Baking Tips

Fabulous finishing touches

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Nothing sets of a baking project like an imaginative finishing touch or two. Decorating is also a great way to stamp your personality on a cake.

Here are some tips for you:

  • A turntable is a must for icing but you’ll find one really useful for any cake decorating project.
  • The trick to smooth crumb free icing is to add 3-4 tablespoons of light corn syrup to make spreading easier. Then glide your spatula over the icing, never allowing it to touch the cake surface or pull already spread icing from the surface.
  • When piping a cake, angle the bag at 45° to the horizontal for writing and borders and at 90° for stars or flat petal flowers.
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of light corn syrup to each cup of icing to help stop delicate piping work such as writing from breaking.
  • Obtain some interesting effects by painting the inside of a piping bag with stripes of icing colour before filling the bag with white or pastel-coloured icing. It works like striped toothpaste!
  • Pre tinted, ready made fondants can be bought in a variety of shades, or you can colour your own.
  • Fondant cut outs and moulds are readily available in all sorts of interesting shapes and sizes, including letters and numbers.
  • A good lolly shop will provide plenty of inspiration for decorating kids’ cakes.
  • Sliced Mars bars, crushed Maltesers (freeze them first) or grated chocolate make delicious toppings on cakes and cupcakes.
  • Have some fun with cupcakes using a specialist decorating tip to ‘inject’ jam or chocolate sauce into them.

And don’t forget, video sites like YouTube are packed with how-to guides to imaginative cake decorating.