GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 24 Mar 2005 , 11:15pm
post #1 of

This is how I make my cake smooth.

Picture 1: First I boil water. While the water is boiling I make my icing.

Picture 2: using an icer tip, I lay out my icing.

Picture 3 and 4: I pull a spatula from the water and shake hard once, I then smooth my icing only going in one direction. I turn the cake as I need to.

If I'm decorating a round cake, I use a turn table.

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31 replies
GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 24 Mar 2005 , 11:26pm
post #2 of

Picture 1 and 2: Continue smoothing tops and sides in this manner switching spatulas every couple of swipes.

This whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

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ChefMindi Posted 24 Mar 2005 , 11:36pm
post #3 of

This was very helpful! Thank you, I always have trouble icing my cakes.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 24 Mar 2005 , 11:37pm
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While I allow the icing to crust, I wash my spatulas and other items and clean my workstation. By the time I am done doing that, my cake is ready for the final step.

With my icing crusted, I cover it with a smooth cloth or paper towel.

Important note: Whatever flaws, embossing or anything that is on the cloth, it will be picked up on your cake!!! Remember, this is just a sample. The cloth I'm using here will leave marks! It must be smooth.

I now smooth out my icing using a flat edge (I have also done this with a firm piece of cardboard).

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You can view any of my cakes to see the final results. This method also removes air bubbles in your icing.

http://community.webshots.com/user/cali4dawn

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 24 Mar 2005 , 11:43pm
post #5 of

Sample of smoothing with a cloth (also shows how sharp you can get your edges with this method):

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Sample of smoothing with a paper towel for texture:

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This entire process including washing dishes takes 15-20 minutes. Yours may take longer if your icing is slow to crust. You can do the hot knifing without a crusting recipe and I even do the hot knifing without the aid of the cloth (on a perfect day). But you must use a crusting recipe to do the cloth method.

tcturtleshell Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 6:11am
post #6 of

Hey Dawn!
THANK YOU FOR THE TUTORIAL!!!!! I have been doing it the way you've shown. I think my spatual has had too much water on it or it's the humidity causing my cakes to NOT crust. I was thinking I was putting too much icing on the cake but seeing this I know I'm not. I will use the cardboard technique too! I still don't see how you get the papertowel indented in the icing. That is really cool!!

Have you brought your boys back yet? I bet your pooped!! What about the class you were planning for? How did it go? Email me ok~ Thanks again for the pictures! ~Tina~

flayvurdfun Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 6:20am
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Wow that was helpful....I kind of do things that way, but I notice that in places icing gets picked up causing me to scream! icon_cry.gif I know I probably need to wait more. We'll see on the next cake.

tcturtleshell Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 6:27am
post #8 of

You will get it down Flavy!! I know you will~~

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 8:46am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcturtleshell

Hey Dawn!
I was thinking I was putting too much icing on the cake but seeing this I know I'm not.




No, as you can see I take back off about half of what I put on. And if you really look at the pictures, you can "see" that I'm really pressing down on the spatula (you can see a slight bend in it).... I'm not afraid to press that icing into the cake. When I'm done, I have about 1/4" thickness on the cake. When I remove the icing (if there are no crumbs) it goes back in to the usable pot. That with crumbs goes into a storage bowl for the next cake's filling.

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I will use the cardboard technique too! I still don't see how you get the paper towel indented in the icing. That is really cool!!




This comes from the indented raised print in the paper towel. Whatever is embossed on to the paper towel will show up on the cake. You even have to decide which side of the paper towel you want to use. One side will produce a raised effect, the other will give you a recessed effect. A smooth paper towel will give you a smooth look. Here is an example where I used a swirly pattern that I felt enhanced the cake's character:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/101912607/229945456nEKpJx

[quote]Have you brought your boys back yet? I bet your pooped!! What about the class you were planning for? How did it go? Thanks again for the pictures!

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The boys left Sunday. I had a plumber at my house all day Sunday icon_confused.gif and now all the hot water pipes in my house are being replaced... so I have holes in my walls and just a huge mess in my entire house.

My class is this Saturday. I think it's going to rock... I feel really good about it. It's going to be videotaped... so I hope it's good since we'll have the results for posterity!! icon_redface.gif


GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 8:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by flayvurdfun

Wow that was helpful....I kind of do things that way, but I notice that in places icing gets picked up causing me to scream! icon_cry.gif I know I probably need to wait more. We'll see on the next cake.




Do you mean while using the spatula or the cloth?

Spatula: You are going backward. Even a hint (not enough to even notice) will pick up the icing as you back swipe. I had a student tell me she was not going backward, but she was, ever so slightly. As soon as she stopped doing this she had success.

Cloth: It's not crusted completely. All is not lost. Walk away and let it re-crust. I've had that happen. Let it sit on your counter an hour or so (leave it longer than you think it will take or you have to keep starting over) and re-swipe with the cloth and straight edge. It will work better and automatically repair your damage.

This is why we always decorate a day in advance...so we have time to deal with a temperamental cake and WE remain in control... not the cake.

msmeg Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 8:45pm

Well dang it! I have been working WAY to hard ! never though of multiple knives. Nor do I use the icing tip Glad I found this site

guess I need to print this thread and put in a notebook! icon_biggrin.gif

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 25 Mar 2005 , 9:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmeg

Well dang it! I have been working WAY to hard ! never though of multiple knives. Nor do I use the icing tip Glad I found this site

guess I need to print this thread and put in a notebook! icon_biggrin.gif




I never use that many knives- well, almost never... but I own them and figure it won't hurt to be prepared.

tcturtleshell Posted 26 Mar 2005 , 5:16am

Gosh, Dawn I hate to hear about your pipes!! Will everything be fixed before Easter? I sure hope so! I hate having someone working in my house. I love the paper towel effect! I will be so happy to finish this wedding cake so I can start practicing on all these cool techniques you & everyone has shared!! Thanks for your tutorials!!!

