In Mich's new book, "The Art of the Cake," you can find instruction about royal icing, hand piping and stacking cake as well as a trove of edible beauty. Her multi-tiered wonders run between $1,500 and $3,000 (to serve 150 to 200 guests). Want to take the first step toward being a top-notch baker? Read on.
One of the easiest ways to decorate a simple iced cake is to use fresh flowers that match the rest of your floral design between each tier. Another simple but effective technique is to hand paint designs that color-coordinate.
If you want to learn how to decorate cakes, what's the best project to start on?
It's best to start simple to build confidence. Learning to cover a cake really well is a great start. Learning to dress with fresh flowers is also a nice project.
Timing — make sure that you leave enough time to decorate your cake but not too much, the cake will still need to be fresh. Don't take on too much of a challenge — play it safe and SIMPLE. Make sure that your cake is properly constructed with internal dowelling. Remember to consider the type of venue, the transportation to the venue and how the cake will be served.
What should a baker do if cake crumbs appear in the frosting?
Chill the cake until the frosting firms and then add another crumb/masking coat of buttercream before covering with marzipan and sugar paste. You must ensure that your work surfaces and tools are scrupulously clean between filling and covering with each layer.
How would you fix burnt cake?
A burnt cake cannot be fixed, it just has to be rebaked.
Most butter or oil based cakes can be frozen — vanilla sponge, carrot cake, chocolate torte will freeze well for up to three months. Don't attempt to freeze fat free or whisked sponges.
What kinds of frosting can you freeze and what types should you not?
We make all of our frostings/buttercreams fresh. Marzipan and sugar paste should not be refrigerated but can be frozen on a covered cake — for example if you're saving a top tier.
What basic tools should every cake decorator have?
Basic tools include a good set of tins, palette knives, rolling pins, smoothers, work boards, a turntable, piping bags and nozzles, a sharp knife, dowelling rods and heavy duty scissors.