Frost Much Froster?

February 17, 2009

FROSTING

To frost you NEED an offset spatula.

Pick a frosting that spreads well, but also sets. The swiss meringue buttercream is the perfect frosting because it (1) tastes light and airy (2) not too sweet so it is palatable in large quantities (3) spreads incredibly easily (4) sets when cooled to provide support.

Have a bowl of hot water on the side. Whenever your frosting gets too hard, dip your offset spatula into the hot water and then go back to frosting. The frosting will melt a little bit due to the hot water and the frosting will be easy to spread once again. It is also optimal if you want to frost with a smooth and glossy finish.

We did 2 coats for each Tier:

The first was a crumb coat that trapped all the crumbs between the cake and this layer. Don't worry if it looks ugly. The idea is that the frosting will set with the crumbs, so there won't be in the final coat. It is a tabula rasa.

My friend Ariana was the frosting guru. She interned at a bakery. It is very hard to articulate the technique, but the main take away is that you want to put on a disgusting amount of frosting on the cake. The idea is that you can take it off, but do not want to put more on. In terms of stroke you want to push from the center. The spatula should never push further than the edge of frosting. It should never touch the cake. It should not kick up crumbs.

Actions speak louder than words. Please see the following videos:

Frosting the top of cake from katie kwan on Vimeo.

The second coat is the final coat. NO crumbs here. If part of your frosting get contaminated with crumbs, amputate!



Level cake from katie kwan on Vimeo.

BEADING

Marilyn from Have Your Cake showed me how to make beads to line bottom of the tiers. This covers up the awkward space between the tiers and any cake board that might be showing.

You can use a piping bag or a piece of parchment paper shaped into a cone. You also need a frosting tip (that metal thing). Mine was a size 2-4 and plain - round. This will make small beads.



Beading is tough so practice many times.

Fill the pastry bag 1/3 full. Any more and your hand will cramp and piping will be difficult. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the pastry bag. Do a test on a plate to make sure everything is working. If the frosting is cold warm it up with your hands.

To make a bead, angle your bag at a 45 degree angle and pipe from the side. Squeeze to start the bead and when you have reached the desired size pull away from the bead, in the same direction as you piping bag. You will end up with a sideways teardrop. Not to worry. The next teardrop will be close enough to squash the point part of the bead, and it will turn into a nice sphere.

I can only advise practice. And coming in at an angle.

The last bead in a circle will be hard because you can come in from the side anymore. Come in from the top. Then take a wet finger and pat down the pointy part of the teardrop.

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