If I don't talk to you before Easter.. HAPPY EASTER!!!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 26 Mar 2005 , 5:41am

I think the embossed diamond pattern might look nice on the sides of certain wedding cakes.

tcturtleshell Posted 27 Mar 2005 , 4:27am

I bet it would too. I'll have to try it! Happy Easter~

Mchelle Posted 27 Mar 2005 , 4:30am

Clai4dawn, I tried the cupcake cake and it turned out wonderful on my first try! Thanks to all your helpful hints and tutorials. I have never iced a cake the the icing tip before. WOW! What an idiot I was. I was making it a lot harder on myself. Once I piped the icing in the rows it was almost perfect. I put the spatula over a hot flame and smoothed the top. Worked like a charm! I didn't even need a pot of water.

Have you ever tried that before. I'm not sure if it will do anything to the icing. Of course, I don't want it hard when some one bites into it. We will see tomorrow. I made them foe Easter and we will see if the kids give them a thumbs up.

BTW, your buttercream recipe is wonderful. It was sooo smooth. There were no airbubbles! icon_surprised.gif Wonderful, I have never had the icing have no airbubbles.

Thank you soooo much.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 27 Mar 2005 , 10:56am

Sounds great! I'm so glad it all went well for you!!

I use the boiling water because it cleans the knife in between swipes. I also have an electric stove (yuck!!) so the only thing flaming in my kitchen is me!! hahahahaha

tcturtleshell Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 5:37am

Mchelle~ I was wondering if you ever had smoke smudges on your cake when you heat the spatula up like that? I would figure you would. If not that's a great tip! I thought of using an electric heating pad... putting the spatula's in between both ends of the pad... silly I know but it just might work LOL!!

AngelWendy Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 6:17am

I also recommend smoothing with a piece of parchment paper instead of paper towel. That gets it incredibly smooth! Just lay it over the cake and smooth it with your hand flat. You still have to use the crusting frosting and let it crust over first. I've been using the hot wet spatula idea, too, but I have to keep stopping to rinse it off. It still helps so much, though! The boiling water with two spatulas is a great idea! I just got the icing tip and can't wait to try that out, too! icon_smile.gif

Thanks for the photo tuturial and explanation! Very helpful!
~AngelWendy

flayvurdfun Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 6:58am

I've tried parchment paper too and it still doesnt smoothe! icon_mad.gificon_cry.gif
I am at my wits end...like I said in another post I cant smooth at all its seems, and I am discouraged quickly. If the smoothing doesnt turn out then my confidence isnt smooth either icon_redface.gif

AngelWendy Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 7:04am

Hmm.. make sure you're using a crusting buttercream and that you wait long enough for it to really crust - like 30 minutes or maybe 45. Gently touch it on the side with a finger and see if it feels crusted before you try to do the additional smoothing with the paper towel or parchment. I also find it will crust better in the fridge. Are you using the cake icing tip? That supposedly helps a lot. Also, make sure you add far more icing than you need on the cake because you take about 1/3 to 1/2 off in the smoothing process.

If you can't get it smooth, try to cover the bumpier parts with decoration on top - like basketweave which covers a multitude of sins, apparently.. or stars or extra roses. icon_smile.gif

Best of luck!
~AngelWendy

flayvurdfun Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 7:20am

HEY that may be my problem...I am so worried about messing up the cake that I dont touch hard enough...... icon_surprised.gificon_confused.gificon_eek.gificon_surprised.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_razz.gif

Mchelle Posted 28 Mar 2005 , 9:03pm

tcturtleshell.... it turned out fine, no brown spots or anything. I held the knife above the flame (not too close). I hope this will work fine from now on (keeping my fingers crossed) icon_razz.gif and maybe I can actually get all my cakes smooth. icon_biggrin.gif

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 29 Mar 2005 , 1:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by flayvurdfun

HEY that may be my problem...I am so worried about messing up the cake that I don't touch hard enough...... icon_surprised.gificon_confused.gificon_eek.gificon_surprised.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_razz.gif




Look at the spatula in my picture- it's bending... don't be afraid to push hard. I push hard enough that it bends.

tcturtleshell Posted 29 Mar 2005 , 4:18pm

Flav~

If your BC isn't getting crusty enough maybe you should add some meringue powder. I haven't been using it because I don't like paying the price! But I am going to add it to the wedding cakes icing. It's just so humid in LA. that my icing isn't crusting enough. Also, make sure you back away & leave it alone for at least 30 min or mor for me!

Calm down.... you'll figure it out!!!! If I can anyone can!!!!

tanyascakes Posted 29 Mar 2005 , 6:21pm

Hey, Cali. I was just wondering if your paper towels are wet or dry when you do this? In the pic(it may just be my eyes) the towels look wet. I am likely confused though. Thanks!
~Tanya

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 30 Mar 2005 , 6:49pm

No, dry- right off the roll. It may be the lighting.

juniper Posted 1 Apr 2005 , 12:43pm

well cali4dawn's tutorial worked for me. now i'm confident of doing more cakes. thanks cali4 dawn.

Zabrip Posted 1 Apr 2005 , 9:30pm

I also tried this method and it works awesome! I dont use the papertowel because my buttercream dosent crust, but the hot spatula does the trick. I've been using the icing tip for a while and I love it!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 1 Apr 2005 , 11:53pm

Great!!! I'm so glad it worked well for you!!

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