need ideas on practising

444
10
Joined Jun 9, 2001
i go back to school soon and i know that if i dont keep on practising my cake decorating, i will loose it. my question is what do you all practise with when you were all learning how to decorate cakes? i practise on parchment paper and it works good but there is a big diffrence when it comes to practising on sides of cakes. i was thinking of using a cake pan or maybe a cake dummie. what dso you all think?

i would also like to practise my icing of cakes. what would you suggest me practising on?

thanks a lot all.
 
415
10
Joined Jan 15, 2001
An upside down cake pan is a good idea, or a styrofoam round. Do you have Michaels arts and crafts stores in your area? I know they offer Wilton method cake decorating classes really cheap. Enjoy your cake decorating!
 
205
11
Joined Jun 1, 2001
Somewhere or other, I think it's In The Sweet Kitchen, I found a great suggestion - mix up instant mashed potato flakes to an icing consistency for practising. Easy, cheap and convenient!
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Personally I've found stryofoam hard to work with because of it's lightness it moves too easily (you must figure out a good way to ancor it down first). You can use anything that doesn't absorb your frosting.... a filled heavy plastic container, the side of your computor, BUT, put it on a turn table so you get familar with using the turn table at the same time! Because using a turn table is part of the skill.

Baking cakes is part of the skill too, you need to learn that as you go....SO why not make a real cake to learn on. If you make something dense like a carrot cake you can even scrap off all your decorative work and re-do it many times. Store it in the freezer for a couple days, whatever (so your not baking it fresh each time), actually piping boarders on it will be easier if it's frozen. There will be occassions where you need to know how to salvage a real cake and refrost it.

Also you must use frosting to learn frosting.

When your working on a "dummy" surface you just scrape it off and re use it over and over. Just like I'm saying you can reuse a cake over and over.

When your learning boarders just pipe them dirrectly on your table. Then scrap the frosting off with your palate knive. To learn them on the side of a cake frost your dummy with a base coat of frosting first (again to simulate what it's like on the real surface).

You could even frost your counters at home and pipe on the side of them too. The only thing you can't do is put them on a turn table. They clean easily.
 
337
10
Joined Jun 28, 2001
I used to use shortening based icing for practice. I would just scrape it off and keep using it over and over. Cream 1 cup of shortening with 1 pound of 10x and add a couple of teaspoons of water until you get the consistency you need. I practiced decorating both on cakes and on the counter top. When I was too lazy to bake a cake from scratch, I stocked up on Duncan Hines when it went on sale, threw a batch together and had my practice cake ready to go. I've heard there is some kind of spike to use with cake dummies to anchor them down, but I have no idea where to get it. I read that someone used a hot glue gun to glue the dummy to the cardboard and I think used a cardboard that was slightly bigger to have something to hold on to. Then you just cut off the excess when you're done.
 
337
10
Joined Jun 28, 2001
I used to use shortening based icing for practice. I would just scrape it off and keep using it over and over. Cream 1 cup of shortening with 1 pound of 10x and add a couple of teaspoons of water until you get the consistency you need. I practiced decorating both on cakes and on the counter top. When I was too lazy to bake a cake from scratch, I stocked up on Duncan Hines when it went on sale, threw a batch together and had my practice cake ready to go. I've heard there is some kind of spike to use with cake dummies to anchor them down, but I have no idea where to get it. I read that someone used a hot glue gun to glue the dummy to the cardboard and I think used a cardboard that was slightly bigger to have something to hold on to. Then you just cut off the excess when you're done.
 
1,586
11
Joined Jan 5, 2001
Isaac, at school we use styrofoam cake dummies. They look pretty easy to make, just call your local art supply store. Those we use are nailed to a square wood board. We just place them on a wet towel on top of the pivoting table and practice on that. You can wash them off and reuse them as often as you like. Just make sure it's a dense styrofoam otherwise it'll absorb your medium too much.
 
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