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The options are very wide. You are not telling us what kind of cake you have in mind, so I'll be making a few assumptions here. But once you start thinking outside the box that equals "birthday cake" with "cake with different colours of icing", a whole world of options opens up. Birthday cakes need not be (multi-)coloured. A one-tone cake that plays with ...


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If you're just practicing piping, you can just pipe onto parchment paper (or a clean counter) and then scrape it off with a spatula and save the frosting. That way you can actually practice with the frosting you'll be using and not be thrown off by different textures and consistencies. ETA: This is what we've actually done in a few bakeries where I've ...


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There are a few different methods to achieve this. The end goal is to get layers of different colored frosting in rings in your piping bag. The method I ended up preferring uses a piece of cling film/plastic wrap along with your piping bag and tip. This method also makes it easy to have colors change as you progress. Start by cutting off a square piece of ...


16

Since it's last-minute, I'm guessing it'll be tough to work out natural colorings, so I'd avoid doing color-based decorations altogether. You can use chocolate chips or shavings, nuts, fruit (fresh or dried), crumbled cookies, or anything else you like as toppings. I think even just an even coating of chopped nuts looks pretty good, but you can get pretty ...


11

Long story short: It's the acid, and any acid will do. Food colourings are a type of dye known as an acid dye. Their effectiveness relies on hydrogen bonding which only works in an acidic environment. It's not that the vinegar does anything special - not exactly. Rather, adding a few drops of food colouring to a large amount of water would give you ...


11

What you are seeking are natural food dyes (or natural food colorings). These are commercially available and you may find them at a local health or natural foods store or even a quality grocers. They can be homemade, if you have the time and can get the ingredients. Examples of their effects in buttercream: (from Nourishing Joy) Be careful not to end ...


10

Option 1: Canned frosting is a lot cheaper than making your own. It doesn't taste as good, but that doesn't really matter if you just use it to practice. Option 2: Make a batch of very simple buttercream frosting to practice with. After each practice session, scrape it off, and freeze. Defrost it before every use (it may need to be whipped for a couple of ...


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No personal experience but: Cake making site recommends making your buttercream with crisco instead of butter. It's cheaper but it's not going to taste good at all. It can also be reused and stored repeatedly. A recipe - Source: Cake Central Forums: 1 cup vegetable shortening 2 to 4 Tbsp water 1 lb confectioner's sugar 1 Tbsp meringue powder Beat for ...


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Basically, there are two options: Use a stencil. This means, your design can be only slightly raised (or not at all), because the sugar will create a 3D illusion. There are plenty of examples online, here is one from Martha Stewart (in honour of upcoming St. Patricks Day). This can be done befor baking or afterwards by sugaring an image stenciled with ...


8

Brushing a cake with simple syrup before frosting is done to prevent the cake from drying out too quickly, and sometimes to add flavour (if a flavoured syrup is used instead of just water+sugar).


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Garnishes should always be edible - there may be laws depending where you are, but in general anything on your plate should be edible or very obviously not meant to be eaten (like a skewer or a paper wrapper). Depending on the specific case, it might not necessarily be meant to be eaten, though. The defining characteristic is the appearance. Springs of ...


7

You can make some pretty delicate cages using pastry, which is (or can be) pretty neutral in flavor. An example is posted on a foodie blog post about a dinner they had at the restaurant L'Heritage in Kuala Lampur. Slow-braised Black Angus ribs with sweetbread & morels in a choux pastry cage. Images for "choux pastry cage" are pretty easy to find ...


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Roll the bacon into its spiral and set it on end in a muffin tin to bake. You can use the toothpicks as "spacers" to keep the edges apart, and then easily pull them out the side once everything is baked. (Depending on how tight and broad you want the spiral to be, you may need to use a mini-muffin pan instead.) You may also want to add a light coating of ...


6

When I've seen them used, they first frosted the cake, smoothed it out, then placeed the rice paper on top. My understanding is that the moisture in the frosting can end up melting the rice paper, so that it basically disappears into the frosting, with the ink effectively transfering into the frosting. As I've never done it myself, I have no idea if there ...


