How to Decorate a Cake

Make your cakes special with simple decorating techniques. Pastry chef Heather Bertinetti provides icing tips for rosettes and lettering.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Heather Bertinetti, and you're watching eHow.com. Today, I'm going to show you how to easily decorate a cake. You can buy these disposable piping bags. They're in the shape of a cone, and I want to show you how to fill the bag now with icing. Here's what I do. I take my left hand and I make a cup and I fold the piping bag over my hand. Every piping bag comes with what they call a tip. This one just so happens to have a little star motif on the end of it. So, I drop the tip in the piping bag so it comes out the end, like so. I give it a little twist at the end with my right hand, pinching it with my left, put it back on, and now I'm going to fill the piping bag with the icing, just a spatula. Make sure you get all that good icing in there. Now, this is my little technique here. I take two of my fingers and I pinch from the top and I slide the icing down towards the tip. You do it with your right or left hand. Now, here comes the tricky part, where to hold it. I'm ready, so I like to hold it like this, with my hands pinching the top where the icing settles. I turn it with my left, counterclockwise. The way I like to do it is I start towards me. Now, this is going to be called a rosette. So starting towards me, I pipe down and I turn it around counterclockwise on top of itself. Do this again, so you pipe, pipe, pipe and you turn it around. See how it has a little shape, like of a rose? That's what we're going for. That's the goal. I'm going to go around the perimeter of this cake, all the way around. So now, I have to be honest. After I graduated culinary school, I'm supposed to be this big chef and I had no piping bags to write happy birthday on a birthday cake that I was making, so I want to show you a quick tip and an easy way to make a piping bag at home using household computer paper. So, you take your computer paper and you find the furtherest tip and you fold it over, making two peaks, like so. So, it looks like two mountains. This is what we like to call the mountain peaks. Right on this seam, I'm going to fold it, I'm going to cut it on the seam. So you have an elongated triangle. So now, if you see here, I have a point peak pointing to the right, and I have my longer point on the bottom, facing downward. I'm going to take the top point and I'm going to curl it in and match it to the top so that it's like a cone. And now, I'm going to take the bottom tail and wrap it around and move it up so all the points meet. So, we have a conicular piping bag here. With my thumb in the inside, I can adjust it now and tighten the tip. Once all the points meet, you fold them inward. So, now is the fun part of the cake, writing "happy birthday" on it. It can always seem intimidating at first, and it's not like writing with a pen, so I want to show you an easier way of how to do it. So, I have store-bought chocolate that I melted for 30 seconds in the microwave. I'm going to take my paper cone, and I'm going to fill it only a quarter of the way. You don't want to overfill it, because if it oozes out of the top, you'll have a huge mess. Fold it over. You want your seam facing the opposite direction, and fold it with the seam facing outward. And now I can write. I suggest if you can, before you actually write on your cake, to write on a test surface, like a piece of paper, and here I go. I hold mine in my right hand. With my left hand, it's called your guiding hand, okay. I hold onto the piping bag with both hands, and now I'm going to write just like you would with a pen, without touching the surface, like so. So now, I'm going to do this to the cake. With a steady flowing motion, without stopping, I'm going to write, "happy birthday." You want to keep your piping bag elevated from the cake. It may seem intimidating a little bit, but I swear to you it's easy. I'm Heather Bertinetti for eHow.com. Catch me again.

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