Learn To Decorate - Basic Decorating Lessons
MORE BASIC LESSONS FOR SHAPED 'CHARACTER' PANS |
I've taught the Wilton method in my classes for many many years- since 1975. I know some people 'pooh pooh' Wilton. But I always found that having the LESSON PLAN books helps beginners so much. Sure, I throw in a lot of my own hints, but basically, this is a good way to start. I recommend you take classes locally. You can learn so much with 'hands-on'. Ceck your local phone directory under 'Cake. ' or 'Baking. ' for a private-woned shop. These people will probably have the most experience. And they have everything to lose if you don't learn! Then practice, practice, practice. Dolores
Using Your Decorating Bag and Coupler
You can make many different designs with just one decorating bagful of icing by using the Wilton Featherweight or Disposable Decorating bags and coupler and changing decorating tips.
NOTE: Wilton Featherweight bags are the longest lasting. Be sure not to get their RUBBER bags! These are rubber and become harder and stiffer with each use. While Featherweight bags become softer and easier to use with each use.
Just follow these steps:
1. Screw ring off coupler to expose series of tiny threads 1/2 in. above coupler base.
2. Force coupler base as far down into decorating bag as it will go.Then mark where bottom thread of coupler shows through bag; remove coupler and trim bag at pencil mark with a pair of scissors.
3. Reposition coupler in bag and push end through opening to expose bottom two threads.
4. Position decorating tip over coupler and screw ring in place to secure. To change tips, unscrew ring, replace tip and replace ring.
5. To fill, cuff open end of bag over your hand and insert icing with a spatula. Fill bag no more than half full.
6. To close, unfold cuff and twist top of bag shut. Hold twist between your thumb and forefinger. Note: You can eliminate any air bubbles that may have have formed by squeezing bag gently over icing bowl until air is released.
Important: Be sure to wash the Featherweight bag in hot soapy water, then rinse and dry after every use. A degreaser can make clean-up easier.
Preheat oven to 350°F per recipe directions. *You may wish to reduce the baking temperature to more like 325°F (from Dolores). and a lot of other decorators). The cake won't be as brown and crusty at 325°F. It WILL take longer to bake. See how I 'easy' test below. Your cake will unmold easily, without sticking, when you prepare the pan properly.
Grease the inside of pan using a pastry brush and solid vegetable shortening (do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil). Spread the shortening so that all indentations are covered. Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose flour inside pan and shake so that flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn pan upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour.
If any shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening (Crisco) and flour to prevent cake from sticking. (You can use vegetable oil pan spray or vegetable oil pan spray with flour, in place of solid shortening and flour, or use our pan grease for crumb-free cakes!).
Make one 2-layer cake mix according to package or recipe directions. Pour the cake batter into pan, and if necessary, spread the batter around with a spatula to fill all areas of the pan evenly. Be careful not to touch pan sides or bottom of pan. Bake cake on middle rack of 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until cake tests done according to recipe directions.
*Another way to test for doneness, press your finger gently in the center of the cake. If the indention
(barely) springs back up, the cake is done.
Remove cake from oven and cool on cake rack for 10 minutes. While the cake is still in the pan, *carefully slice off the raised center portion of the cake. This allows the cake to sit more level and helps prevent cracking.
*Another method to level your cake is to lay a kitchen towel on the cake immediately from removing from oven. Press level very gently. If the cake is over-baked this won't work. The cake will just spring back up.
To remove cake from pan, place cooling rack against cake and turn both cake rack and pan over. Lift pan off carefully. Cool cake at least one hour. Brush loose crumbs off cake. To transfer cake to serving board, hold a cake board against cake and turn both cake and rack over. Lift off rack. Hold another board against bottom of cake and turn cake over. Be sure to hold cake, rack and board close together while turning to prevent cake from cracking.
*You will be decorating what was the BOTTOM that now is inverted and is the TOP. Flat bottoms of cakes are a lot neater to ice than rounded tops.
Using Parchment Bags
Parchment bags made from parchment paper triangles give you more versatility and the convenience of one-time use. Follow package directions. To "pipe-in" using a cut parchment bag, cut the point of the bag to desired opening.
Decorating With Sugarcraft's Buttercream Icings
Sugarcraft Frosting Mix: You will need 2-3 packages of White Buttercream Icing Mix.
To prepare, follow package directions. Each package makes about 2 cups icing. Excellent for tinting any shade required. If you're using another type of frosting mix, you will need three 15.4 oz. packages of the white buttercream type that will frost two 8 in. or 9 in. layers. For each package of frosting mix, use four less teaspoons water than package directs. Each package makes about 1 3/4 cups icing. Do not refrigerate icing before decorating. Cake may be refrigerated after it is iced.
Sugarcraft's Ready-to-Use Decorator's Icing: You will need approximately 2-3 cans of our delicious white icing. Each 16.5 oz. can holds about 2 cups. It's ideal for all of your decorating needs –frosting, decorating and flower making.
Making Buttercream Icing
The thick, but creamy texture of this flavorful icing makes it ideal for decorating*. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. YIELD: 3 CUPS.
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk (or more)
Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. *To thin for icing cake, add a small amount of light corn syrup.
Practice Icing for Roses:
Use decorating bag and coupler as directed in this booklet. Practice each of the following techniques on the back of a cookie sheet with white icing. The practice decorations can be scraped off the cookie sheet back into the mixing bowl and rewhipped for use again. To hold bag while decorating, curl fingers around bag with the end twist locked between your thumb and index finger. This forces the icing down into the tip each time you squeeze. Apply an even pressure with all four fingers and icing will come out of the tip until you stop squeezing. As you decorate, periodically twist the bag down further, forcing the icing down into the tip. Use fingers of other hand to