I'm a newbie to piping and would like to make round nice pearls for the border of a cake. But I can't get them round - I get stiff peak so they look like spikes....
Is my icing to stiff or what am i doing wrong?
Any place on line I can learn more about piping, any good tutorials for ex?
Have you been to Wilton.com? They have some great little tutorials for piping different things. You could also check youtube.com for vidoes.
The little points on the dots is from when you pull away. The icing likes to come with the tip a little. If you have a large dot you may still be piping when you pull way. When making dots hold your tip in one please, pipe, litting the icing build away from the tip, then stop piping. Before you pull away, move the top in a c motion. By moving your tip in that circular motion it will seperate the icing and tip and you shouldn't have a point.
You can also tamp down the little points with your finger dipped in corn starch.
When working with royal icing, you should be able to comforatbly pipe it with it straining your hand. If it is hard to pipe it may be too stiff. If that is the case then add water a drop at a time until it is a consistancy that you can pipe better with.
For pearl boards I usually use fondant though. I roll fondant out using the spacer rings on the rolling pin, so it is an even thickness. Then you can use the large end of your icing tips or round cookie cutters depending on how big you want them. Take the fondant and roll it in a ball using the palms of your hands. You can use them fresh or dried out. You can also put them in a cup with a little pearl dust and shake them around and give them the irredecent pearl look.
By rolling it out an even thickness and by using the same thing to cut them, you will have pearls that are the same size.
Stop squeezing before you pull the tip away from your ball that should help with the peaks, if you still get peaks then just use a small paint brush dipped into some corn starch to flatten the peaks...
If your icing is really hard to squeeze out of the bag then it is too stiff just add a few drops of water to it ...
Oh TexasSugar... you should invest in a pearl border mold... MUCH easier than rolling all those little balls.
To the OP... you shouldn't be pulling up and away when piping a bead border, you should be pulling to the side. Lay your tip against the board and pipe with even pressure until your bead is the size you want (your tip should be almost as big as your desired bead) then stop piping and pull to the side (whatever hand you use you would pull in that direction, for me it's to the right) then start your next beadover the "spike" of the bead you just finished. The only bead you will see the end of is the last bead and that should be at the back of your cake. The method that TexasSugar outlined is great for when you are piping beads that aren't touching like swiss dots and such.
Jeanne, I don't do them too often so I'm not sure how much use I'd get with a mold. They do go pretty fast though once you get started.
I didn't think about doing the bead border, I was thinking dots. That would be a good way of not having the little points.
Thank you all for great advice - I see what I did wrong now - pulled away to quickly and upwards. Alos need to use a bigger tip I think.
I also use the mold for fondant pearls but since i usually work only with fondant and gumpaste I'm trying to learn some nice piping to complement my designs with. But to be honest I'm terrified of piping and has been staying away from it until now