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Baking the Perfect Cake for Decoration

Apr 25, 2008
Cake decorating is one of the most interesting of the culinary arts. It combines a whole spectrum of skills, including baking, decoration, sculpture and a keen artistic sensibility to create delightful and even elaborate confectionary desserts that are beautiful to look at, and hopefully, even better to taste. Here are some of the most important steps for achieving the perfect conditions for cake decoration.

Baking the Perfect Cake for Decorating Your Dessert

You will need, of course, a good cake to work with if you want to be able to decorate your cake with any sense of ease. What kind of cake makes the best template for decoration? You want to establish the perfect template. That is, you want to make sure that you will bake the right kind of cake. What is the right kind of cake? It is smooth and golden brown. The right kind of cake has a nice and spongy surface. The right kind of cake has a springy outer crust. Hopefully, the cake will have very few crumbs and it will be level on both the bottom and top. If this is your first time baking a cake, you may want to try using a conventional cake box mix that you can buy at your local grocery store. These are easy to work with, and most of the time, if you follow directions you will find that it will give you a solid cake to work with.

Establishing the Right Conditions for Baking the Cake

There are certain conditions that you must try to establish in order to get the best kind of template for cake decoration. First, it is very important for you to let your cake cool before you begin to ice it. Some pastry chefs even like to freeze their cakes before they begin to ice and decorate it. Freezing allows the cake to become relatively solid in order to make it easier to work with and easier to decorate. However, if you don't like the idea of freezing the cake, if you don't have that kind of time or freezer space, simply make sure that you don't get to working on the cake until well after it is cooled. An hour of cooling at minimum is necessary, although you may want to wait even longer, if possible.

Shaping Your Cake into Something Beautiful

If you want, you can level and trim your cake before you begin to decorate it. Always, of course, allow your cake to cool off thoroughly. Take a knife and trim off dry crust or hard edges. If you find it necessary, work with the crown of the cake center to make sure it is level. You want to have a nice, smooth surface to work on when you apply the icing. If you want, you can choose to torte your cake. You will want to do this before you begin to apply icing or other decorations. What is torting? Torting simply refers to the process of slicing a cake into different layers. You can then alternate the icing and decorating pattern with each different layer as you go along.

Putting the Icing on Your Cake

Next, comes the part where you must apply the base icing to the cake. There are various icing recipes to choose from. It can even be confusing to the cake decorating novice, since there seem to be an infinite number of cake icings and filling and variations. In general, you will want to choose a base icing for the type of cake you are creating. The type of base icing you choose to use has to do with the type of cake you are working on. You will even want to take into account the temperature. If you are making a dessert that will be sitting outdoors, for instance, you will want to avoid butter cream icing, for instance.
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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