I have been decorating cakes for almost 25 years now, but only in the last year have "gone public" and opened a shop. Business has surpassed my expectations and is going really well. I hired an assistant who is a young lady who graduated from a local college with a degree in pastry arts. She is very talented and has proved to be a GREAT asset to my business. Basically she has taken over doing almost all of the baking and icing of the cakes, leaving most of the decorating to me.
Her technique for icing the cakes is the bag method (LARGE straight tip that is used to pipe the icing directly onto the cake - not spatula) and she puts it on there at least 1/2" thick. On several occasions the icing has separated from the cake. In the past when I ice my own cakes, I always put a crumb frosting on there first - but then I used the spatula method. Her way works most of the time - but just wondered if anyone out there could offer their expertise and best way to ice a cake... and explain why the icing is separating away from the cake like that? Thank God we have caught it in time - before the customer came to pick up the cake and we were able to repair it. Help anyone?????????????
I tried the tip only once myself and had the same kind of problem this is the recommendations I got from some very helpful ladies (they all say basically the same thing but I though I'd add them all anyway):
"Just remember to let it touch the surface of the cake a bit & then don't be afraid to press firmly when smoothing with you spatula. The icer tip will put out a generous amount of icing onto you cake, so you can press firmly (removing quite a bit of icing off the cake) & you will still have a good amount of icing left on the cake when you're done."
"After I apply the frosting with the icer tip I spread it with a large spatula. I use a fair amount of pressure, pushing the frosting against the cake. When the frosting is spread nicely and adhering to the sides I use the Viva method of smoothing it."
"My instructor told us with the icing tip you almost have to hold the teeth right against the cake when you apply the icing. We were not taught to use a crumb coat at all, but just to apply the icing very thick so when you try to smooth it, you don't have to worry about the crumbs. Also, always remember to touch icing to icing, never touch the bare cake with your spatula. If the icing lifts a little, stick it back onto the cake and clean your spatula and try again, icing to icing only. We were told the key was to keep our spatula clean. "