether you are making a wedding, anniversary, retirement, birthday, or a cake for any special occasion, you will get many compliments on your choice of decoration. Cake decorating can be a bit frustrating and time consuming, but once you learn the techniques and utilize the newest ideas when cake decorating, you will find that it can be fun, rewarding, and lucrative. Most cake decorators have an artistic background, or artistic talent. If you are thinking of starting a cake decorating business in your home you will need to keep up with the latest trends in cake decorating to be able to offer your clients new unique and wonderful choices. As with anything designs get old, while some will stick with the traditional white or ivory for a wedding cake, but there are those who want to step out of the mold and have a little color in their wedding cake.
Cake Decorating - Children's Birthday Cakes Cake decorating Equipment: When you are decorating for birthdays and the holidays, you don't need every cake decorating tool out there, but you do need a few basics. The following are a must for cake decorating. - Rubber Spatulas: These spatulas are made of flexible material and they are the best for scraping cake and frosting bowls. - Metal Spatulas: Every cake decorator needs one large and one small angled spatula to spread and smooth frosting on your cake. To keep your cake from crumbling, use the small metal spatula to carefully spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake. This is followed by a normal layer of frosting. - Piping Bags: You can purchase reusable 8 inch, 12 inch, and 18 inch bags, or disposable plastic bags, for cake decorating. Zip-lock bags will work in a pinch. - Couplers: Coupling nozzles are needed to hold the icing tips in the bag. They allow you to change tips when you need to. - Food coloring paste, gel, or powder: These food colorings are more concentrated than liquid, and they will not thin the icing. Important tips for cake decorating 1. All ingredients should be at room temperature, as they will mix much better than when they are cold. 2. Always use and electric beater when mixing the cake. You will have less lumps than if you beat it by hand. 3. You really need a wire rack to invert and cool your cakes. 4. Trim your cake so it will sit flat. Never use this part of the cake as the top, always use the smoother side of the cake to decorate with icing. 5. To reduce crumbling, bake your cake the day before you will be decorating it and place it in the freezer until you are ready to frost it. When you take it out frost it right away. 6. You can purchase cake boards from any hobby or cake decorating shop. You can also cover a large piece of stiff cardboard with colored foil and use that instead. 7. A great icing for cake decorating is Butter Cream, especially for a child's birthday cake. 8. Cut strips of waxed paper and place them under the unfrosted cake. When you are done with your cake decorating they will pull out easily and the cake board will not be smeared. These are the basic tools that everyone needs for cake decorating. The tips given are meant to make it a bit easier to ice your child's birthday cake. It doesn't matter whether you have decorated a cake before, there are many sites on the internet that will give you ideas for cake decorating. And others that will take you step-by-step through the decorating project. My advice is to gather as many useful tips that you can and keep them in a little booklet. When you run into a problem, you can consult the book. I know that anyone who has a desire to learn cake decoration, can do so just by visiting the various sites that are available to show you how to go about cake decorating.
Easy Cake Decorating Themes And Ideas Cake decorating has always been around, and as time goes by, new ideas are added to the list. Here are a few ideas for cake decorating that are so easy to achieve. - Flowers: Real flowers have become quite popular in cake decorating circles. You should choose smaller flowers that are edible, and make sure they have been cleaned. It is best to use flowers from your own garden, or a garden that you know the owner does not use poisons. Rinse them in a lukewarm water bath and blot them dry with a paper towel. Make sure you pick the flowers right before you are ready to use them on the cake so they are fresh. If you would like to add a dewy look to your cake flowers, brushing on a bit of luster dust will make them look as if they are wet. - Fruit: Orange slices, grapes, mandarin oranges, etc... You can make these fruits look frosted by beating an egg white, and brushing it on each piece of fruit, then dipping it in clear or colored sanding sugar. This has become very popular. - Decorations Made of Fondant: You are able to use fondant icing to make beautiful cake decorations. You can choose to make flat decorations, or make them 3-D. You will find that you can copy designs from just about anywhere, and model the decorations as if you were making them out of modeling clay. - Ready to Use Frosting: Frosting in a tube, is the new rage in cake decorating. A variety of tips can be bought to make different decorations. These tubes of icing come in quite a few colors, and can be kept on the pantry shelf between each use. You simply remove the icing tip and recap the tube. - Color in a Can: You do not need to add color to your icing when frosting a cake. There are wonderful food colors in a can, that can be sprayed on any light colored frosting for a dynamic effect. You can tint the lake and sky blue, the trees and grass green, or spray the entire top of the cake to change the color. All of the above ideas are very easy to use. Anyone can achieve a great looking decorated cake by using one or all of these ideas. If you are like most of us, your life can be quite hectic at best. If there is any way to make life a bit easier, and still afford beautiful cake decorations, it is worth the time to learn about it. You may never use all of the tips you will find on the internet for cake decorating. If even one of the easy decorating ideas above works to help you save time, it will be priceless. I know it has been a terrific time saver for me, and I no longer need to worry about when I will find enough time to decorate that cake for my son's birthday, or my parent's anniversary. Here is hoping all of your cakes rise well, and your cake decorating always looks beautiful.
