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Steps to Creating the Perfect Foundation for Cake Decorating

Mar 8, 2008
Cake decorating can be fun both as a hobby as high culinary art. But cake decorating can be frustrating business if you don't have the perfect foundation to work on. Here is a brief overview creating the perfect cake and foundation for your cake decorating experience.

Bake Your Cake for the Right Kind of Foundation

Before you can get down to the business of cake decorating you will need, of course, a good cake to work with. What is the perfect kind of foundation to work with? First, you will need to bake the right kind of cake. The right kind of cakes is smooth, golden brown and has a nice spongy surface and a springy outer crust. The right kind of foundation has very few crumbs and is level on both top and bottom. If you are new to cake decorating, try baking your cake from a box cake mix and follow the directions. It is an easy way to ensure that you get a good foundation.

Waiting for the Cake to Cool

One of the most important fundamentals of cake decorating is to always let your cake cool before you get out the icing. Some bakers even opt to freeze their cakes before they begin the process of decoration. At the very least, let your cake thoroughly cool off before you get decorating. This means that you should wait an hour at the very least. Decorating the cake while it is still warm can easily result in breakage and uneven application.

Leveling and Trimming Your Cake

Many bakers choose to level and trim their cakes before they begin to decorate. After the cake has thoroughly cooled off, take a knife and trim off dry edges. If necessary, level off the crown of the cake center. This way, you have a nice, smooth surface to work on. You can also choose to torte your cake before decoration takes place. Torting simply refers to the process of taking a layer of the cake and slicing it into different layers that you can then alternate the icing and decorating pattern with each different layer.

Apply a Base Icing to the Cake

The next step is to apply a base icing to the cake. There are so many different icing recipes and options out there - it can be quite confusing to the cake decorating novice. Generally speaking, it is best to choose a base icing that is appropriate for the type of cake you are making. The type of base icing you use will have to do with the type of cake you are making, the melding of flavors, the event and even the weather. Butter cream is a classic base icing, but it melts easily in humid or warm conditions. Fondant icing, on the other hand, does not melt easily. It is a mixture of gelatin, corn syrup and sugar, and makes a good choice for summer or outdoor events.

Applying Decorative Touches to Your Iced Cake

After you have smoothed on the base icing to your cooled cake, it is time to have fun with cake decorating. There are so many different options and design in cake decoration. In general however, most cake decorating begins by completing the bottom borders or lines first. After the bottom border has been established, you can move on to string work or swags. Then you can apply top borders, which may include flowers or other decorative flourishes. The last bit of cake decorating is usually the writing, if there is any writing, on the cake. Keep in mind that elegant cake decorating does not need to include complicated scrollwork or borders. A simple sprinkling of sugar or fruit can make a cake come alive.
About the Author
Josephine Gauttier is the author of the popular eBook "The Art of Cake Decorating". You can find more information about cake decorating at http://www.artofcakedecorating.com
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