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One of the most important professional touches that you'll notice -
along with roses and shell variations - is stringwork. That's what decorators
call the strands of icing looped around the sides of cakes. These add a
dramatic finish to wedding cakes and other cakes for special occasions.
And now you can do it too! Here's how.
You'll need your practice board set upright on its stand. *Keep in
mind, your cake will be STRAIGHT vertical where your practice board leans
slightly. It will be good if you also practice on the sides of cakes that
aren't so important, in starting out.
Fit an icing bag with a plain tip 3, and fill the bag with stiff consistency
icing that has been thinned with corn syrup.
Icing consistency is very important. The icing must be thin enough so
that it flows easily out of the tip without breaking off as the stringwork
loops are dropped. If the icing is too thin, it won't have enough elasticity
to loop, and it will snap.
You'll know it's the right consistency if you can drop a loop of icing
from your finger. If the icing isn't thin enough, add a few drops of water
or corn syrup, mix well, and try again.
Icing: stiff consistency thinned slightly with corn syrup.
Tip: plain tip 3
- Practice Board: upright
- Bag: shoulder level at 4:30 (7:30)
- Tip: lightly touching surface (to attach)
Dot surface as guide.
Squeeze, pulling straight out, letting loop drop.
Stop squeezing, attach.
With dots of icing, mark a row of equally spaced points across your upright
Use thin consistency icing in a bag fitted with plain tip 3. Holding the
bag at or above shoulder level, in 4:30 (7:30) position, touch the end
of the tip to the surface to attach the icing at the first dot.
While squeezing, pull the bag straight away from the surface towards you.
Continue squeezing to allow the icing to drape naturally. It will drop
by itself. Do not move the tip down with the string. The end of the tip
should be the same distance from the surface as the distance is from point
to point on the board.
Stop squeezing, and touch the tip to the practice board at the next dot
to attach the loop.
Repeat across the practice board.
As you are dropping the loops of icing, try to make them all hang down
the same distance from the dots of icing so that they look identical. It's
uniformity that makes stringwork such a dramatic border effect. You'll
begin to find you get it as you practice. Note that you should not move
the tip down as the string falls. Getting an even drape depends on letting
the loop of icing fall with its own weight.
When you're doing stringwork on a real cake, make sure that the size of
the loop and distance between loops is in proportion to the cake. Too small,
and the loops are insignificant; too large, and they'll overwhelm your
These pictures and more are in the lesson
plan 3 book.