Cake Decorating Themes Everyone seems to enjoy cakes that are baked at home, it is a wonderful surprise on special occasions. When you are the one bringing the cake, you probably will want the cake decoration to stand out, and look a bit more professional than those you make for your family at home. I have put together a few ideas you may want to try. Cake Decorating Themes - Fun and activity: These cakes are full of color and whimsical design. The use of different shapes, Balloons, circles, stars, clouds, and other interesting designs will help to make your cake decorating the talk of the party. With the use of animal crackers, you could make a zoo or farm cake. Your imagination can take you anywhere. - Say it With Flowers: The use of floral patterns in soft shades, are perfect for cake decorating. The addition of a few green leaves make this type of cake decoration an excellent choice for any special occasion. Flowers are great on wedding cakes, birthday cakes, mothers day cakes, and for other happy celebrations. - A Little Romance: Romantic cake decorating is perfect for sweethearts day, valentines day, a birthday for a husband or wife, or a wedding anniversary. You can make any color frosting, including the favorite of the person or people you are baking the cake for. You can add hearts, cupids, or anything that will remind the guests what the celebration is about. Use your imagination and make it a little jazzy without going overboard. Just a bit of glitter or candies that sparkle should do the trick. - "What's Up Doc": Younger children (and some that are over 90) love cartoon characters as much as they love cake. This is why it is a great idea to combine both when decorating a cake for the birthday of someone who loves these whimsical critters. You can either draw them in icing and color them in, or use molds and fondant to make the characters. After they are made, they can be colored before they are placed on the cake. So invite Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Taz, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Garfield, Donald Duck, or any of the many cartoon characters that have stolen our hearts and funny bones, and are doing the same to our children, to the party. There are some supplies that are essential when you are thinking about cake decorating, these are: - A professional icing smoother or thin metal spatula. This tool will help you to cover your decorated cake with an even layer of icing, and to make the frosting very smooth so that it can be decorated. This will make the cake look as if a pro did it. - The use of decoration Molds is a very easy way to make figures and objects to use in cake decorating. You will probably want to start with the basic shapes like circles, squares, or triangles, until you are sure of how to perfect the process. You can move from that to flowers, numbers, and characters. Some molds also have text so you can add a message. - Icing bags are an absolute essential if you want to do any type of cake decorating. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to use it as you would an ink pen, except it is held with both hands. One hand is used to apply steady pressure on the upper part of the bag, while the other guides the tip to make the decorations. - The use of frosting flowers that are already made for you is a less time consuming way to add beauty to your cake decorating. - Edible glitter and colorful sprinkles are a great way to spruce up your cake decorating design. These small additions could be just the thing to give your cake that finishing touch. - Edible color sprays are quite easy to use, especially when you are using a template. It can be the difference between a cake decoration that is blah, to one that has everyone complimenting you on your artistic ability. - You can also print out edible photographs of the graduate, that fish that almost got away, or a wedding photo of the bride and groom, the way they looked when they were married to place on their 50th anniversary cake. The paper these edible images are printed on is also edible, so you can place the whole thing on the cake. A cake stand will make your creation stand out, especially a glass stand.
What Are Some Basic Cake Decorating Ideas And Tips? After you have baked the cake, and it has cooled, the next step is decorating the cake. While this can be a fun and pleasurable task, this is also the step that takes a bit of skill and patience. I hope, these tips will allow you to have more fun decorating your cake. Let's begin with the basics.
