Icing Help Needed Questions On All Types! Please Advise

Decorating By mmljztaa7 Updated 23 Oct 2008 , 2:40pm by MissBaritone

mmljztaa7 Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 12:24pm
post #1 of 6

Hi,
I'm melanie and new to the forum and a uk member! i have been looking at the forums and have enjoyed reading them a few of the terms i haven't quite understood but i hope to learn the lingo quickly.
I used to make cakes 14 years ago and i am no professional baker( but i am a trained chef) just a mum with a passion to please her's (my 6 boys icon_surprised.gif ) and friends kids lol, and i am loving all these new gadgets and tools which make life even easier for me however it seems even the basic things i am struggling with so here goes : icon_redface.gif

1. i made my 8 year old son(today) a snake cake on a 10" round sponge,filled it with jam and buttercream and covered with sugar paste, i made the snake out of coloured sugarpaste last night and placed it on the cake however i am disappointed to see the snake look like he is drying out, i didn't use any additional icing sugar when rolling the icing to make the snake even to prevent sticking when so wondered if after making sugarpaste models do you put anything on them to give them a more glossy finish and prevent the drying out look??? icon_confused.gif

2. arhhhh icing and writing with it, this was a major stress point for me, first i mixed the icing and wrote on the cake but then letters like the a and k ran abit and so it didn't look so good, so i then tried to make it a bit thicker but then it was hard to pipe with as it kept breaking is there a recipe/guide on how much icing sugar to liquid to use to write with??? and so i had to in the end cut out letters in some coloured sugar paste and put his name on that way. icon_cry.gif

3. I used suagr paste to cover the cake if i wanted to decorate round the edges and borders whats the best icing to use, will royal not be too hard in texture compared to the softness of the overall cake covered with sugarpaste but there again is butter cream to soft and will easliy splodge if touched? icon_confused.gif

4.Luckily for me he is so pleased with the cake but in all honesty the difficulty i am having with the icing has made me lose all confidence in my albilities and i feel like a athelete so long out of training, everything seems to have progressed and iv'e lost my confidence. icon_sad.gificon_cry.gif
i can bake cakes, i can make models, but to finish it off to a better standard without knowing the icing recipes seems mind bogling and frustrating , can anyone help me and share their knowledge
please!!! thumbs_up.gif

5 replies
peg818 Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 7:18pm
post #2 of 6

I see you said you are from the UK, there i think its more common to use fondant with royal icing accents. Here in the US its more common to have a nice soft butter cream, on a nice soft cake, with most of the decorating being done in butter cream.

Sorry i don't think that really helps you.

But i'm more from the point of view what ever works for you, At my house they love the sweet american buttercream, which is just a shortening/butter/ powdered sugar and flavoring. Might not be what is appealing to your family and friends, try some different recipes until you find what works for you.

Good luck

KrissieCakes Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 7:51pm
post #3 of 6

I'm no expert either, but I've found that keeping a fondant covered cake covered keeps it soft and shiney...but I usually want some of the decorations to harden a bit, so I usually leave it out and it all dries! I've never tried it, but it seems like MMF stays shiney for people...it looks like it in pictures I've seen on here.

As fo the writing, I've found the buttercream dream recipe on here to be the best for me. It's pretty soft for piping, but then it crusts over so it doesn't smoosh as easily. Also it doesn't get really hard like royal.

Hope that helps a little! I've just been learning by trial and error. Well, and a lot from these forums too!

mmljztaa7 Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 1:55pm
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by peg818

I see you said you are from the UK, there i think its more common to use fondant with royal icing accents. Here in the US its more common to have a nice soft butter cream, on a nice soft cake, with most of the decorating being done in butter cream.

Sorry i don't think that really helps you.

But i'm more from the point of view what ever works for you, At my house they love the sweet american buttercream, which is just a shortening/butter/ powdered sugar and flavoring. Might not be what is appealing to your family and friends, try some different recipes until you find what works for you.

Good luck




hi yes it is more common to use fondent/sugarpaste with royal icing and to be honest i thought that was the only way , i never considered using buttercream did'nt think i could/should? lol now i know i can it will make my life so much easier using buttercream.
I must admit i can confused by some of them terms used in the usa like shortening?? whats this and powdered sugar do you mean icing sugar??

for our buttercream in england we use butter and icing sugar with flavouring or chocolate fudge icing which is melted chocolate,beaten egg,butter and icing sugar and variations on that one like walnut, rum,orange and the only time we use glace is for kids bun cakes really.

birthday sponge cakes etc use buttercream and jam inside or the chocolate fudge without the jam

so thanx i never considered piping/writing with buttercream thumbs_up.gif

mmljztaa7 Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 2:00pm
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrissieCakes

I'm no expert either, but I've found that keeping a fondant covered cake covered keeps it soft and shiney...but I usually want some of the decorations to harden a bit, so I usually leave it out and it all dries! I've never tried it, but it seems like MMF stays shiney for people...it looks like it in pictures I've seen on here.

As fo the writing, I've found the buttercream dream recipe on here to be the best for me. It's pretty soft for piping, but then it crusts over so it doesn't smoosh as easily. Also it doesn't get really hard like royal.

Hope that helps a little! I've just been learning by trial and error. Well, and a lot from these forums too!




thanx for the tip on using buttercream to write with, iv'e just got back into cakes and as well as birthday cakes i have been making loads of lardy cakes and many of the old english cakes and puds.

MissBaritone Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 2:40pm
post #6 of 6

A little glycerine and water mixed together and brushed over your sugarpaste will keep it shiny.

Shortening is a form of fat. Try using something like white flora or trex.
Powdered sugar is icing sugar

If you want to use royal for icing you need to add a little more sugar so you get a tiff peak that just bends when you lift it with a spoon. I often just add a few drops of water to the fondant and mush it in well till I get a piping consistency

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