Piping and How it is Done
Piping and how it is done
PRACTICE is most important for a beginner. You'll find an upturned cake tin or a sheet of glass ideal for this.
With the glass you can draw guide designs on paper, fix under the glass and pipe the outlines on top.
The icing can be scraped from both tin and glass, put back into the bag and used over and over for practice.
To prepare the bag for icing, attach the pipe to the screw and put about 2 tblspns icing in the bag. Never have too much icing because a very full bag is difficult to handle.
Twist the open ends clockwise and press well down from the outside with your fingers to squeeze out any air.
Hold the bag with the twist between your first finger and thumb, having your thumb well pressed on the twist to keep the bag closed.
Guide or steady the bag with the tip of the first finger of your left hand. The pressure from your right hand fingers forces the icing out in an even flow.
Practise with the star pipe first, because it's easier to master than the others.
The Star Pipe - With this pipe you can make stars of various sizes, shell edgings, shell scrolls and a basket weave.
For stars, hold the bag in an upright position and lightly touch the tip of the pipe on to the cake.
Press until the star is the size you want and then stop pressure. Lift pipe quickly from cake, otherwise the star will have a long thread.
To do a shell edging or border, hold the bag in a slanting position, apply fairly heavy pressure and, as it forms a shell shape, draw it to the right pulling the icing to a point.
For a continuous shell border, begin the next shell, without lifting the pipe from the cake, by piping over the point of the first.Continue this way so that each successive one overlaps.
To make a double shell border for the base of a cake, pipe one shell up on to the cake, the next down on to the board, and so on.
Basket Weave Pipe - You can make various types of weaves with this pipe. It can also be combined with a thick writing pipe or a star pipe to vary the design. In this case, the basket pipe is used for the horizontal lines.
Beginning at the top of the cake and holding the bag in a slanting position, pipe the first line along top of cake.
Next, make vertical lines at regular intervals over this first line and then follow "with another horizontal line. Make sure that this horizontal line covers the ends of the vertical
lines. Pipe the second row of vertical lines midway between those in the first vertical row.
Basket weave is done with a basket pipe alone or in combination with a star or writing pipe.
Leaf Pipe - Used for leaves, frilling and it can be used for daffodil petals.
To pipe leaves, hold the bag in a slightly slanting position and let the tip of the pipe (with its broad side to the cake) touch very slightly. Gently press, without moving the pipe, until the icing fans out with the vein mark down the centre.
Now stop pressure and gently pull the pipe down to form the tip of the leaf. Touch cake to break off icing.
Various shaped leaves may be made by twisting your hand to either side while pulling away.
You can make attractive two-tone leaves by putting a spoonful of brown icing in one side of the bag and a spoonful of green in the other. As you squeeze the icing out, the colours combine, giving an interesting variegated effect.
For frilling on the skirt of a doll cake, hold the bag sideways across the cake, apply a steady pressure and move the pipe across the cake in a wavy manner.
Pipe a second row slightly overlapping the first and continue overlapping each successive row until the skirt is completed.
Petal Pipe - This is used tor roses, sweet peas, pansies and most of the flowers used to decorate cakes.
The Writing Pipe - This pipe is used for lattice, scrolls, dots, lines, festoons, bunches of grapes, forget-me-nots, lettering and birds.
For lines, hold the pipe upright, with the point just touching the cake where the design begins.
Press lightly and evenly and, at the same time, lift the pipe from the cake with a slow, steady movement and draw out a thread of icing to the required length.
Place it in position on the design, touch pipe on to cake, stop pressure and lift off quickly.
If the thread breaks, the icing is being pulled too sharply, so apply more pressure or work a little slower.
To make dots, hold the bag upright and lightly touch the tip of the pipe on the cake.
Press bag until a dot the size required is made. Stop pressure and lift pipe away.
This must be done quickly, or a long peak will form on top of the dot. Graduated dots are made by using heavier or lighter pressure.
For a.scroll design, hold the bag in a slightly slanting position.
When doing lettering. it's a good idea for beginners to write or print the words on a piece of paper. put on the cake and prick the outlines through with a pin
How to Pipe Flowers, Fruits and Birds
YOU can pipe most flowers on to the waxed side of small pieces of waxed paper arid remove when dry; or you can buy special flower nails and fix these pieces of paper on to them with a spot of royal icing; or you can make your own flower nails by sticking unused bottle tops (crown seals) to nails. Use flat-topped nails 2in to 3in long and a strong adhesive.
If piping the flowers directly on to these home-made flower nails, grease lightly with melted white vegetable shortening.
While flowers are drying, stick nails into a board with rows of holes about *in deep bored in it (similar to a cribbage board).
When flowers are dry, hold each nail over gentle heat (a candle or a match) for a second to melt the shortening and so remove flowers.
Fix flowers to the cake with a little dab of royal icing. If they're to be on stems, pipe a green dot in the centre back of each and push into this a short piece of wire bent slightly at the tip.
You can pipe these on to wire or directly on to the cake. Using a No. 0 or No. 1 writer, begin with a small, elongated dot at the top for a bud.
Pipe two more little dots, side by side, *in further down the stem. Pipe three more tin lower and then another kin down, pipe four pointed dots in a circle.
Repeat, making each group slightly larger than the previous one. With a leaf pipe, pipe an elongated leaf on to waxed paper, making it droop slightly to one side.
If piping directly on to the cake, do a drooping stem first and let it dry before adding the flowers.
You can pipe this flower on to waxed paper and dry over a rolling pin or you can pipe it straight on to the cake.
Using the small petal pipe and holding the bag upright, pipe a thin petal about lin long.
Pipe two more petals, one on either side of the first and overlapping the base.
Pipe three petals for the third row, overlapping the ends of the petals in second row and with the centre one in line with the first petal piped.
Now pipe four petals for the last row, overlapping the ends of those in the previous row. When dry, carefully peel from the paper and arrange on the cake, point end down. Fix with a little royal icing, pipe leaves under the base and add: a few tendrils.
Take a wire stem and, holding it so that the top is pointing down, pipe small dots through a No. 0 or No. 1 writer. Continue with the dots, turning the wire so that it will be completely covered, and pulling each dot to a long downward point.
As you continue, overlap and use more pressure on the bag to give a thicker-looking flower head. For the last section, change to a larger writing pipe. Hang each wire stem, with the tip down, to dry.
For these, two colours may be put into the bag or you can tint the flowers with a brush when they're dry.
Use a No. 20 small petal pipe and hold the bag with the concave side of the pipe uppermost and the thick end pointing down.
Pipe the first petal with the outward and downward movement, turn the nail slightly backward and pipe the second petal to overlap the first.
Now turn the nail slightly forward and pipe the third petal which should overlap the first one a little. Turn the nail back a little once again and pipe the fourth petal opposite the third and overlapping the second slightly.
These four petals should form a half circle. Now add the fifth petal, a wavy one, which is the largest and should take up the remaining half circle.
Pipe a spot of contrasting colour in the centre.
This flower has six petals. Pipe the first petal with the out-and-back movement, then the second and third petals. These three should occupy no more than half a circle.
Continue with the next three petals, the last of which should join neatly to the first. Before icing is dry, pinch the end of each petal to give the pointed tip.
When dry, use the smallest petal pipe to make the centre. This can be done in one movement.
There are five overlapping petals with an indentation in each. Use a No. 20 small or large petal pipe.
Petals have an edging of pink which shades to white on the inside. Using a knife, line the inside of the bag with pink icing and then fill with white icing.
Pipe the petals with an outward and downward movement, but pause in the middle of the movement to give the indentation.
Leave until dry and then pipe a circle of yellow or black dots in the centre of each.
Use a No. 20 small or large petal pipe and hold it with the curved part toward you.
With the pipe almost flat on the icing nail, pipe the first petal in a three-quarter circle, shaking the pipe lightly to give the waved effect.
Pipe the second petal in the same way on top of the first. For the centre, hold the pipe upright and use an up-and-down movement. This petal should stand straight out.
Use a No. 1 or No. 0 writing pipe to make a circle of five small dots for each flower, each dot barely touching the next. Put a little spot of yellow in the centre of each.
Use white or mauve royal icing for these and paint them violet after they're dry, with a dot of yellow in the centre. Hold a No. 20 small petal pipe upright and, using a slight up-and-down movement, pipe two petals on top.
Now pipe two more under those and then a larger petal at the bottom.
Roses can be piped on to flower nails, the sharpened ends of matches or on to wire stems.
You can pipe these on to headless matches, toothpicks, icing nails reversed or on to wire stems.
Make sure the royal icing is fairly stiff before beginning the roses.
Hold the match upright in your left hand, between thumb and first finger, and hold the icing bag in the other hand, in a slanting position, with the concave side of the pipe facing left and the thick end down.
Place the pipe against the match, press the bag and turn the match around slowly, clockwise, so that a strip of icing covers the match and overlaps. Stop pressure and press pipe on to match.
Stand the match in a small hole bored in a piece of wood and go on with the next.
Do about eight of these bud centres at a time and the first one will be nearly dry when you finish.
Now take the first match in your left hand, place the pipe half way up the bud centre and, with a half circle upward movement, pipe a petal half way around the bud centre. Dry as before.
When piping the petals, don't lift the pipe too far away from the match because this will cause folds to form in the petals.
Continue overlapping petals, making each slightly larger until the rose is the size and shape required.
To remove the rose from the match, cut triangles along the edge of a piece of strong cardboard. Place the match in a triangle and gently ease the rose off. Leave on cardboard until dry and then store in an airtight container.
If using a left-handed petal pipe, you'll need to reverse the directions.
You can also pipe small rose buds directly on to the cake. For those you use Nos. 1 and 2 writing pipes.
With the No. 2 writer, pipe a pointed bulb and then pipe an "5"-shaped scroll from the pointed tip to the base.
Using green icing and a No. 1 writer, make a small bulb coming from the base and then three small strokes—one in the centre of the bulb and one on either side.
Daffodils can be piped on to icing nails, waxed paper or straight on to wire stems.
There are six petals in each flower and they're piped in the same way as jonquil petals, but you use a leaf pipe for them (you can, of course, use a petal pipe if you wish).
If using a petal pipe, let icing dry slightly and then gently pinch the end of each petal into a point.
For the trumpet, take a writing pipe and pipe a circle of icing in the centre.
Build it up until it's the right height. Before icing is quite dry, you can give the trumpet a serrated edge by nicking it with a pin. When dry, touch up the edge with orange colouring.
Another method is to pipe the flower straight On to a wire (if you want it on a stem).
Bend the top of the wire to form a small hook. Using a small petal or large writing
pipe, pipe a coil of icing around the hook, covering it completely. This is the trumpet part.
When dry, take a No. 16 leaf pipe and pipe three petals in a circle, just behind the trumpet. Put aside to dry and then pipe another three petals behind those, placing them so that they show between the first three.
Yet another method is to pipe the petals on the back of a lightly greased spoon, assemble when dry and pipe the trumpet part in the centre.
Pipe on to pieces of waxed paper or greaseproof paper lightly greased with melted white vegetable shortening.
Body, head and beak are all in one piece. Using a No. 4 writer or a greaseproof paper cone with a large piece cut from the end, press out icing to form the body the size you want, then lift pipe and, still keeping a slight pressure, form the neck.
Ease pressure to form the head, lower point of pipe a little and draw away quite quickly to form the beak.
The tail is piped on to the body with a No. 0 writer. Pipe three curved strokes on each side of centre of body and build up once to make tail stronger.
Wings: Lightly grease the back of spoons with melted white vegetable shortening—teaspoons or coffee spoons, depending on size of doves.
Pipe a single curved line on the back of the spoon.
Fill in on one side with lines, making each one shorter. Remember to reverse the second wing so there's a right and left wing.
When quite dry, apply gentle heat for a second and carefully remove from spoon.
Remove dove from paper and fix the wings to the body with a little royal icing. Support them until firm. Add a dot of black colouring for each eye.
This little bird can be piped in sections on to waxed paper or the shape can be outlined on the cake and filled in with softened royal icing.
Lightly grease greaseproof paper in the usual way, or use waxed paper.
With a No. 0 or 1 writer, form the wing, using two out and return strokes for the outside, followed by three out and return strokes, making each one shorter.
For a larger bird, pipe nine out-and-back strokes, the first of which will form the wing shape, then each after that should be gradually shorter. Don't forget to form the second wing in the opposite direction.
For the body. use a No. 1 writer and follow the instructions given for piping the dove.
Pipe the tail on to the bird with a No. 0 or 00 writer, making a long stroke on each side and a short one in the centre.
For the larger bird, use four out-and-return strokes for the tail.
Leave until dry arid then fix wings to body with a little royal icing, supporting them until firm.
Use a spot of black colouring for each eye.
Another method is to pipe the tail first and, without lifting the pipe, continue to press out the icing to form the body, head and beak. Make the wings separately.
To pipe the bird directly on to the cake, first draw the shape on to paper. Place paper on cake, prick through the outline and flood with the softened royal icing.