The cake decorating tips that are essential and things that you need to know before you. You will need a workplace that will afford enough room to be able to decorate your cake without being cramped. You also need to be away from disturbances and you will not need to move away from because you will be in the way of others. The first thing to know about cake decorating, is the fact that the cake must be completely cooled before you make any attempt to decorate. If the cake is still warm, you will run into many problems. The next item is to make sure you have gathered all of the tools and ingredients for decorating your cake.
Some items you will need are: a syringe or piping bag, the type and size tips you will be using, and the coupler to attach the tips to the piping bag. You will need to plan how you will decorate the cake ahead of time, so you can have all of the tools you need on hand when you begin decorating. To begin with you need to ice, or frost the cake with royal icing, butter cream icing, or fondant icing. To start with, make sure you place a thin layer of frosting over the top to hold the crumbs together. When that is done, you will frost over that layer. It is important to make sure the icing you use is the right consistency. If the icing is too thin or too thick it will affect the end result of your cake decorating. If you are creating a decorated cake and you think your frosting is too thin, you can add a bit more confectioners sugar. Make sure you add this a little at a time as it can become too stiff if you add too much.
If you feel your icing is too stiff, carefully add a bit more liquid. Icing is used in different consistencies for different cake decorating techniques. When you are making roses, or any flower with upright petals, and will be piping figures on the cake, you will want to use a stiff icing or your petals may droop. To make stars, flowers with flat petals, and shell borders, you will want to use a medium consistency. A thin icing is used for writing on the cake, and thinner, more delicate work such as vines and leaves. If you add about 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup to your icing, you will find the icing will flow easier and make it more flexible.
flowers with flat petals. A thin icing mixture should be used for writing characters, and thinner, pointier shapes and styles such as leaves and vines. Add a couple of teaspoons of light corn syrup to the icing mix to make it more flexible and easier flowing. Once the cake is iced, it is time to begin decorating.
The way you hold the icing bag is important, as the direction and angle you hold the piping bag will influence the way the patterns and shapes you will create, will turn out. Thankfully there are only two positions to hold the piping bag to make certain designs. The firs position is to hold the piping bag at a 90 degree angle, straight up from the surface of the cake. This is used for the simpler decorations that don't involve a lot of movement in making the design. The center of rosebuds, adding eyes to a character or making stars and dots. The other position involves the piping bag being held at a 45 degree angle, or holding the bag half-way between straight up and the surface of the cake.
In this position you have more flexibility to create sweeping styles, and create shapes with your piping hand. You can use this angle for flower petals, or writing on the cake. Some of the piping tips, like the tips for basket weave, petal and ruffle, have ends that are irregular. There is a right and wrong way to hold the bag when working with them.
Now that you know the basics here are a few tips to start you on your way to making a decorated cake. - Basket Weave - Using this technique will give the sides of your cake the look of a basket. You may want to practice on a piece of waxed paper until you feel confident enough to begin on the cake. Using the basket weave tip and an icing that is of medium consistency, take turns applying a vertical stripe, following it with a horizontal stripe across the vertical. Make sure the horizontal stripes are a bit longer so the vertical stripe will fit across it. Soon you will see a basket pattern become apparent. - Bows - This technique will make your cake look like a wrapped gift. Use a flat tip and medium icing. Hold your bag at a 45 degree angle and sweep your bag left, making half of the bow. Make the same movement to the right, making a figure 8. Hold the bag and sweep downward and out from the center of the bow, once on each side to make 2 streamers. - Lacework - This technique is great for wedding or baby shower cakes.
You should practice this technique to make sure you have good control before you use it in your cake decorating. Using thin white icing, hold the bag at nearly a 90 degree angle and very close to the surface of the cake. You will want to make a border so you will need to decide how far you want to go in from the edge and make an icing border. Move the tip up down and around to make many similar shapes, do not touch or cross the other designs. Do this until the area is as full as you want it to be. Now you can go over the border on both sides with a thicker icing. You will be amazed at the lacework you have created.