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You can press cotton candy into a thin sheet that resembles paper or cloth. Put the candy between two pieces of parchment, flatten it with your hands and cut into shape. Consider that the sail may be delicate or very delicate, depending on how thick you make it. To attach it to the mast use caramel, isomalt, couverture, marzipan ... El Bulli used to serve '...


6

Takes very little turmeric to give a bright yellow colour - not enough to have a noticeable taste, especially if you use flavouring. Got any beets around? They give a lovely magenta red colour to food. Diluting would give a pale pink. Mashing fresh peppermint leaves will give a green juice but since you couldn't use much without thinning down the icing, it ...


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For the frame, I would suggest baking a cake, brownies, gingerbread or even cookie dough in a baking sheet (so it's one big, quite thin piece). But put the temperature of the oven lower than if you would use a regular baking mold. You could also use a piece of styrofoam/polystyrene*, covered with tin foil. Then you can use tooth picks to hold everything in ...


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Meringue is a protein-based foam. The proteins form a semi-stable mesh with air bubbles trapped inside. The reason they are semi-stable is that they unravel a bit and hook into each other, Velcro-style. When you introduce fat, it lubricates and smooths the unraveled proteins, so they lose their hooking ability. If the fat is introduced before the eggwhites ...


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I was composing as @Melissa was responding... here's some more detail to append to my comment above. Sucrose is a disaccharide consisting of fructose and glucose. When boiled with water, it forms a syrup. When this syrup cools, depending on the relative concentrations of sugar and water, different properties will result (e.g., liquid, thread, firmball, ...


5

These figures are probably made with fondant. I think the figures are handshaped. There are plenty of tutorials. You can even look for tutorials working with modelling clay. Basically you only need a rolling pin, a knife and tweezers. Cans, forks, any food-safe utensil that has an interesting pattern are useful. Of course there are special molds for ...


5

I wonder if you could modify a recipe for cheese crisps. The recipes I'm familiar with involve heating cheese through the melted stage and to a crispy crusty stage. It's usually done in disks or puddles, though the appearance is often airy or holed - from the bubbling of the cheese as it dries and sets, much like the lacy, caramelized cookies (Florentine, ...


4

The crusting is important so that any flowers or other intricate decorations will fix their shape and not slump when left out in warmer temperatures. (you don't want to refrigerate iced cakes, as when you remove them from the fridge, you'll get condensation). An icing that crusts quickly means that you can use an icing that's not quite as stiff for your ...


4

If you use the buttercream option, let the icing dry a bit before putting the rice paper on, as too much moisture will cause it to collapse and the ink to run. Also, I wouldn't recommend pressing the rice paper down, but just patting it onto slightly tacky buttercream. White icing is best as the rice paper is quite translucent. The other alternative you ...


4

Are you sure you want to use icing? The barbie cakes I have seen all have the skirt made from rolled marzipan, not from icing. The bodice can be a normal fabric top or dress (inedible, can be washed after the cake is eaten) or also molded from marzipan. I agree that it isn't as tasty as buttercream icing, but it surely makes a more beautiful skirt. This ...


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There are a few things to look at here: shape of cake before you start icing What kind of icing to use, and the kind of effect that it has visually Specific techniques to use with the cake and the icing It looks like your original question has more to do with the cake itself before icing. Good quality cake pans are the key to getting a cake that is a ...


4

Coat the outside of the cake with a moderate layer of icing to bind the stick cookies. This is analogous to the mortar behind facade bricks in building a wall. You could also put a drop of icing underneath the bottom, but that probably is not necessary. Update: I just noticed in the photo you can actually see some of the icing between the cookies, ...


4

When you make sugar glass, the role of the corn syrup is to halt crystallization. This is needed because otherwise the sucrose molecules will form around any impurity in your sugar mixture. If you do not have access to corn syrup I would suggest finding other ways of halting the crystallization process such as: lemon juice, maple syrup,honey and agave ...


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I practiced originally with pure shortening back when I was learning how to pipe. Just scrape it back into the shortening container, as long as you use a spotless surface. Its also excellent for practicing making roses ans other flowers. If you want to practice really intricate bead or lacework - which you would do with royal icing - then unfortunately you ...


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Ching Chong's answer is already very good. But note that everybody he said can also apply to marzipan figurines, not only fondant ones. This may increase your options, since I think marzipan is somewhat easier to shape.


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