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Best decorating secrets and tips?!!! - Page 3

post #31 of 83
All I can say is WOW!!!!! I have learned so much from this post I just may print it. You guys are great!!

I have not used a frozen cake yet but I have put it in the freezer while icing layers it works great!! no crumbs at all. put icing on first 2layers then put in freezer then 3rd layer, smooth- put back in for a few minutes and finish. This works great especially when I use the bc with crisco and butter (I prefer the taste)!

I have not tried the MMF yet I plan to this weekend. Everyons says its better than Wilton-not hard to believe! icon_smile.gif
post #32 of 83
Premeasure EVERYTHING. No excuses.
I've gotta give credit to Rachael Ray. Get thee a garbage bowl. You don't need to walk back and forth to the trash every couple of mins. I also have a "utensil" bowl where I can keep all my dirties and not hog the sink.
Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
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Life's too short to drink poison- Alton Brown
I'll start being nicer when you start acting smarter.
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post #33 of 83
Watch those fingers! If I am baking and their are people in my house they always manage to stick their fingers in somewhere when I'm not looking. Even the adults. Tears manage to disuade them from doing this for awhile.

Also the pringles can! I LOVE MY PRINGLES CAN!!! It is perfect for filling pasty bags. Just cuff the top of the bag over the rim on the pringles can like you would if you were using your hand and fill. Very little mess afterwards and you have both hands free.
Life is uncertain.
Eat dessert first.
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Life is uncertain.
Eat dessert first.
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post #34 of 83
I take out all my ingredients place them on large baking sheet and as I use them off they go. Put all the different dry ingredients in separate little piles on top of my flour. In case there is an interuption -- and there usually is. That way I don't have to guess at what was put in. Before I do anything, I copy my recipes, scan and print and tape them on my cupboard door in front of me. Before putting anything in bowlI double check my recipe and make sure that I measured everything right and didn't misread anything. Like a lot of us, my mind can be on something else and this sounds like a lot but has saved me.
post #35 of 83
Along the baking side, to bring eggs to room temperture by setting them in a bowl of warm/hot water - I always seem to forget to take the eggs out! (Sometimes I even crack them, place them in a small bowl and then place the bowl in the water).

I also do not bring my butter to room temperture - using the mixer and letting the butter (with out and then with sugar) whip a little longer seems to work better.

I agree with a garbage bowl as being one of the best tips - I even have two going, one for compost and one for throw away. The other BEST thing is disposable pastry bags!!! (If I find disposable couplers I will be one HAPPY woman!!)

For pastry tips, soaking and swishing in insta hot, then putting them in the little net bag in the dishwasher (Can not imagen going back to hand washing) And the advise to use Dawn, especially the diswasher tablets - it really seems to get that crisco grease/film better then most other stuff.

And I agree - this is a great thread, which may need to be printed out!
post #36 of 83
Get used to icing with the icing tip-a huge time saver!
I like to smooth with the knife dipped in hot water and I use an electric "hot pot" for this. Water is always handy, hot and ready to go. No trips to the micro to heat up the water again.
How you think when you lose, determines how long it will be until you win.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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How you think when you lose, determines how long it will be until you win.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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post #37 of 83
I recently started baking in the 3" deep pans. I use a couple of inverted flower nails in the center of the pan, even when baking a 6" or 8" round, to help ensure that the middle is cooked.

Oh yeah, and I also bake on 325 and not 350 and just keep an eye on things for about 10 additional minutes.
post #38 of 83
Thread Starter 
I have recently discovered two things that are sooo simple, I almost hate admitting that I never thought of them before. First of all, I keep my large kitchen standup mixer right next to the sink. That way when I'm done I can just slide it into the sink and spray it off. The other was my husbands idea and what a great one it is!! My kitchen mixer was my grandmothers and is VERY old. It only has one speed on it now . . . high! Well, when I got it she gave me an old pillowcase that she would cover it up with when not in use. Well, my husband suggested to put that cover on it and tuck it under the bottom when I make my icing, because as most of you already know, when you mix in the powdered sugar, it goes flying everywhere. If you dampen the pillowcase, it absorbs all of the sugar that goes flying everywhere. Well, that's it. My husbands brainstorm. I guess he is pretty smart, all though I'd NEVER tell him that!! icon_biggrin.gif
Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too!!!

www.tonyaandcompany.com
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Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too!!!

www.tonyaandcompany.com
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post #39 of 83
I have learned so much on CC and taken so much and I just realized I actually have a tip to offer. icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gifImage

After I tort a cake, instead of using a cake board to lift off the top, I use the removable bottom from one of my tart pans! (That part of my tart pan is now stored with the cake stuff instead of with the tart pans.)
Cake...it's not just for breakfast anymore!
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Cake...it's not just for breakfast anymore!
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post #40 of 83
Ok I just joined a couple of days ago, but have been doing cakes for some time now and got the chance to talk with and buy some things from a very experienced cake decorator and let me tell you, suggestions like all you all made help and this is what I found helpful too.