How To Make Candied Fruit For Cake Decorating I remember my mother making fruit cake, she would use candied cherries that she would buy them in little air tight containers. They came in two colors, red and green, but they did not have the best taste. The candied fruit available now is much more beautiful and tastier than it was then. Trust me it isn't just for fruitcakes anymore. Making your own candied fruit to use as a garnish for dishes, in cookies, as a snack, and in cake decorating. Making candied fruit is a simple process. You infuse fruits and citrus peelings in a sugar syrup. You can candy orange wedges, orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, pineapple and fresh cherries. You can also candy fruits, such as carrots for carrot cake decorating. You will need two sauce pans, one for making the syrup, and another to blanch the fruit. This is a recipe for Candied orange peel. Simple Syrup This syrup is used for making candied fruits, adding flavor to cold drinks, and adding moisture to sponge cake. There are different strengths of simple syrup for different uses. Thin simple syrup, made with 1 part sugar to 2 parts water, is used to brush on cake layers, mostly sponge cake, to provide extra moisture and sweetness. Medium simple syrup is made with equal parts of sugar and water. This is excellent for adding sweetness to mixed drinks, coffee, iced tea and to candy fruit. A syrup made of 2 parts sugar and 1 part water is used as a base for sorbet, and making rock candy. Combine equal parts of sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. You do not need to stir the syrup, but if you do it will do no harm. You can flavor the syrup. Take the syrup off the heat and cool slightly. Stir in 1 or 2 tsp. Of vanilla for a basic vanilla syrup. This syrup can be kept in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for up to a month. Remove the bottom and top of an orange. Set the flat end of the orange on a cutting board. With a sharp paring knife, slice the peel off in strips, starting at the top and slicing downward, following the curve as much as possible. Don't worry about cutting off the white pith of the peel. Although it is usually bitter, blanching it will make it translucent and the syrup will sweeten it. You can candy the peel as it is, or cut into strips that are 1/4 inch wide, to use in cake decorating and garnishes. You can also dip it in chocolate and use it for a snack. Larger peels, like grapefruit should be cut into strips for even cooking. Place the peel in a pot of cool water. Bring water to a rolling boil, remove from heat and transfer the peel into a colander to drain. Repeat the process twice more. For grapefruit or a more tart flavored fruit, you will need to blanch them seven or eight times. Cherry and pineapple do not need blanching and can be placed directly into the syrup. Between blanching taste the peel, if it is tender it has been blanched enough. Place the peel into the pot of syrup and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer for 15 to 30 minutes or until the orange rind becomes translucent and the peel tastes sweet and tender Remove the pot from heat and let it cool. The orange rind can be stored in it's own syrup for weeks in the refrigerator. You may choose to drain them and roll them in sugar. Sugared rinds tend to dry out quite fast and should be eaten within a couple of days. You can dry the peel and dip it in tempered chocolate to make it last a bit longer. You can use the orange flavored syrup in other drinks or dishes. Nothing really goes to waste!
Creative Cake Decorating For A Kid's Birthday Below are a few birthday cake decorating ideas that will help make your child's birthday a very memorable occasion. - Candy Land Cake: Make a standard sheet cake in your child's favorite flavor, in a rectangular pan. When it is cool, frost it with buttercream frosting in your child's favorite color. If you can get your hands on a Candy Land game board, you will be able to fashion the cake decorating to resemble the board. You can also go to Candyland. com to see a game board. The Candy Land game features peppermints, iced gingerbread men, colored gumdrops, licorice sticks, chocolate candies, and circus peanuts. If you can't find some of these items, You can use construction paper to make them, staple or tape them to a popsicle stick to stand it up in the cake. - Race car cake: Bake two cakes, one in a loaf cake pan and one in a rectangular pan. Allow the cakes to cool thoroughly. Remove them from the pans, cut the loaf cake in an arch, like the shape of the top of the car. Frost the sheet cake and place the cut loaf cake in the middle, centered to give the cake balance. Ice the car with a different color icing than you did the cake, red or blue are good racing colors. You should be able to find decorations in the store for this cake. Use your imagination, many times craft stores have some nice decorations. You can either use icing to outline the doors and windows, or string licorice works well for this. Small chocolate doughnuts make a good tires for your race car. - The Doll Cake: This cake is very popular with young girls who still love to play with dolls. Bake a cake in a metal, oven safe, bowl. When the cake has cooled, turn the cake out, centered, onto a prepared cake board. The widest part of the cake should be on the board. Use a butter knife to hollow out a spot in the top of the cake for the doll's legs. Once the doll is inserted, the cake becomes a dress for the doll. Make sure the doll is clean and undressed. Wrap the legs in plastic wrap before placing the doll into the cake, up to her waist. Ice the cake and the top of the doll to make it appear that the doll is fully dressed. You can purchase accents at the supermarket to jazz up the dress. These cakes are a great idea for children who love different themes, and you have a fondness for cake decorating, These are basic, simple ideas, for a children's theme party too. You can use the doll cake and have a Barbie theme party, the race car cake to have a Car's theme party, and of course, you can decorate for the Candy Land party with huge gumdrops and gingerbread men made of construction paper to hang or affix to the walls. You may also want to include a pinata that goes along with the party theme.
