I am an uber recreational cupcake baker looking for a couple of helpful tips.
I like the look of a 1M swirl, but rounded, such as the 1A tip. Is the technique the same for both? Do you swirl from the outside in, or dollop in the middle and work around it? Obviously, practice makes perfect, but I just want some other's opinions, too!
What is the best type of icing to use? I have, in the past, only used canned frosting. I want to try making my own to get a better consistency that won't limp and fall flat. Do I want one that will crust, or will Wilton's buttercream work fine?
Lastly, when using dairy in the icing, does it have to be refrigerated afterwards? Since I've never used homemade icing, I have no idea! I want to be clear on refrigeration rules before I try it. For example, if I make cupcakes with a buttercream frosting, after they are decorated do they have to be refrigerated before serving? Is there an icing that works well with the swirl I am after that doesn't have to be refrigerated?
I am fairly new also, but I believe I can help. For the swirl - if you start from the outside, you get a swirl with a peak at the center. If you start from the inside, you get a rose type swirl like is used on cupcake bouqets (look at my pics for example). Either way is acceptable, just depends on the result you want.
To tell the honest truth about frosting, I have gotten lazy and have bought the Wilton Decorator Frosting in the big tub. I find that if you add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp butter flavor, it tastes pretty good and the texture is consistent from batch to batch. If you want to make your own, use the Wilton Buttercream (or add meringue powder to your favorite recipe)
If you make your own frosting, use water instead of milk and it will not have to be refrigerated (unless making cream cheese frosting).
Hope this helps a little, and I am sure you will get better answers from more experienced bakers, but this is what I do.
welcome to cake central!
As far as the best icing, well that'll be an adventure in coming to your own personal conclusion. Put down that canned icing and explore! Crusting and non-crusting, both versions can produce beautiful swirls. Wilton's buttercream is a great example of a crusting buttercream: fat + powdered sugar + a little liquid. When you're ready to branch out, try some meringue based buttercreams and ganache.
There are many ways and many icings. I like Italian Meringue Buttercream. Besides the 1M swirl either from the outside or from the inside, there's also a 2D tip that can make it really pretty.
Here are some tips from a few bloggers: