Monday, 14 July 2014

Piping Gel Transfer

Between the blog and some recipe testing I've been doing, there's been ALOT of cake around here.  When I say alot, I mean way more than the 4 of us could possibly eat (my 4 month old is NOT pulling her weight, lol)!  So last night as I was making a mad dash to the store to pick up a few ingredients, I ran into my neighbors and decided to enlist some help.  I told them I had a cake in the oven and wondered if they wanted to try it and give me some feedback.  Word spread fast!  By the time my cake was ready I had 11 neighbors willing to critique my work.  I almost didn't get a piece myself!  I'm excited that I can keep on testing recipes and know that I have a whole neighborhood to help eat it.  Just like that, I became the neighborhood cake lady!

Now it's time to roll back the clock.....all the way back to my second cake.

In today's tutorial, I'm going to show you how to put an image on a cake (as I did above) and how to "color" it in.

You are going to need some piping gel, food coloring, Wilton tip 2, a pencil, a piping bag, the picture you want to transfer and a piece of parchment paper larger than your picture.  If you need to find a picture of something I would suggest doing a google search for coloring pages...never buying a coloring book again!  I've just been struck by the cutest idea, dual purpose too.  If you need a distraction for your kiddos while you're decorating, print them off a couple copies of your picture to color and then frame them and put them on your dessert table.  I am so doing this!

Back to business, the first thing you need to do is tint your piping gel.  I like to tint mine blue because I only have 2 uses for piping gel, the first being transfers, and the other is for creating "water" for cakes.  You don't need very much gel for transfers, but I like to have a fair bit in my piping bag for ease of piping.  If I keep it blue, I can tint as much gel as I want and not worry about what I'm going to do with my leftovers.  Once your gel is tinted fit your piping bag with Wilton tip 2 and fill 'er up.

Now place your parchment paper over your picture and trace it with your pencil.

Next you're going to flip over your piece of parchment paper, grab your piping bag and trace your image again.  If you're having trouble seeing your image, place your parchment paper on top of a piece of white paper.

Here's where the magic happens, take your iced cake and place your parchment paper on top of the cake, gel side down.  Take a paint brush (or your finger) and gently trace over all your lines.

Carefully peel up your piece of parchment paper.  And....

Ta-da!!!  I think your level of excitement here will be directly tied to how artistic you are.  If you're like me (can't free hand a stick figure), you're ecstatic right now!  For all you artsy folks, freehand away!  Time to start coloring.

You can use any method to fill this in.  I'm using Wilton tips 7 and 4 and using the dimensional technique.  I'll also be making a dot border with Wilton tip number 12.  I'm using tip 7 on the leaves and petals and tip 4 to draw the stem.

This is a pretty easy piping technique.  The important thing to remember here is to keep the head of the tip buried in the icing as you are dragging it around your shape, and keep steady pressure as you squeeze.  When the whole space is filled, stop squeezing the bag and lift it out.  If you get a peak where you lift it out, just use your finger and smooth it out.  Here it is again for the leaves.

We're well on our way to a cute cake.  All we need is a border.  I'm going to show you how to pipe a ball border.

It's as easy as that!  If you end up with peaks just smooth them out with your finger. 

And here's the finished project.

Next up, buttercream ribbon roses and shell borders, oh my!

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