What Type Of Fillings Can I Use In My Cake Decorating Many people feel that cake filling can be difficult to maintain. If done right, you can make a beautiful filled cake, without too much drama. Cake filling flavors need to compliment one another, chocolate with orange, hazelnuts, or almonds Some cakes will not hold up well without refrigeration. Mousse and whipped cream can separate, get soggy and drip. Berries can get soggy and drip everywhere. Buttercream needs to be kept in a cool place so the frosting wont separate. Cakes covered with fondant should be kept at room temperature and never be refrigerated. If you are using fresh berries or whipped cream as a filling, make sure the cake will be eaten within a few hours. If these things are on the cake too long. If you are going to prepare a cake a couple of days in advance, you may want to use simple syrup or a flavor wash on the cake layers to keep the level of moisture up, before you add your filling. Keep in mind the dietary restrictions of your guests. Make sure there is no conflict when you are decorating a cake for special occasions, or for a client. If diabetics are present, you might want to make or purchase a small dessert that is sugar free for these guests. When you are making a cake for an occasion that is serving other food, make your flavors stronger and your colors brighter. This will make the cake stand out and your cake decorating will be something they will remember. Cake Filling Ideas - Buttercream icing flavors - Mocha, Orange, Raspberry, Chocolate, Lemon, and extra Almond extract. - Any variety of jam. - Mocha buttercream with a sprinkle of finely chopped heath bars, or with caramel sauce dribbled over the cake and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. - Whipped cream, Chocolate Mousse, and Vanilla Custard. - Almond, Lemon, Coffee, Raspberry, Hazelnut, or orange liqueur can be brushed on the cake before icing, for a flavor boost. - Davinci Flavored Syrups are great for a flavor enhancer that is non-alcoholic. These syrups come in over 100 flavors. - To combat the problem of cake filling oozing out of the sides of the cake, try this. Use a jam that is all fruit (Polaner), Heat the entire jar in the microwave without the lid. After 30 seconds the jam should be warm and liquid. Stir a small package of Jello that is the same flavor of the jam. This will intensify the flavor of the jam, and best of all, once it is spread on the first layer and left alone for a few minutes, the jam will set. The second layer can be put on the cake without fear of spill-over. You may want to set the first layer into the freezer for about 15 minutes to make the jam set better. This jam can be kept in the fridge and heated the next time you want to fill a cake. Don't keep it too long though. You can also make a dam of buttercream around the edge of the cake to keep the filling where it is supposed to be. This way your icing will not become stained by the filling and your decorated cake will remain beautiful.
Cake Decorating: Baby Shower Cakes And Frosting Recipes Baby showers are usually a light hearted and fun way to congratulate the soon-to-be mom and give a gift to the baby. The cake should make a statement about the baby and what you wish for the family. There are several different types of icing to use on this type of cake. Quick Buttercream 1 pound sweet unsalted butter 1 pound icing fondant 1/2 tsp vanilla Yields 2 pounds 3 cups Use a flat beater or mixer to cream the butter. Add fondant gradually while beating. Time - about 12 minutes Cream Cheese Icing 10 oz of cream cheese 14 oz of icing fondant 7 ounces of shortening Yields 2 pounds 3 cups With a flat beater, beat cream cheese while adding icing fondant a little at a time. Mix until smooth, add shortening, mix all together until smooth and light. Time 10 to 12 minutes. Remember that your cake decoration for a baby shower will be the centerpiece for the baby shower. There are plenty of places to get ideas for making wonderful baby shower cakes on the internet, or you may want to make up your own design. In any case you can use one of these great icing recipes. Buttercream 1-2-3 3 Tblsp. Meringue Powder 1/2 cup water 3 cups of Icing Sugar 1 cup Sweet Butter 1 cup shortening Vanilla to taste. Yields 4 cups Place water, meringue powder, and sugar in a bowl. Beat with a beater until mixture makes peaks (7 to 10 minutes) Add soft butter, shortening, and vanilla Whip until fluffy and all lumps are gone Flavoring your buttercream icing. Amounts are based on flavoring one cup of icing. Nougat 2 Tbsp Hazelnut paste (melt over low heat) Mocha 1/2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 tsp water. 2 Tbsp Semi-Sweet chocolate-melted Cocoa and Oil Mix 3 Tbsp cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp veg oil into a paste. Lorran Oils - 10 to 12 drops Vanilla - 8 drops Lemon Flavor - 6 drops lemon oil and 2 Tbsp Lemon Butter Of course, you can use these recipes on any cake decorating design. The baby shower cake is usually a smaller cake with whimsical or heartwarming decorations in a baby theme. In times past, the decorations for baby shower cakes were limited, now they can be found everywhere. Craft stores usually have a variety of ready-made cake decorations for your baby shower cake. Whether you are a pro or a novice it is fun to do a baby shower cake decorating project. You can choose to buy the decorations, or make your own with icing. You can use your skills and imagination to make your baby shower cake outstanding. You will be elated when everyone compliments you on the beautiful baby shower cake.