To smooth buttercreme frosting use a cake roller, don't know where she bought this at but it saves TIME and lots of it, beats out the paper towel method hands down. Looks just like a paint roller.

Get the biggest mixer you can afford and save money from each cake to purchase one down the road. Started off with a kitchenaid 4 qt and went to kitchenaid professional 600 which i think is 6 qts and wow what a difference in time. My future hope is a hobart 20 qt. one dayicon_smile.gif

Have not invested in one myself but I here the stressfree cake system is a must have. hope to buy one shortly though.

Thanks all for the helpful tips too. Happy Baking
post #41 of 83
I love parchment paper triangles for pastry bags. They're so cheap and quick. Thought I'd never use them until our Wilton intructor showed us how.

I also love SPRINKLES! Especially clear sparkling sugar (the fine grain rather than the ones that crunch when you take a bite). A dusting of this adds so much I think and also does wonders for hiding any imperfections, say on fbct or nicks in the icing. I also love the hot knife for smoothing! icon_biggrin.gif
post #42 of 83
The Enhanced Cake Mix Formula II recipe here on the web site. Two months ago (that's BCC to you) I would have been apalled, absolutely apalled, at the idea of using a cake mix. And while there are still some cakes that *should* be made from scratch (my carrot cake is one of them), I am addicted to the ECMF. It's been said here before, but it bears repeating, cake mixes are more predictable (which means fewer tears) and people are so accustomed to the taste of cake mix that they don't (can't?) appreciate the difference. Plus, with the add-ins of butter, sour cream, almond extract, pudding, and nuts, my pistachio version (for which I take no real credit, having pilfered the basic recipe from this web site) is outstanding. Now if only I could get my white chocolate buttercream to perform as reliably... *sigh*

Also, the Crusting Cream Cheese frosting is outstanding. I think everyone should have at least one or two "old faithful" recipes as their "baking secret"

But I have to agree that the best baking secret is this web site. Encouragement, ideas, support, and an online community of people who "get it" when you need to vent about fallen cakes and ripping fondant... What more could you ask for? icon_lol.gif
post #43 of 83
I can't find a recipe here called Enhanced Cake Mix Formula II. Just Enhanced Cake Formula and Super Enhanced Cake Formula. Are either of those right? If not, could you post the recipe you are referring to?
post #44 of 83
Here are my tips from my short six months. Buy the best tools you can afford. Invest in a bench knife if you use fondant. Crumb coat. Freeze your cakes after leveling. Invest in a pasta machine if you use fondant. IMHO dont use Wilton fondant or coloring, yucky and messy." Use Satin Ice, best tasting and Americolor. I use disposable piping bags cuz I hate to clean the others and by the time I clean up I am dogged tired! Always have enough product at home cuz as soon as they know you do this you will get overnight orders.

Usually, I take days to create one cake dont do it all in one night if you can help it, bake it, then frost, then decorate! Use parchment paper on the bottom of your cake pans, I never baked before, doing this was really new to me. I understand garbage bowls, but I create such a mess I pull out a garbage bag and use that. Take pictures and dont be afraid to try something new! It may not always work, but make notes in your three-ring binder. Did I forget to mention it? Get a three ring binder for recipes and your creations. Oh yes, one more thing - have fun!
Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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post #45 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by joanmary

I have learned so much on CC and taken so much and I just realized I actually have a tip to offer. icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gifImage

After I tort a cake, instead of using a cake board to lift off the top, I use the removable bottom from one of my tart pans! (That part of my tart pan is now stored with the cake stuff instead of with the tart pans.)



I was just trying to think of an inexpensive way to do this. I hate throwing away the boards after I use them so I wrapped a few in saran wrap but this is a much better idea!

I use a large piece of vinyl for rolling fondant and placing on the cake; a metal funnel to pour hot sugar in the mixer for IMBC; TV off, radio on while measuring and mixing or I'm sure to make a mistake; a sugar shaker for 10x while making fondant figures; freeze IMBC and take out the night before decorating; dry brushing antique color luster dust makes fondant look extra special.
Mary Ann
"Sure I could make you THAT cake but wouldn't you rather have a monkey cake?" Bronwen Weber
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Mary Ann
"Sure I could make you THAT cake but wouldn't you rather have a monkey cake?" Bronwen Weber
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