What Tools Do I Need For Cake Decorating? When you begin cake decorating, you can get by with a heavy duty mixer, icing tips, icing bags, cake pans, ready made or recipes for homemade royal icing, mixing bowls, spatulas, and metal icing spatulas. Later on you will want to spread your wings and expand your cake decorating and baking inventory. Below are some of the items you may want to purchase. 1. Rolled Fondant Icing White Vanilla, 2 pounds - $8.88. Rolled Fondant cake icing is a premium quality, non-stick, icing that is pliable and can be rolled out for cake decorating with a rolling pin or mechanical sheeter. This Fondant produces a satiny smooth and elegant finish to any cake. This product can also be used as a modeling paste to create decorative flat or 3-D pieces for your cake decoration. This product has a mellow flavor and is delicious. It is very pliable and easy to handle . This product can be used over a thin layer of icing or a layer of powdered sugar so that it will not stick. Any cake will take on a beautiful, elegant look when Fondant is used. Different flavors of Fondant are available in various weights and flavors. 2. Buttercream Icing 3 1/2 pounds. Ready to use for cake decorating and icing. Price $8.95, 25 pounds - $46.89, 8 pounds - $16.01. 3. Hexagon Cake Pan - 16 gauge anodized aluminum, straight sides, Hemmed rim for durability, even wall thickness. Also available Cut Corner Sheet Cake Pan, Petal Cake Baking Pans, Heart Cake Pans, Square cheesecake pan with removable bottom, Oval Cake Pan Set, 10 x 2 Aluminum baking ring, Round Cake Pan Sets, Wedding Cake Pan Set. 4. Magic Line Round Cake Pans are made to suit all of your baking needs whether you are a professional or a novice at cake decorating. Set includes one 6 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch, and 14 inch pan. 5. Set of 2 round cake pans from 2 x 2 inch, to 20 x 2. Prices range from $4.84 to $34.10. 3 inch deep cake pans and pan sets at lower prices. 6. Round, fluted cake pans. 7. Non-stick angelfood cake pan. 8. 3 tier Cake and Dessert Stand - $29.29. 9. French Chef Rolling Pin - $6.99. These and many more cake decorating supplies are available at ultimatebaker. com. This site has all of the newest gadgets and tools that will help with cake decorating. This site is an excellent store for all of your cake decorating needs, whether you are a home baker or a professional cake decorator, there are so many tools at this website, you will find it hard to choose. An excellent site for those who own a cake decorating business, you will benefit from shopping here because of their reasonable prices and their large inventory. Cake decorating is becoming a large industry. Every celebration includes a cake to share with the participants. A cake decorating business can be a very profitable and fun.
A Few Cake Decorating Ideas Did you know that the first cakes baked in America where small loaves of sweet bread? Look how far we have come. Home bakers should not be intimidated by the elaborate cakes being made today. You do not need to be a pastry chef to make beautiful cakes, you just need the know-how and practice. Of course the right tools will go a long way in your cake decorating endeavors. Here are a few ideas you might like to try. Every cake worth merit starts with a smooth icing. The cake needs to cool completely before they are iced and decorated. To keep crumbs from ending up in your icing and ruining the look of your cake, start with a thin base coat of frosting that is not quite as stiff as the regular layer will be. Once this coat is on, set the cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This will set the icing and any crumbs will be caught in this first layer. Now you can spread a regular layer of icing without worrying about crumbs. Use an icing spatula to apply and smooth the second coat of icing. Once the icing is on the cake, start smoothing on the sides by running the spatula around the perimeter of the cake. One trick for smoothing the frosting is to dip the metal icing spatula in cold water, this will aid in smoothing the frosting. To smooth the top, dip the spatula in cold water and holding it horizontally over the top of the cake. Start at the point farthest from you, holding the spatula in both hands, skim the top of the icing by bringing the spatula straight toward you. Simple Designs Some cake decorators say learning to smooth the icing is the hardest part of cake decorating. Practice will make you a pro in not time. Once you have it down, show it off, even a cake without many decorations that is clean and smooth will make an perfectly elegant offering. Instead of icing, cake tops can be dusted with powdered sugar. You can choose to use a stencil for a more decorated appearance, or just the powdered sugar for a clean look. Edible decorations are a beautiful yet simple cake decorating technique. The use of sprinkles, candy, nuts, and coconut pressed into the icing before it sets, will make your cake stand out. To apply a textured look for your cake decorating, use a small cardboard comb, available in baking supply stores. Piping is achieved by using a pastry bag fitted with a metal tip that is held on by a coupler. This is your most important tool for cake decorating. You can make lines, words, shells, flowers, and many other designs on the top or sides of the cake. Fill the bag with no more than 1 cup of icing at a time, twist the top of the bag and keep steady pressure when piping the design. Use your other hand to guide the tip. It is wise to find out everything you can about piping before you begin. Fondant a smooth white paste, is used in complicated cake decorating. Fondant is kneaded and rolled to cover cakes with a sleek smooth layer of icing. It is also used to make designs that are 3-D. It is less tasty than buttercream, but the cake will look sleek and elegant.
Cake Decorating - The Wedding Cake Nearly every social event offers food in the celebration, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings, are but a few of the events where food is an important part of the celebration. This article is about the wedding cake. A wedding is a way to celebrate the union of two people who are starting a life together. People come to eat and drink and a great deal of work is put into the preparation for this day. The wedding cake is often the focal point of the event. There are times that it is considered bad luck not to have a piece of the wedding cake. There are specified rules for cutting the wedding cake that are a part of tradition. For instance, at a wedding reception, it is traditional to cut the wedding cake just before dessert is served, if the wedding reception takes place during lunch or the dinner hour. However, if the reception is held during tea or cocktails, the cake is cut just after all of the guests arrive. It is tradition for the bride and groom to cut and eat the first slice together, as a symbol of their choice to be together. The rest of the cake is sliced by the maid of honor or a family member. Choosing a wedding cake is quite a task. Tradition calls for a white cake with white frosting for weddings. In this day and age, couples are choosing their favorite flavor. This has bakeries and cake decorators striving to offer a larger selection of cakes. Chocolate, fruit, yellow, pound, and marble are some of the cakes made for modern weddings. Some wedding cakes offer a different flavor for each layer. White icing, while still ordered, has made way for a wider selection of frostings. Chocolate, mocha, lemon, and any other flavor you can imagine are used for wedding cake decorating. It is possible to customize your cake using all of your favorite flavors. How the wedding cake is decorated is a personal choice as well. You can have just about anything you can dream up put on a wedding cake including, fruit and even real edible flowers. The wedding reception is the most anticipated part of the wedding. And everyone looks forward to seeing the cake cut and sharing it with the bride and groom as a symbol of good will and a hope, that as a couple, the bride and groom will be prosperous and fertile. If you would like to become a cake decorator, there are several ways you can go about it. There are hundreds of books out there that will teach you how to decorate cakes, from the simple to the ornate. Another way to learn cake decorating, is to purchase one of the many videos or DVD's that will take you, step-by-step , through the cake decorating process. The best way to learn cake decorating is to take a class. While DVD's, videos, and books are highly popular and informative, taking a class will help you move along faster. You will be able to get immediate feedback from the teacher, and they can see where you might be going wrong and correct you before the project is ruined.
Easy Solutions To Common Cake Decorating Mistakes Below are the most common cake decorating mistakes and easy ways to rectify them. Anyone who has ever frosted a cake knows there are times when the icing will pull apart the top of the cake and cake crumbs get will into the frosting. To stop this from occurring, you should start with a crumb coat. This is the same icing that you are using to frost the cake, but it has been thinned down a bit. That way you will cover any part of the cake that might crumb with a thin layer of icing, and it will give you a base over which you will put a regular coat of icing. Take care that you do not make the icing too thin. It should be thinned down just enough to cover the cake without tearing it and picking up crumbs. After you apply the crumb coat to the cake, you need to let it set about 2 hours or more before you apply the rest of the icing. In fact it should rest in the refrigerator, and can be kept there overnight before you need to add more icing. It is okay if you see crumbs in the crumb coat, they will be stuck in this first layer of icing and will not effect the next layer of icing. The cold will set the icing and it will be a cinch to ice after that. There can be a problem with fillings spilling out the sides of the cake. There are ways to stop this from happening when your cake decorating involves a filled middle. 1. Bake your cake the day before you are planning to fill it. This will make the cake firmer and will give it time to settle. A freshly baked cake will be unstable and will not hold fillings as well as when they are settled. 2. You can also use icing to make a dam to stop the filling from spilling out. Once the dam has been made, you can frost the whole cake with a crumb coating. The cake should be set in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, this will firm up the icing and will keep the filling from oozing out the sides. The dams made of icing will firm up and keep the filling in. If you are a busy person and don't have time to bake and decorate a cake all at once, you can bake the cake and freeze it until you need to decorate it. A cake can be kept in the freezer a couple of weeks before it needs to be used. You must prepare the cake for freezing by wrapping three layers of strong cling wrap around the cake, followed by one layer of aluminum foil just prior to freezing. If you do not follow this procedure, your cake will dry out and crumble. You will also need to make sure the cake is completely thawed before attempting to ice it. You will need to allow the cake to defrost slowly, at room temperature, for one or two days until it has defrosted. Icing a cake before it has thawed will make the icing sweat and become mushy, this will ruin your cake decorating, and all your hard work will be for nothing.
Simple Cake Decorating Ideas Cake decorating is not as difficult as it seems. We look at the elaborately decorated masterpieces and feel completely intimidated. Here are a few simple ideas and hints to make your cake decorating project a winner. - Buy readymade cakes, or make your cake from a mix. - Make sure you have several pastry bags, a coupler, a flower nail, and 6 icing tips - #824 large open star, #23 small open star, #104 small rose, #125 large rose, and #109 and #129 drop flowers. - A turntable makes icing a cake much easier. A lazy susan will work. - Use decorations that are already made - fresh flowers, silk flowers, ribbons, and fruit are some of the items you can use. - Always brush fresh fruit with a glaze to seal in moisture. - Use a decorative cake plate or platter to present your cake. - Use Ganache icing. Ganache 1 pound semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk 1/4 cup sugar 4 tsp. unsalted butter Place the chocolate in a bowl. Combine cream, butter, and sugar in a pan, bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chocolate, stirring gently until it is melted. Using royal or buttercream icing, ice the cake with a thin coating, and freeze for 15 minutes. Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet. Make sure the icing is set, and place the cake on the cooling rack. Quickly pour the ganache over the top of the cake and down the sides. You can use a spatula to smooth the surface if needed. The hot ganache will melt the icing, so only smooth as necessary. Tap the rack to remove any excess ganache, this can be refrigerated for later use. Chill the cake until set, remove to a serving platter. Fruit Flan You can choose to purchase a pre-made flan, or bake one yourself. Slice your choice of assorted fruit and arrange it on the cake surface in concentric circles. Coat with apricot glaze. Serve on a decorative cake plate or platter. Apricot Glaze 12 oz. jar of apricot jam 2-3 tbsp. Water Combine jam and water in a saucepan. Bring ingredients to a boil. Strain glaze and keep in the refrigerator until needed. Heat to brush on fruit. Piping Using a pastry bag and the tip of your choice, you can create a number of cake decorations, ranging from flowers to simple borders. Basic icing recipes can be found on the internet. Work on a piece of waxed paper before you apply any icing to a cake. Edible Flowers Apply icing to your cake Decorate the cake with piping if you desire Distribute edible flowers in a decorative fashion I hope that any, or all, of these tips will help you with your cake decorating projects. My suggestion is to gather all of the tips, tricks, and ideas you can find and print them out. Put your collection in a binder and the next time you are having a problem with your cake decorating project, you will have an answer at your fingertips.